2019 Residency Artists

Andra Ragusila

Website | Instagram

I am an emerging artist from Toronto who is passionate about drawing, painting and ceramics. I have studied with artists Ed Pien, Brian Smith, and Elly Smallwood. I have shown my work through the 2016 Cabbagetown Art Fair, and the 2018 Queen West Art Crawl. In 2016, I was awarded the Emerging Toronto Artist Character Award.

I am passionate about using art as a way to connect with other people and create a community. I have volunteered as an arts facilitator at CAMH, with at-risk youth through Smile Kids Japan and most recently at Sketch Community Arts where I helped facilitate a youth arts collective.

I identify as a queer tomboy, a settler and an immigrant, having arrived from Romania 16 years ago. My work focuses on narratives of identity. Who are we at our core? How do we connect with nature, with ourselves and with those around us? My large-scale pastel drawings explore and help us reconnect with the lost parts of ourselves. There are many sides to each of us, some of which we keep hidden away, but all of which are integral to the story of our lives. By overlapping multiple images of the same person, I create abstracted composite figures to form more complete images of the subject, while at the same time becoming unrecognizable.

As an artist and a model, I love exploring the place of women in art both behind and in front of the canvas. My latest series, WTF Art History, challenges the ways women have been depicted throughout art history and captures the women’s determined reactions to push against the voyeuristic gaze. It challenges old conventions of representations and empowers women to reclaim their images and call out the sexism and violence inherent in art history.

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Anna Malla

Instagram

My name is Anna Malla (aka Annapurna) and I am a community organizer, a dance and performance artist, and a music-maker. I have been involved with struggles for migrant and land-based justice for the past fifteen years, including anti-mining activism, organizing alongside migrant workers and particularly racialized migrant women with precarious status, and fighting back against racist anti-terrorism laws. I am one of the five founding artists of The Switch Project, a collective of political interdisciplinary Queer, Trans & Two Spirit performers co-creating new methodologies and political performance materials for the public sphere. We recently engaged in a site-specific process in Toronto’s Gay Village, with performances during Pride Toronto and as artists in residence at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

I was born and raised in South-Western Ontario in an interracial immigrant family in the 1980s (Kashmiri father, English mother), and I experience the world as a racialized woman. I am queer and enjoy all of the ways that comes out in my art. I have long-term chronic pain and illness that have resulted in experiences of disability as well as multiple layers of knowledge I never would have had access to had I not been forced to listen to my body so intently.

In my art practice today in Toronto, I bring together movement-based storytelling, live soundscape creation, installation, and performance for video. I do solo and group work, both in traditional performance venues and in the streets. I’m interested in exploring race, gender, and economic justice through dance and music because I genuinely believe that it is through somatic connection to the futures we yearn for that we can experience moments of freedom.

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Becky Alley

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Becky Alley is an intersectional feminist, mother, multidisciplinary artist, curator, creative collaborator and educator living and working in Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Her artwork is process and materials focused, often manifesting itself in private or intimate performance elements and installations that are never really finished. Themes of enduring interest are gender, power, ritual, memory, empathy, decay, and the sacred.

She loves collaboration and, through her creative work, is particularly interested in expanding the roles of self-reflection and meaning in everyday life. In recent work she has used the politically charged topic of war as an entry point into deeper conversations about power, gender, and the sacred. She is specifically interested in war memorials as cultural artifacts, objects that signify whose lives are most valued and honored in our public spaces. Particularly in American war memorials, language of valor and glory and courage in the context of war are commonly integrated into the memorials themselves, with scale and material designed to command particular awe and reverence in the viewer. Gendered notions of patriotism and honor blend with hallowed ground.

Becky Alley’s studio practice is process and material driven. She gravitates towards materials that are common in everyday domestic life: bed sheets, matches, clothes pins, fabric, needles and thread; and through a simple repetitive process of counting, transforms the mundane objects into memorials for the war dead. The ephemeral and delicate nature of the work stands in contrast to the hyper-masculine monolithic forms of marble and stone often associated with memorials. The processes employed speak to labor, struggle, endurance, ritual, and meditation; while the materials serve to reframe

our collective understanding of power in ways that give strength to culturally feminized notions like empathy, compassion, and mindfulness.

