Artist Residencies

Current Residencies
January 11, 2018

Once Upon Water: Toronto Island 2018

Water Residency

ONCE UPON WATER: Toronto Island 2018
Programmed Art Residency
Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island, Canada
Facilitator, Teresa Ascencao
Program Dates: Sep 17 – Oct 1, 2018
Submission Deadline:  August 15, 2018
Cost: $1020 for shared accommodation plus HST.
(package includes sleeping quarters, large shared studio, facilitation, programming, and a closing exhibition)

Once Upon Water is a two-week art residency to create artworks about the material and magical notions of water. Water is in constant flow and yet may present itself as still ~ a mirror that mesmerizes. In this state its reflective surface invites gazing at our physical selves, but also beyond our bodies to contemplate both our inner experiences and relationships with the outer world. Water gushes from deep below earth’s crevices, falls from elevations and hovers in misty formations. It traverses time, shape-shifts as it slides through various spaces, and is one of earth’s greatest Sculptors. At once, water pours out of taps in developed countries as a banal occurrence, while women in developing countries trek miles to fetch it clean. Alarmingly, earth is under threat of losing all its sea ice this century, while future wars are predicted to be fought over water rather than oil. Yet, the world’s greatest religions say water holds the power to purify and renew.

The residency will take place at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto island, Canada. Due to record rains in 2017, forty percent of Toronto Island flooded and the islands were closed to the public. The waters have since receded and island life is once again thriving, but physical traces and stories of the flood remain.

Residents work individually or collaboratively to create artworks that explore tangible and intangible concepts of water through media of their choice, such as photography, video, installation, drawing, painting, performance art, dance, sound art, media art, etc. Artists will have opportunities to socialize and integrate with people who live on, and visit, Toronto island. This programmed residency offers facilitation by multimedia artist Teresa Ascencao, a  “water workshop” in movement arts, resident artist talks, a special guest artist talk, gallery tours in the city centre, creative and critical dialogue by the shoreline, and plenty of studio time. Critiques of residents’ works occur on a regular basis, individually with the Facilitator and through facilitated group discussions. There will be a closing exhibition of artworks created during the residency (if preferred, artists may show in open studio fashion).

Artscape Gibraltar Point is an artist retreat nestled against the magnificent natural backdrop of Toronto Island, and metres from the beach. It offers a distraction-free environment to focus on making art, and a rich potential for the creation of water-themed artworks amongst its blue-flag beaches (one of them being clothing optional) and natural surroundings of Lake Ontario, forests and gardens. On the island, there are tiny quaint homes, a historic lighthouse, a hobby farm and antique carnival grounds. Cozy up in a furnished studio and bedroom, and enjoy amenities such as a fully equipped common kitchen, shared bathrooms, laundry facilities and wireless Internet. Enjoy beach sunrises and sunsets at the foot of your studio. AGP is a barrier free and inclusive environment. The Toronto city core is just a 15-minute ferry ride away.

Teresa Ascencao is a multimedia artist with special interest in body language, socially inscribed objects, spaces and costumes, and inner and outer corporeal experiences. She collaborated on Water Portals, an interactive work of digitally rendered water ripples triggered by dancers bodies. As an environmentalist, her most recent work has been to protect Toronto’s waterfront through the organization she founded, Citizens for a Healthy Toronto Waterfront. Ascencao graduated with distinction from the University of Toronto’s Honours Fine Art Studio program, and received her MFA from OCAD University specializing in Media Art. Her award-winning work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally. She lives and works in Toronto and teaches at OCADU.

We welcome people in all walks of life into a creative journey of critical thinking and self-discovery in relation to water on Toronto Island. Indigenous, people with disabilities, people of colour and diverse gender identifications are encouraged to apply. Not all residency locations are wheel chair accessible. Please inquire about accessibility. Arrivals are on September 17 from 1pm to 3pm, and departures on October 1st before 11am. For more information contact Andrew Lochhead at or Teresa Ascencao at To apply, fill out the online form: (*include your website or link to your work, and indicate you are applying to Once Upon Water).


December 08, 2016

Awakening: Earth-Based Spirituality & Art

Awakening 2018FINAL100

Awakening: Earth-based Spirituality & Art
Facilitator: Monica Bodirsky
Dates: July 16-27, 2018
Submission Deadline: February 16, 2018
Cost: 1000 + HST for Private Room & Shared Studio, $850 + HST for a Shared Room and Shared Studio

Now in its third year, Awakening is a ten day thematic residency that provides a sacred and inspirational space to explore creativity and intuition within the framework of earth-based spirituality. The objective is to engage holistic practices that connect mind, body and spirit with the self and environment. The goal is to incorporate metaphysical practices within the arts and examine how this knowledge has been viewed historically as well as how current views can be integrated, disrupted or altered.

Providing a sacred & inspiring space to explore creativity within an earth-based spiritual practice.

Topics such as, herbalism, mindfulness, shamanism, divination, and ritual, will be viewed from a variety of perspectives including; pop culture, psychology, alchemy, theology, history, and, post-colonial discourse. Along with programmed time, residents also have free time to work individually or collaboratively in a studio. Methods of art making can be visual, time-based, photography, craft, writing, music, dance or performance art. Supportive discussions of residents’ work in progress occur on a regular basis.


Monica Bodirsky is an artist, writer, creativity coach and faculty at OCAD University in Toronto.

To apply, fill out the online form:

*include your website or link to your work, and indicate you are applying to Awakening 2018*.