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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. 



Parisa Rafat, soya, Reed Jackson

August 2023


A new triad of collaborators, bringing their divergent practices together with commitment to shared questions. soya is a shibari practitioner. Parisa leads video witnessing, experimenting with video and audio playback in real time, incorporating in-camera editing. Reed generates scores for performance as they repeat somatic experiments, iterate, and find new sensory information to practice with. They aim to orient queer ecoeroticism as embodied liberation praxis by bringing shibari into interdisciplinary co-respond-dance with queer feminist media & performance art modalities. Weaving disciplines together like writing each other letters – being in correspondence/co-respond-dance.


@parisarattyfatty Parisa is a multidisciplinary and multi-media artist, who’s eyes gleam when developing concepts and leading art direction. They are currently finishing their Masters of Architecture program, and hopes to synthesis their artistic explorations with their formative education to digest and dissolve their personal dilemmas, critiques, and wonders of the potentials of spatial and visual rejection of colonial and capitalistic societies inspired by queer theory, the abolition movement, and metaphysical spirituality. Dreams of world building as a methodology of re-imagining alternative modes of relations and expressions.


@soyasabi soya is a multidisciplinary artist and sex educator currently residing on the ​ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Nations. Her shibari (a rope practice originated from Japan) is eco-erotic, interpersonal, and pleasurable. By queering shibari, she combines shibari and contact improv movement as ways to express emotional fluidity and body liberation. She believes interpersonal connections could be visualized and sensualized through rope. Every interaction is a unique exploration of tying though waves of movement and acts of care.

@mount.anherb Reed Jackson (Reaume Rodzinyak) is a perpetually emergent queer artist and arts facilitator on stolen, occupied, unceded  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ lands. Reed embraces art-making as a praxis of cultivating response-abilities to and intimate relations with more-than-human kin. Working through film, sound, eco-printing, poetry, song and movement, they are currently researching/re-membering queer & trans histories, non-binary embodiment, deep ecology & spacetime as field and fabric.

jas calcitas, Sherine Menes, Milo Canlas, & Milan Orosco

June 2023

 jas calcitas is a Filipinx trans nonbinary artist living on stolen xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, & səlilwətaɬ land. Their main mediums are curating, colour-grading for film, and graphic design. They have been a colourist for films such as “Sinvergüenzilla in First Kiss” and “Don’t Text Your Ex”, as well as a curator for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival 2022 and they are currently a Programming Coordinator for DOXA Documentary Film Festival. They are committed to curating and telling stories that are honest and complex to the QTBIPOC and Immigrant experience. Ingrained in their work but also a passion of theirs outside of their professional life, they are focused on ancestral healing, herbology, and activism within the Filipinx community. 


Sherine Menes is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines and is honoured to practice their artistic work on the unceded ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. They trained under the Intensive Acting Program at Vancouver Institute of Media Arts in 2021. After graduating, Sherine joined the cast of buto/buto : Bones are Seeds, a community devised theatre project that reflected the intergenerational stories of Vancouver’s Filipinos.


Milo Canlas shoots mainly 35 mm film and digital. Their other areas of work include collage, zine-making, pen & ink sketching, and poetry. Through their art, they create an archival of the revolutionary movements they’re a part of. Their work is committed to revolutionary activism art.

Milan Franco Orosco (he/they) is a multidisciplinary Filipinx artist living on the stolen and occupied lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixwh (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh). Through a medium of ethnographic storytelling, Milan’s practice explores collective memory, systems change and diasporic intimacy. Through trauma-informed care, they believe that collective art-making can invoke multi-generational healing. Milan will complete their BA in Psychology and Sociology from Simon Fraser University this coming June of 2023.

bahay na babalik-balikan (a home to always return to)

a series of pieces curated by jas calcitas and created by Sherine Menes, Milo Canlas, and Milan Franco Orosco. The title, meaning “a home to always return to” in English, explores different ways and paths to confront the collective history of 2SLGBTQIA+ Filipinx people and merge it with the present day issues and harm done to our communities on the homeland and in the diaspora. 

Clara Conrado, Linda Serrano Sam Street, & Alisa Tarabrina

April 2023

Linda Serrano @colranae (he/him), is an interdisciplinary latino artist residing in Surrey, BC. Colrana predominantly works through the context of memory, play and systems. He employs multiple mediums including video, sound, programming and performance in his work. His current obsession lies in mapping, revisiting, and recontextualizing his memory and the surrounding memories that overlap with his own. 


Sam Street @asleepgoslet is a Canadian New Media artist born in Duncan, BC. She works to memorialize the soon-forgotten, to keep secrets, to become invisible. Her primary medium is photogrammetry-based 3D scanning, sometimes implemented in VR, augmented by sonic and physical works.


Alisa Tarabrina @tar_brine (b. 2000 in St. Petersburg, Russia) is a Canadian interdisciplinary new media artist . They are creating works involving web-based forms, sound sculpture, and lo-fi video, and are exploring physicality and disorientation in relation to digital media. They love things which can be touched, and files which can be crushed.


Clara Conrado claralclaralc is an Afro-Brazilian multidisciplinary artist and community organizer, currently residing in so-called Canada. She is currently a 4th-Year Fine Arts student at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. As a community organizer, she is currently the director of 648 (@648kingsway), a space focused in hybrid modes of artistic expression centering alien voices. Clara Conrado’s artistic practice is marked by diverse medium experimentations around an unyielding antagonism towards the self. She engages with the virtual through trauma, diaspora, and other forms of alienation. Her work contextualizes itself within the Contemporary art canon through irreverent references and anthropophagic regurgitations as taxidermied pointers of inherited violence, and desire. 

“Please Hold—" is a group art show showcasing collective and individual poetic explorations of glass, spring, motors, memory, glitter, sight, and venom, as objects of care, honesty, and transference. The exhibition features several mixed media tapestries, installations, and projections combining found and documentary materials. Created during the pod residency. 

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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