Alley earned her BFA in Printmaking/Drawing from Washington University (2000) and her MFA in Studio Art from the University of Kansas (2005). Since completing her studies, she has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally, has worked as a gallery/exhibitions director in university and non-profit galleries, and has taught courses including drawing, professional practices, exhibition practicum, and gallery/ curatorial studies. She has curated dozens of exhibitions, designed and implemented a variety of community based arts programming, and led a number of public lectures and discussions regarding art and art-making. In 2017 she was named the inaugural Kentucky Fellow as a finalist in Southern Prize, and was also awarded a travel grant from the Great Meadows Foundation to research the gendered aesthetics of war memorials and monuments in Washington DC. She is currently the Bolivar Gallery Director at the University of Kentucky.

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Claudia Phares

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I am a second-generation migrant born in Montreal, Canada. I now reside in Melbourne, Australia, where I am currently undertaking a Masters in Fine Arts at the Faculty of Victorian College of Arts and Music, University of Melbourne.

I am an artist/single mother and a nurse. I do not see being an artist and a mother as mutually exclusive; I view that each role informs the other. I consider mothering a discipline just as art is. Mothering involves ‘maternal thinking’, thought processes focused on fulfilling the demands of motherwork characterized as protection, nurturance, and training.

My art practice so far has been based on autobiographical life-changing events that have challenged my sense of self and my sense of control. Using photography, sculpture, performance and installation, I have explored diverse themes such as reproductive issues, gender, femininity, domesticity, and voluntary isolation. Becoming a mother is the most recent catalyst for my current artistic and socio-political endeavours. Having experienced first-hand how the idea of the ‘good mother’ stems from a patriarchal type of motherhood that is disempowering and unrealistic, I have chosen to challenge the current socially and historically constructed Western image of the ideal mother, projected as all-sacrificing, all-loving, and all-forgiving.

As part of my research framework, I have been inspired by a mother-centered type of feminism known as matricentric feminism. Through a multidisciplinary approach, I seek to bring the invisibility of motherhood from the private sphere into the public. I want to shift the conversation around motherhood to broaden its definition from Western paternalistic constructs to a more feminist progressive concept. I am interested in investigating how other artists who are parents manage to fulfill their roles and responsibilities as both artist and parent.

Having recently become a single mother of two children, I needed to reach out for help. This has prompted me to move from an individualistic art practice to a more socially engaged practice in order  to create a community of artist-parents who can learn from each other as well as support each other. As a strategy to understand how artist-parents manage their roles, I have been organising public outreach events such as sun printing workshops and have hosted dinners in gallery spaces. These family-friendly events were created to offer an opportunity for artist-parents to get together and share their experiences with like-minded individuals. In conducting these public events, one of my aims is to create a collective of artists/parents who can work together to increase the visibility of artists/parents.

As my experiences in motherhood feed into my art practice, and vice versa, and I am hoping I can contribute to a positive social change regarding the image of the contemporary mother.

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Gloria C Swain

Website | Instagram

Gloria Swain is a Black multi-disciplinary feminist artist and activist whose practice incorporates aspects of various disciplines; taking the form of paintings, drawings, photography, storytelling and performance-based artworks. She is particularly interested in considering the connections between art and healing, often using her work as a vehicle to confront ongoing colonial violence against Black women.

In the critically acclaimed exhibit, Mad Room (2016), on the theme of mental disability and intergenerational trauma, Gloria explored her own experience as a marginalized Black woman in the mental health system and addressed the stigma about mental illness in the Black community. Swain’s exhibit, Black Women’s Lives Matter (2018), drew attention to the #SayHerName movement and opened conversation that addressed the overall overlooked victimization of Black women and trans folks with police brutality.

She holds a certificate in Community Arts Practice and a masters in Environmental Studies and was awarded the York University Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award. She is a recipient of the 2016 artist-in-residence for Tangled Art & Disability. Her work has shown at the Gladstone Hotel, the Art Gallery of York University, Tangled Art & Disability Gallery, the Public Studio, Artscape Sandbox, the Theatre Centre and other venues.

Gloria has a rich history of community arts practices, working particularly with women and trans people and is well known for her art activism within movements like Black Lives Matter-Toronto and various Indigenous grass roots social justice groups. She is a published author on disability arts and her practice also includes work as a community arts facilitator and coordinator of art making workshops for Black women, 2-spirited and the LGBTQ2 community. Her art is also an opportunity to focus on her own experience with deep-rooted racism, mental illness and systems of violence, erasure and oppression.

