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The James Black Gallery is hosting six local pod residencies throughout 2023 in order to strengthen creative relationships within our communities. We are pleased to offer a two-week to one month-long residency for groups of local artists (3-6 collaborators).

2022/2023 Residencies

Our first seven pod residencies (2021-2022) were developed in reaction to the pandemic. Originally conceptualized by previous studiomate Anna Trowbridge, the intent was around reconnection and creation exploration. For 2023, we invite artists to to generate art that delves into the problems, conflicts, sources of collective joy and inspiration that touch our communities. Take this chance to explore collaboration between varied artistic disciplines and embolden experimentation.


Our residency includes work space, show space, and access to tools. In addition, a group exhibition CARFAC rate honorarium will be offered to each pod, thanks to support from the City of Vancouver and BC Arts Council. Residencies for spring/summer 2023 have been selected. 



Romi Kim, Kendell Yan, & Chris Reed

March 2023

During the residency this pod will research and create work inspired by folklores/mythologies across their three cultures: Indigenous, Korean and Chinese. They plan to consider myths from their cultures as an entry point into sharing, adapting and combining them through a queer lens. Romi, Kendell, and Chris plan to create a sculptural creature that is inspired from the monsters, spirits, and demons often spoken about in their own cultural myths.  (they/them) 김새로미, Romi Kim or SKIM in drag are the names that I go by. I am a genderfluid, second-generation Korean lesbian. I think about the words I use to describe myself as verbs rather than nouns or adjectives—constantly in action, and in flux. I am an interdisciplinary artist that works within the mediums of video, performance, installation and collaboration. My artistic practice is grounded through the Korean concept 情 정: an untranslatable word that expresses attachment, feelings of connection and warmness that provoke social reciprocity. 情 encourages being present in one’s actions in order to create understanding. It grows over time and can also be seen as a burden. I am interested in exploring ways I can permeate 情 through art and examine how to build it within my communities.


@queenmaidenchina 甄念菻 / Kendell Yan (she/they) is a second generation Chinese, trans-femme, non-binary artist living on the stolen lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. Her practice includes performance, visual art, sculpture, digital media, makeup, writing, and costuming, and is primarily centered around her drag identity, Maiden China. Through this lens she explores themes like vulnerability, queer ritual, the concept of the “hyphen”, and liminal experience, by incorporating elements of classical Chinese opera, glamour, punk, and intimate contact performance art.

@contibreakfast (they/them) Continental Breakfast is a non-binary Drag performance artist and event producer. They work as a host, dancer, and performer in the alternative art scene.  They are Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree and are a settler on the stolen lands of the Txʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. They aim to help empower the strong existence of the non-binary community, and the importance of diversity in art. They are Emprex 47 of the Dogwood Monarchist Society, having worked to raise $32,000 in their year as the charity’s representative. They have produced shows such as Late Night Snack, Blackout: A Britney Spears Drag Musical, and The Darlings.

Ayesha Beg, Kaila Bhullar, Conor Day, Marwah Jaffar, & Carson Keller

 February 2023

@ayeshabegart creates interdisciplinary installation-based works & sculpture. They aim to create works that inspire stories in the observer's mind, and play upon the site that they are installed in. 


@yelllo.www is an interdisciplinary artist and experimental filmmaker. Largely informed by digitally-based art forms, Bhullar uses art-making as an introspective tool that explores various internal dispositions concerning identity, perception, and positionings. As a queer and biracial individual, they are interested in analyzing cultural binaries and norms, alongside complexities that exist within the self. 


@conortday main practice has been in the realm of musical composition and audio. He focuses on noise, spatialized sound, and soundscapes (both natural and anthropogenic), finding ways that these can intersect with composition and installation art-works.

@art_by_marwah interdisciplinary experimental multimedia artist. Her practice contemplates various dispositions while exploring the contemporary concept of biochemical changes happening as a result of choice-making. Marwah likes to experiment with different materials to push the elements of found objects.

@carson.keller researches the combination of dance, music, and visual media in an effort to innovate practical approaches to art. He is a strong advocate for mental wellness and inclusivity - both of which bring a healthy focus to the emotional expression in his work. 


DissFunction of FUNKtion

This immersive, multidisciplinary exhibition features projection-based installation, sculpture, dance, and sound art. Inspired by explorations of the relationship between the body, mind, and presence of technology, the artists created a perceptually-stimulating atmosphere that walks viewers through an abstract representation of their collective inner reflections. Various technological mediums and sensory components aid in the generation of a critical space that raises questions about the unknown and individual positioning. 

Atiron Hildebrand, Jasmine Gerevas, and Michelle Laavoie

 December 2022

AH! Crawled out the gallows of Fort st John and made their way to Nanaimo where they grew up using art as an escape. They used subversive illustrations to give context to the challenges they have faced during their shelterless life. They continued to explore different mediums and art styles while traveling, and eventually found themselves at the James Black Gallery where they persist in dissecting the human condition with found objects, paint pens and melancholy. On moving: "I have been challenged to find a safe place as a secure home in the land which my own people are from throughout my life. Thus far I have moved 47 times and still haven't found a home."

Michelle grew up in Vernon. As a child while being referred to as a girl, she responded: "I'm not a girl, I'm an artist!" And she hasn't looked back since. Her parents were very encouraging of her artistic endeavors, saying she couldn't be an artist because she wouldn't make any money. She specializes in illustration, watercolors, digital art and photography. She has designed logos and graphics for multiple local breweries, and will soon have an associate certificate in graphic design. She has moved 8 times in the past 9 years, experiencing many intimidating and bullying housing situations.

Jasmine grew up in a single parent household subsidized by bc housing. Her childhood home has since been condemned because of black mold. She likes to joke that the mold affected her creative brain in a positive way and inspired her creatively, but it's more likely that it caused the life-long health problem she now lives with. She likes to work with textiles, ignorant-style tattoos and sculptures, but primarily focuses on drawing and painting. She has moved 10 times (soon to be 11) in the past 10 years.


shelter cost highlights the current status of housing in "vancouver" showing the ever worsening living conditions for intersected folks using dioramas and other visual media. We have all experienced housing struggles to varying degrees, despite our different social statuses and upbringings. Our housing struggles have brought us together. Every separate piece is reflective of a barrier we have faced while seeking a home. We tried to use as many found and recycled materials as possible. We hope to create a dialogue and maybe spark new ideas for the future of housing.  

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