Thursday, July 13, 2017

2017 Artists’ Residency Project

(Screen capture from 2014 Artists' Residency Project)
The Pontiac Artists Association (Quebec) (PAA) has invited me to join their 8th annual 2017 Artists' Residency Project and I am leaving in just a few days!

This will be my very first artist-in-residence experience and I am both nervous and excited.

As I look over the great pictures of the past Residencies (found on the website), I just know that I am going to love the area and meeting the Pontiac artists.

(Screen capture of 2016 Artists' Residency Project)
I have been busy putting my workshop "Sketching and Paying Attention" together as well as getting my workshop art supplies in order. It is a jam-packed week of creating that looks something like this:
Screen capture of 2013 Artists' Residency Project
As part of my application for the 2017 Artists’ Residency Project in March 2017, I was obliged to submit my CV. This caused a great deal of anxiety because it has only been in the past two to three years that I have been able to devote all of my time to creating art.

Residency registrar and artist Valerie Bridgeman sent me a great PAA article "Writing About Your Art- the CV" with information from various sources and ‘The Business of Art for Canadian Visual Artists’ by Sandra M. Hawkins, artist and teacher of art and arts administration programs at University of Ottawa.

This was a very helpful learning exercise and I surprised myself with how much I could list on my CV!

Screen capture of 2012 Artists' Residency Project
It is a lot of work for the Pontiac Artists' Association to organize a residency of this magnitude and Valerie Bridgeman says they do it to "increase our network of artists, to share and encourage, and to foster artistic growth in the Pontiac. And of course, to make new friends!" 

I have always been curious and wanting to attend an artist residency like this even though I knew very little about them and what to expect

Going for what?

What was my motivation? Why did I want to stay and work creatively somewhere else?

Well there are many reasons that artists seek out an artist residency. From the Dutch Source Transartist website, I learned that some artists are:

Going for production:
  • realizing a fixed, individual project you have in mind already
  • using specific technical tools, facilities and resources for your own purpose
  • making art works for exhibiting
  • orientation for future production in the region
Going for isolation:
  • being away from daily worries
  • being away from demanding pressures of the artist's profession
  • taking in a different environment and culture
  • anticipating new insights and inspiration
  • concentrating on work you have in mind already
Going for working together:
  • meeting local artists
  • meeting other residency artists
  • working together with other artists for realizing a project
  • giving lectures, workshops
Going for your professional career:
  • exploring the arts in another province, country and culture
  • contacting artists' initiatives, galleries, museums, music distributors, publishing houses
I think that my motivations fall into more than one of the categories above.

Screen capture of 2011 Artists' Residency Project
Searching for a residency right for me:

I became aware of the PAA Artists' Residency Project because my friend and fellow Ottawa artist Lauren Foster-McLeod attended last summer (2016). When I heard some of the details of her experience last year, I just knew it would be a good fit for me for the following reasons:

Discipline and Location:
  • The PAA Artists' Residency Project is a multidisciplinary residency program.
  • The Pontiac region in Quebec is located relatively close to where I live in Ottawa and it is located close to the Ottawa river. This beautiful region hs always been on my list of areas that I wanted to paint and explore more.
Artist-in Residence Model
  • The PAA Artists' Residency Project residency model suited me in that my accommodations and meals were included. We are home-hosted by the generous members of the Pontiac Artists' Association.
  • I like that this model has daily hands-on workshops with instructors and includes lots of opportunities to meet with members of the Pontiac Artists Association. I don't think that I would be well suited to residency models where artists are left alone.
  • I really like that the residency culminates in a vernissage in a local gallery and coffee roastery called The Art Brulant and Impressions
Facilities and materials
  • The Stone School in Portage-du-Fort will be our home for a few of the workshops
  • Our plein air painting and printmaking will take place on the nearby Ottawa river!
  • All of the materials needed for the workshops are ones I have on hand so there was no additional  expense for me.
All things considered, the PAA Artists' Residency Project seems like it will be a perfect for me. I look forward to sharing my experiences with you later in July.
    The Stone School: Portage-du-Fort, Quebec
Source: MRC Pontiac
If you have attended an artist-in-residence program and you would like to share your experiences, I would love to hear from you!

If you know of any other Canadian, American or international artist-in-residence programs that are great, please share!

If you have any questions about this artist-in-residence program or any others, please send them to me in the space provided below.


  1. Ohh Cindi! This looks so incredibly interesting!! Really looking forward to hearing all about it! Have a blast!!

    1. Thanks so much Lissa - its my first artist-in-residence and I am so excited. I will share all that I learn when I get back in the hopes of inspiring others (you?) to try it too !

  2. Check out the artPontiac website at