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Ilene Sova

Website | instagram

Ilene Sova is an Artist Educator with Afro-Caribbean Mixed Race, Seminole Indigenous and settler ancestry, who lives with a disability. As such, she passionately identifies with the tenets of intersectional feminism and has dedicated her career to art and activism. Ilene Sova is the founder of the Feminist Art Conference and Blank Canvases, an in-school creative arts programme for elementary school students. Sova teaches as a sessional instructor in the Faculty of Art at OCADU University and her atelier, at Walnut Studios. She holds an honours BFA from the University of Ottawa in Painting and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Windsor. With extensive solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, Sova’s work has most notably been shown at Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, the Department of Canadian Heritage, and Mutuo Centro de Arte in Barcelona. Her exhibit, Missing Women Project, garnered much attention around issues of violence against women in our local communities. Sova’s work has been featured on television, the internet, and in print media with features in Metro, Toronto Star, CBC Radio, CTV Canada AM and The Toronto Standard. Sova was invited by two Members of Parliament to bring her work to Ottawa for a national Women’s Forum on Feminism and the state of women's rights. Sova’s work was featured in the Journal of Psychology and Counselling, the Nigerian Arts Journal, Tabula and the Italian feminist journal, Woman’O’Clock. A passionate public speaker, Sova was chosen to speak at the first TEDxWomen event in Toronto, where she presented a critical analysis of the Missing Women Project and Southern University New York where she gave an all University Lecture on Art and Social Change.

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jamilah malika abu-bakare

Website | instagram

jamilah malika works words (whether published, performed or projected, sometimes sound or still) into a balm - by us for us (black womxn) - and finds solace in many mediums. former lead vocalist of feminist, mixed media electro dub hop band (Toronto Independent Music Awards - Nominee ‘Best Electronic’ 2012.) currently completing an MFA (2019) in Writing at SAIC (Chicago) to explore text off-page through objects, sound and digital video projection. her interactive sound installation 'listen to black womxn' is on view at the Art Gallery of Guelph until January 2019. she asks you to “pay” attention to the margins by reflecting race, gender and belonging back at you.

i am a cis hetero able-bodied immigrant of mixed origins (nigerian and indo-trinidadian.) my name is muslim but i was raised in a hindu temple. i speak french and spanish. nobody sees me coming.

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Janet Tran

Website | instagram

Janet Tran is an emerging Toronto based artist creating relational works that examine social issues within multiculturalism, racism, feminism, mental health, and cultural identity in the Canadian context. Her practice working primarily in media installation and performance tends to utilizes found objects, domestic electronics, and personal artifacts. Her works innately call the audience into participation or interaction, encouraging the implementation of the audience’s positionality towards the subject matter.

Drawing from personal narrative as a catalyst, Tran seeks the unsung questions of ethnicity; cultural identity; familial, personal, and private relationships to create a dialogue of shared experience in her art practice. Currently exploring the transformation of space with furniture, found objects, automation, light and sound, Tran is expanding on methods of storytelling by appealing to senses beyond optical and aural.

Identifying as a “first-generation” (first born) Canadian woman of Chinese and Vietnamese descent, Tran was born and raised in the York region of the Greater Toronto Area. She completed her undergraduate studies at Ontario’s Collage of Art and Design University, where she majored in Integrated Media. Upon completing her thesis, “Living in the Third Space”, Tran was awarded the Project 31 Integrated Media Award along with her Bachelors of Fine Arts in 2017.

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Jennifer O'Connor

Jennifer O’Connor is a writer, nonprofit worker, and craftivist.

Her writing has been published in Chatelaine, This Magazine, BUST, Bitch, Turbo Chicks: Talking Young Feminisms, Feminist Theatre in Performance, and Women’s Health: Readings on Social, Economic, and Political Issues, among others. She has experimented with various modes of narrative, such as documentary poetry and collage.

For more than a decade, she has worked as a fundraiser at organizations dedicated to LGBTQ rights, the environment, and gender equity. Jennifer has volunteered with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Pink Triangle Press, and the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/ Multicultural Women Against Rape.

She has long enjoyed a variety of crafts—everything from cooking to gardening to knitting—and wrote about her adventures thrifting and crafting in her Toronto Star column from 2010-2013. While she began working with paper (and still does), she also incorporates her skills in needlecraft (embroidery, cross stitch, sewing) and watercolour. Her craft practice has opened up new methods to question representations of sex and gender, relative to various forms of oppression and resistance, and—importantly—to relate theory to lived experience in feminist activism.

