Burrard Arts Foundation awards studio space to eight artists

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      The Burrard Arts Foundation has announced the list of emerging artists who have won a place in its annual residency program.

      Eight talents will take turns in the two 12-by-12-foot studios over the course of four 10-week season-based sessions in the coming year at the foundation’s False Creek Flats location. 

      The residency is seeing increased demand in a city where artists’ space is disappearing because of the development boom. BAF also provides an artist’s fee and a budget for materials.

      The residents for 2020 are photo artist Jackie Dives, illustrator and tattoo artist Katie So, hyperreal painter Cara Guri, abstract-experimental painter Russna Kaur, digital-media artist Michael Edward Miller, multidisciplinary artist Eli Muro, media artist Annie Briard, and Sandeep Johal, who’s known for works ranging from murals to drawings.

      A gallery exhibition is the culmination of the residency, although it is now on postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; Dives and So's show is now scheduled to open April 16.

      Genevieve Michaels, BAF program manager, told the Straight that common themes in the work selected this year include identity and mental health. “This year our roster has been more painting-focused than in the past, which is pretty exciting,” she added.

      Michaels said the dual-studio system allows for interaction and inspiration between the pair of artists assigned to the spaces each season. “In my experience there seems to be a confluence that just comes from working side by side,” she said. “In the past, they’ve been incredibly prolific.”

      Sandeep Johal’s pigment-on-paper Beast Study.

      BAF has also announced the commission of five artists to create installations in the Garage, the gallery’s street-facing exhibition space at the foundation’s headquarters at 258 East 1st Avenue. They are Caitlin Almond, Olivia di Liberto, Haley Bassett, Josephine Lee, and Pippa Lattey.

      The Garage work, programmed through an open call, is viewable 24/7 from the street, and is meant as an entry point into BAF’s programming for artists who are earlier in their careers than those in the residency.

      BAF resident artist Russna Kaur's The only one in the room.


      Along with its studio and residency space, BAF runs high-profile public-art projects in the city. The biggest is the biennial Façade Festival, when the foundation commissions 10 local artists to produce projection-mapped video artworks screened over the entire northern façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Through both the public art and the residencies, the foundation’s aim is to boost the accessibility of art and foster the creativity of emerging artists.

      BAF moved into its purpose-built space in late 2018, after operating for five years in Mount Pleasant. The new location doubled the capacity of its residency program and added the Garage exhibition space.

      BAF artist in residence Katie So's Ophelia's Live Stream.