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In the spirit of reconnection, instead of guest residencies with artists from out of town,

The James Black Gallery hosts seven Pod Residencies featuring local artists for 2021/2022 with funding thanks to the City of Vancouver. We now have received funding to do a second set for 2022/2023. Call for submissions open September 2022.


2021/2022 Residencies
May 2022 was the last of our seven pod residencies developed in reaction to the pandemic. Originally conceptualized by previous studiomate Anna Trowbridge, the intent was around reconnection and creation exploration. We were able to put these on partially with support from the City of Vancouver. The first was new mother Deepali Raiththa and her unborn child in the eighth term of her pregnancy, giving birth to this series. We saw art husbands and art wives form through this residency. The location itself inspire and influence Darius Kian and Nat Robinson in their collaboration. Hold Your Breath by Monika Krupicka and Sara Pimentel started the process of exploring the emotional complexity of weather's influence on our lives and bringing it into the gallery. Giving us a natural flow for the last residency by Julia, Phoebe, and Katrina, taking influence from the greenspace around the JBG. Discussing the potential for death and decay, alongside its resurgence and regenerative abilities. Both a fitting end to the residency, but birth of new relationships to come.


Julia Wong, Phoebe Bei, & Katrina Vera Wong 

May 2022

Katrina Vera Wong employs her Frankenflora (hybrid flowers made from dried plants) to explore the botanical underside and the experience of moribundity. / @furiebeckite

Phoebe Bei is interested in the potency of imprints, fossilized spaces and voids found in organic and inorganic infrastructures. Through experimentation and study of materials such as clay to salvaged cedar, Bei utilizes their properties to explore how they can embody these infrastructures as vessels and places for coping, fracture, and mobility.


Julia Wong is interested in fountains as monuments of grandeur in traditional garden settings. She will explore her ability to create fountain-like assemblages using an assortment of found cultural floatsam and handmade ceramics.
IG: @julialwong

Mimesis / Petrified / Undergrowth

Inspired by the James Black Gallery’s green spaces, where the cycle of life and death is entangled with the processes of decay and regrowth. Artists Katrina Vera Wong, Phoebe Bei, and Julia Wong draw upon their cultural identities and relationships to the natural world to create sculptures, assemblages, and interventions that invite the public to consider their relationship to the natural world and limited green spaces in the city.

Sara Pimentel & Monika Krupicka

March & April 2022

Monika Krupicka is a lifestyle and still life photographer whose goal it is to use the medium to immerse herself in humanitarian work. She is inspired by her childhood interests in anthropology and the outdoors.        @monika.krupicka

Sara Pimentel is a landscape and architectural photographer who is passionate about the relationship between nature and humankind, as well as the history within their community.


Hold Your Breath



is an immersive, multimedia installation that invites viewers into a space of reflection. Humbled by the unpredictable grandeur of it all, and the creeping sense that the nature we adapted to is slowly fading out of reach… we asked ourselves, ”How has weather affected our lives this past year?”

aEYE Pod

February 2022

aEYE Pod Residents are:

Sahbā Sadeghian @sacrileged_,

Anne Marie Slater,

Dre Irene @blueyellowandred,

Carlan Savage-Hughes @extravirgin143,

Andrelle Jingco @drelle__

& Lydia Pourmand

a_EYE_installing....68%, 2022

a_EYE_installing…68% is a group show from artists who have never previously worked together, all posed the same question, “if Artificial Intelligence can mimic human behavior all the while learning about itself; can humans mimic Artificial Intelligence?”. This show enters the dialogue of human-machine relationship through sharing 5 artists’ imaginings of the disputed authorship of artificial intelligence. Putting into the question the merit of intelligence itself. 

The artists involved in aEye POD have conversed, conceptualized and coded their interactive dreams into reality. Collaboration occurred in both digital and physical spaces including conversations leading up to the dedicated two weeks. The Gallery showcase is a curated performance installation concluding the group’s experiments at The James Black Gallery POD Residency programing.

JBG house by lydia and sahba

JBG house by lydia and sahba

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Maliv Khondaker &
Jae Lew

January 2022

Maliv Khondaker is a subterranean mime specializing in the ancient miming gesture: "befallen upon by tiny rocks". They would like to one day not suffer, and to also be happy. For now they are compensating constantly for the ego-hit from not knowing how to play a musical instrument.