Jennifer identifies as a white, queer, cisgender woman, and is the first person in her immediate family to attend university. She has been a resident at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University and a journalism degree from Ryerson University.

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Jessa Laframboise

Instagram

I am northern Ontario based artist, activist, and historian, whose artwork is rooted in a female perspective and explores contemporary feminist issues. My work critiques established societal expectation and perceptions of women through a mainly satirical dialogue. Over the past couple of years, I have discovered a passion for textile art, a common art form adopted by women throughout history. By subverting this craft associated medium, I invite critical conversation regarding the position of women in art history and the hierarchy of society at large. I have since worked to combine textile art with silk screen print to activate this conversation through a body of mixed media work.

Overall my work celebrates femininity while critiquing misogyny and the patriarchy. Though I place myself in opposition to the patriarchy and its gendered expectations of women, I strive to ensure that my work does not propagate a gendered bias from a female perspective. Instead, I seek to destabilize the pertinence of gender inequality, which continues to exist by inviting viewers to reflect on their own assumptions surrounding female sexuality, the female body, and gender roles/expectations. While maintaining the theoretical advantages of second-wave feminism and being largely inspired by 20th century feminist art aesthetics, both my studio practice and art historical research prioritize intersectionality. I furthermore use my work as a form of activism through recognizable contemporary references including language and phrases, imagery, and constructed objects.

Currently, I am an MA candidate in the art history department at Carleton University, where I am working to develop an understanding of feminism and art theory. Through my research as an art historian I intend to use my voice and drive for equality to cultivate a collective feminist consciousness within society. It is my goal that through an in-depth understanding of feminist art history I will be more successfully able to contribute to contemporary feminism as an artist. I believe that once we can fully understand and appreciate the history of women and recognize where we started, it is then, and only then, that it becomes possible to see where we are going.

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Jezabeth Roca Gonzalez

Website | Instagram

I am a second year interdisciplinary MFA student at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Working with Photography, Video, performance, land and architectural sculpture in conversation with installation. Originally I am from a rural town in the island of Puerto Rico, but have resided in the United States for the last 10 years. My interest in concepts of distance, displacement, citizenship, colonialism and family have aimed my focus, work and research around Latinx identity –to the study of phenomenal experiences of any person who is bridging two cultures, both physically and philosophically. I have always been interested in collaborations of any type with my family. Attempting to reconstruct a forced interruption that is embedded in the complexities of Latinx Identity. The work has always revolved around family and assisting as a emotional bridge.

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Jody Chan

Website | Instagram

I am a writer and Taiko drummer working, organizing, and building community in Tkaronto/Toronto. I am queer, genderqueer, mad and second-generation Hong Kong-Canadian. I also identify as anti-capitalist, abolitionist, and intersectionally feminist, with a politics that is deeply shaped by disability justice ideas and practices. These identities inform who I write for, and who I write from. I came to poetry out of a need to turn trauma into creation. I write now to honour and hold space for my communities.

My method and my subject is obsession. My poems often address celebrity: Taylor Swift, Jodie Foster (my mother’s favourite actress), and Teresa Teng, a beloved Chinese singer whose sudden death was mourned across Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. These public figures, along with my own diagnoses of borderline personality disorder, depression, and anxiety, are my entry points into the themes that propel my work: sickness and sexuality, family and migration, care and community.

My writing practice is inextricable from my practice as a Taiko drummer with Raging Asian Women and a community organizer in queer/trans, environmental justice, and coalitional space in Toronto. In all of those spaces, I am both an individual and part of a collective. Informed by these aspects of my life, there are a few questions I wrestle with continually in my work: what impact does my writing have on the people I am writing for? And how can I write about shared trauma and grief in a way that heals, or bears witness, without doing further harm to my communities?

I am the poetry editor for Hematopoeisis Press and a member of the Winter Tangerine Workshops Team. I recently advised a writing workshop called “To Carry Within Us An Orchard, To Eat”, an online workshop for Asian diasporic writers on food, rituals, and belonging. My essay “My Gender is a Pair of Safety Scissors” was nominated for a 2018 Pushcart Prize, and I was the 2018 winner of the Third Coast Poetry Contest, selected by Sarah Kay. My first chapbook, “haunt”, is published with Damaged Goods Press, and my poetry is published in BOAAT, Looseleaf Magazine, Nat. Brut, The Shade Journal, and elsewhere. I am invested in using my arts practices — namely writing and drumming — as an avenue to build power and community across generations, with other sick/disabled queer and trans people of colour.

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Kat Pruss

Website | Instagram

Kat Pruss is an artist / illustrator / designer living on the west end of Toronto with her cats Tyson and Nina. She identifies as a queer, feminist, vegetarian, weirdo of mixed descent (German, English, French, Greek...), born and raised in small town southern Ontario and a Toronto resident of over ten years. She studied design at Seneca college and English and visual arts at the University of Toronto. Through her creative practice she explores themes such as self, sexuality, the grotesque body and the female experience. Kat’s work often culminates in mixed media illustrations, handmade books and performance.

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Kate Welsh

Website | instagram | instagram

Kate Welsh is a white settler, cis queer crip community activist, feminist artist and educator. She is passionate about building communities of care and striving to create safer, anti-oppressive spaces. Living with both visible and invisible episodic disabilities, Kate navigates complex experiences through art, activism and community care. Kate’s interests include community building, feminism, intersectionalities, disabilities, queer identities and knowledge sharing. Kate was born and raised in the US but moved and then immigrated to Canada and has been in Toronto for over ten years. Kate did her undergraduate education in sociology and drama studies and is involved in the Toronto indie theatre community. Particularly participating in collaborative theatre creation as a part of Buddies in Bad Times queer youth arts program as well as the Artists Mentoring Youth Project (AMY). Over the past 7 years she has had to refocus her art practices away from theatre as her ability fluctuates. Kate finished her Masters of Education at OISE in spring 2017 where she focused on researching crafting as a tool of social justice and queercrip resiliency. She has facilitated weekly crafting workshops for Hart House’s wellness programs, she ran LGBTQ community wellness and mental health groups and currently facilitates workshops on unpacking ableism.

Kate has also edited and creative directed two books; Casualty of Love’s Apologies by Cola Bennett and WomanSafeHealth: The Antidote to Status Quo Healthcare. Most recently Kate has been working on an initiative to promote the social inclusion, awareness and policy recommendations for people with Episodic Disabilities, disabilities that have periods of wellness and periods of illness including many chronic health conditions. She has been exploring ways in which to not just change policy but make lives better now by creating consumable art that tackles hard to talk about topics such as chronic illness. She frequents craft shows and her activism has been featured on CBC radio.

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Rachel Asevicius

Instagram

Rachel Asevicius is a painter, sculptor and digital artist living in Toronto, ON. She is a queer, mad, and multimedia maker invested in justice, exploring the adaptability of medium, and working on ways of making her practice more accessible and community based. With a technical background in painting, works include multimedia collage, digital sculpting, collaborative interventions, and zines, exploring the ways in which digital art, public art, and multiples can shift the institution of gallery and museum spaces, and how the queer, femme, disabled self can be represented in abstract art and cyberspace.

Critiquing and questioning the value of aesthetics in relation to trauma, the ways in which trauma interrupts identity, and also the ways that digital space forms, aids and gives autonomy to identity is crucial to the artist’s process. How is bodily knowledge translated or obscured through digital space? Using motifs of patterns found in natural space as well as digital textures, Rachel Asevicius explores the double bind of cyberspace for marginalized identity, contrasting the bodiliness of the painter’s hand with the cyborgian aid of the machine/computer.

Rachel Asevicius is currently pursuing a BFA in Painting and Drawing at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, and thematically exploring digital space as art and archive, accessibility and surveillance, and tying personal experience with queer, feminist, and post-internet theory.

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Sabine LeBel

Website | Instagram

Sabine LeBel is a queer environmentalist dedicated to smashing the white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy. She has been making short videos on queer themes since 1999, when she participated in the Inside Out Queer Youth Video Project. The stories Sabine tells often deal with difficult emotions like revenge, loss, anxiety, and remorse. In 2013, Sabine was commissioned to make a film for Inside Out's 15th Annual Queer Video Mentorship Project. The resulting work, Dispatches from the Future, was awarded a Special Jury Citation for “its innovative approach to storytelling that leaves the viewer questioning notions of reality.” Her work has screened in queer and experimental film festivals including the Inside Out Festival (Toronto), Out on Screen (Vancouver), Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Budapest) and more. When not making videos, Sabine is an educator, researcher, artist, curator, and collaborator.

With Alison Taylor, she is one half of mutantoy productions. Together, they make short videos that tell stories in visual fragments guided by a voiceover. Using sketchy animations, queer themes, and densely woven images and sounds, they have developed an aesthetic that tends to be low-fi and non-linear with multi- layered soundscapes as counterpoint. In 2016, with Casey Burkholder, she started the Fredericton Feminist Film Collective in response to the white, straight, and male-dominated local film scene.