Jae Lew is a media artist, visual artist, fiber artist, sound artist, tumblr scholar, chef and barista who hates institutions and loves anime girls. Jae was born and currently resides on the stolen ancestral and traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

a new gut psycho-biome, 2022

a new gut psycho-biome is a sonic performance piece alongside a collection of mixed media works that will be on display following the end of Jae Lew and Maliv Khondaker’s month-long Pod Residency at the James Black Gallery. Through their work in the residency, they seek to explore the connection between technology, the gut and the mind.They plan to use quotidian and culturally significant materials such as ancestral food and nostalgic objects as resistors in building square wave synthesizers for a sound performance. They will document the process and keep a reflection journal that will be used to create an artist book. The publication will serve as a meditation on the themes that will surface throughout the creative process, through exploring the interconnectedness in tech/mind/gut. What culture is bred in the petri dish? What is sterile? What is alive?

November 2021

Darius’ paintings are confrontations of male dominated spaces. They seek to use queerness as a tool of reclamation and reconstruction of these hypersexual places where the body is scrutinized. Masculine tableaus common in pop culture, like men’s locker rooms, bathhouses, and clubs are loaded with queer subtext, and this implicit queerness is brought to the forefront through use of a garish overly saturated color palette and illusory forms. Darius is hoping to capture the emotional duality of these spaces; for him they are places of anxiety, fear, and repression, that also drip with homoerotic fantasy.

@darius_kian |


Natalie’s paintings are direct interventions of the world around her. The architecture inside her pieces are communal, homely, and nostalgic - but the paintings that represent these structures have been obstructed, layered, recolored, processed, pulled, and snipped. As Vancouver maintains its reputation as one of the most expensive and gentrified cities in the world, Natalie uses her art to liquify, puncture, and remove chunks of architecture that presents itself immovable and unobtainable.

@natart.acct |

Darius Kian &
Natalie Robinson

Distortions, 2021

Distortions is a painting exhibition created by Darius and Natalie during their month-long residency at the JBG. In their newly created works, they have explored the process of sourcing images, heavily manipulating them with digital tools, and then reforming them as oil paintings. Each of their series reflects this transformation from recognizable forms to augmentations that depict a personal reality. In Distortions, Darius and Natalie presented these paintings of their altered realities in an effort to better understand them, and connect with others who feel the same dissatisfaction with their own perspectives.

October 2021

Hue Nguyen's artistic practice is rooted in hyper-personal dialects of their experience as a non-binary, neurodivergent, first generation Vietnamese settler, they address the multiplicity of hyphenated identities and their existence within the structures of white supremacy while still acknowledging settler privilege.


Atheana Picha's work is grounded in research into her culture's visual design language and history. Atheana does research by studying old Coast Salish items and tools, and by being out on the territory.

Hue Nguyen &
Atheana Picha

Deepali Raiththa

August-September 2021


Deepali is a mixed media performance artist. Her pod includes herself and her unborn baby in the final trimester.

The labour of maternity has been invisible in the world of contemporary art; it's an initiative to instigate a conversation about motherhood and art. Ignored maternal bodies and stereotyped fears devaluing the maternal status are to be brought to light. My body as a site to reinvent the narrative thinking about being a "secret mother" and having an identity separate from my work - life brought me to question the same, and I decided to announce. This piece of work is an announcement of me being pregnant, proudly pregnant, an intentional exploration of visibility and of invisibility, of the stereotypical social filtration of my body image.

The exhibition revolves around the subject of maternity. Positioning a mother's expanding body and experiencing infants' movement as the performance within the womb. Is the mother responsible for the infant's performance, or does the infant makes the mother's body perform, a replication of feeling that an infant might experience in the womb and a mother feels in society? A reflection/projection of Navras (According to Indian Sanskrit literature, represents nine human emotions.) on the extended/exaggerated womb-like form attached with the performer's pregnant belly blurs the edges inside out, unifying with the surroundings.

Deepali Raiththa “The Secret Mother”
Dhruv Adhia “The Proud Father” 
Rosalina Libertad “A Happy Friend”

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