They are a collective of artists & creators & activists & humans who make, screen and talk about works by and for queers, trans folks & women from an intersectional feminist position. This year, they are hosting cellphilming workshop for queer and female identified youth, and screenings on the themes of resistance and space.

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Shanda Bezic

Instagram

Shanda Bezic is an actor, director, coach and sometimes mime. With a base of classical theatre and post college training in clown/masque, Shanda has performed in all mediums from film/tv to improv to theatre. Recent stage credits include: True Blue (Bad Dog Theatre/Toronto Fringe. 5Ns, Patron's Pick) and Normal (HUMANZOO/Hamilton Fringe. Patron's Pick). Directing credits include: Drunk Girl (Montreal/Edmonton/Winnipeg/Australia Fringes) and Girl’s End: a Musical Guide To the Zombie Apocalypse (Winnipeg/Edmonton Fringe). Catch Shanda in upcoming episodes of Private Eyes (Eone Network), Kim’s Convenience (CBC) and American Gods (Amazon Prime). In any project Shanda takes on, she is driven to find play, authenticity, and humour.

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Thea Fitz-James

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Thea Fitz-James is part academic and part theatre practitioner. She holds a BA in Theatre from McGill, a Bachelor of Journalism from University of King’s College, and a Masters in Theatre & Performance Studies from York University. Thea is a theatre maker and performance artist, having created work with FADO in Toronto, Secret Theatre in Halifax, Summerworks, and the School of Making/Thinking in New York. She has curated performance festivals for the Cucalorus Festival and is the current Associate Artistic Director for hub14. Her solo performance piece, NAKED LADIES, made international news when it was banned in Singapore in 2017, and her other solo show Drunk Girl has toured internationally and was extended during Edmonton Fringe 2017. She is currently one of the resident playwrights with Factory Theatre’s Natural Resources. She is currently working on her PhD in Performance Studies at York University, looking at knitting and textiles in activism and performance.

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Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay

Instagram

Vanessa Crosbie-Ramsay is a filmmaker, and visual/media artist from Hamilton, Ontario. Her short films have screened at festivals in Canada and the U.S. She attended York University (BFA, Film & Video/English) and Sheridan College (Media Arts), graduating from the York- Sheridan Joint Degree Program in Film and Media Arts. Vanessa was awarded the City of Hamilton Arts Award in Media Arts (2018) and has twice been nominated in the Arts Education & Community Arts category at these awards. Vanessa’s work explores women’s identity, female experiences, and diverse representation.

She’s interested in the creative process, and the role of artists in movements for progressive change. Highlighting issues of feminism, social equality, intersectionality, and amplifying marginalized voices are constant themes. As a professional artist, her practice is multi-disciplinary and includes film/video, storytelling, visual art, site-specific installation, sculpture, collage, and community engagement. Vanessa is an Artist-Educator with the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s program AGH In-Class, engaging with elementary and secondary school students to create art projects or short films that touch on an area of their curriculum. Vanessa worked for several years with The Royal Conservatory’s

Learning Through the Arts program and was named Lead Artist in their Design Media Arts program, piloted in Hamilton in 2016. She also works with the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts in various programs for youth. Recent solo work includes Male-Dominated, a large-scale public art sculpture featured at Supercrawl - an annual arts and music festival attended by over 200,000 people. The sculpture - created using 9000 feet of hand-knit ethernet cable and oversized knitting needles - was a response to women’s continued under-representation in professional fields dominated by men (especially STEM fields). Another recent work, Hot Air - a media-based installation combining video projections, balloons, found audio, and white noise, was exhibited in September 2017 at Centre[3] for Print and Media Arts. This project was intended to visually represent the ‘hot air’ directed at women in our society through the media. The audio included sound clips of public figures using their platform to disparage women, as well as news journalists reporting on these types of stories and issues.

Vanessa has served as the Film & Media Arts Writer for the Hamilton Arts Council’s LivingArts Blog. She is also a founding member of the DAV(e), an inter-disciplinary feminist art collective, whose recent projects include a short experimental film (currently in progress), The Mind's Eye – a collaborative site-specific video installation, and a commissioned community workshop/film project for Hamilton’s Woman Abuse Working Group, a coalition of 20+ agencies working to end violence against women and children.

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