Stone & Sky Artist Residencies 2021
Urban Residency Project – Erik E-Tomic Johnson
Collette Broeders and Ed Janzen
Talysha Bujold-Abu and Trevor Malcolm
Allison Brown, Tina Newlove and Christina Sealey
Doug McLellan and Mary Jo Mullins
Urban Residency Project – Erik E-Tomic Johnson – https://www.facebook.com/erik.johnson.37051579
In June of 2021, Artcite Inc. teamed up with Stone & Sky Tiny House Urban Residencies to facilitate a week long residency with local artist Erik Johnson. Johnson utilized the Stone & Sky Tiny House to work on his new interview series, ‘Off the Rails.’ This project aims to highlight local historians, artists and writers who are publishing, performing, and writing the Black history in the Windsor/Essex region, including the Underground Railroad in Sandwich Towne. This residency was made possible with the generous financial support of the Windsor Storyteller’s Collective.
Eric Johnson is a local hip-hop lyricist, vocalist and slam poet. From the Windsor-Essex county area. Erik has been writing and performing poetry for a number of years. He draws his poetic inspiration from his afro indigenous culture and experiences as an artist of color and physically disabled creator. His goal as an artist is to highlight the experiences of BIPOC through storytelling, a theme that is deeply ingrained in all of his poetic endeavours.
Photos By Yvonne Khadra
Collette Broeders and Ed Janzen
In July, 2021, my collaborator Collette Broeders and I participated in an artist residency run by Stone and Sky on Pelee island, ON. Our hosts, Patricia Fell and Trevor Malcolm, welcomed us to this unique facility in a natural area with charming, rustic facilities. They provided all that we needed and left us free to explore our work. The community is very supportive of the residency and artists. We were able to connect with a local farmer who made a barn available for our free use, to create the large scale drawing and video work we had planned. We immersed ourselves in this isolated community and natural environment. All of this had an immense positive influence on the work that we did. We are grateful to Stone and Sky for this opportunity and the support they gave us and hope to return some day again. ~ Ed Janzen, Windsor ON.
The 2021 Stone & Sky Residency was truly a gift that allowed an approach art making as a collaborative process between artists, through both experiment and experience. This experimental work explored sense of place and mark making through rhythm, expression of movement, and walking. Occurring during a time of COVID-19, we found opportunities to communicate the work through small acts in meaningful ways by animating spaces throughout the rural community of Pelee Island. ~ Collette Broeders
The Stone and Sky Artist Residency is a unique and incredible offering, providing an experience that is unmatched in the Windsor Essex region. I’d now like to narrow in on my personal experience with the residency. The Stone and Sky Artist Residency is an incredible, collaborative experience that encourages future partnerships by brokering new and meaningful relationships. The residency is more than an opportunity to create new work, it’s also a space for professional development. This time around the residency provided an additional function. In addition to being an artist I am also an arts administrator for an artist run centre. Due to my work load there is no time to create. The residency provided me the opportunity to take space for myself and my practice. For the first time in 8 months I was able to reconnect with old work and think about new work. The wellness this provided to my mental and spiritual health will have a lasting effect on my overall quality of life. You can’t put a price on peace. The Stone and Sky artist residency is an essential service for both artist and arts admin and I believe it is an offering that should be offered all year round in multiple communities with full operational funding. – Teajai Travis
The Windsor Feminist Theatre (WFT) is a pillar in the arts community of Windsor-Essex; an anti-oppressive space, with a welcoming and thoughtful system of inclusion and diversity – WFT, is an organization that fosters critical engagement within the arts. The Stone & Sky Residency (2021) offered invaluable space for reflection and creative thought, research, and community building – a truly unique experience that far exceeds the traditional structures of an artist residency. Pelee Island invites exploration and peace; the artist studios are spacious and secluded, my time with Stone & Sky allowed for research, and nuanced conversation with local creatives and conservationists.
I had the pleasure of participating in an artistic retreat on Pelee Island July 26-August 1, 2021. I was able to develop an interactive piece for percussion and audience as well as experiment with auto-stimulus meridian response technique. The island has a singular sound profile in every season that would inform even mildly sensitive ears. It was all in all a fantastic experience, being able to listen to nature so deeply reveals the truth in ourselves that must inform meaningful art. I was paired with a visual and performance artist (Talysha Bujold-Abu) and found the interaction stimulating. Such mashups with other artists invite conversations one could never anticipate and, if one is wise, allow us to develop into better practitioners of our disciplines. If you want to really investigate your practice I would highly recommend a residency on Pelee Island with Stone and Sky artists.
I was thrilled to be invited to participate in a Stone & Sky residency this September which brought me to the island for 7 days and featured a live performance in collaboration with visual artist Tina Newlove and electronic musician Christie Sealey. I felt empowered by spending a few nights on my own tucked into the woods and off the grid, was inspired by the conversations and collaborations when joined by the hosts and other artists, and felt the joy of sharing songs and stories with the Pelee community as we came together (safely) for the performance in the historic Quarry. I returned to the mainland refreshed and invigorated towards more creative endeavours, and felt more integrated into the Pelee Island community; looking forward to future visits. Thanks so much to Stone & Sky for continuing to include me in all the fantastic and innovative experiences they work to provide for artists, musicians, Islanders and visitors.
My Stone and Sky Residency on Pelee Island provided me with inspiration, collaboration with fellow artists and the opportunity to perform for the public. I had the time and opportunity to produce watercolour sketches and two substantial acrylic on canvas paintings. The tiny homes we stayed in were beautifully constructed, lockable and safe with the perfect mix of privacy and community. I enjoyed painting live with a folk musician for the first set of the public performance and an electronica artist for the second set. The audience was enthralled and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this safely organized event during Covid times.
At the Stone and Sky Residency on Pelee Island I was given the opportunity to perform in a unique setting, engage with a broad audience and to meet and collaborate with other professional artists. After a year and a half without performances, due to the pandemic, it was thrilling to get to perform to a live audience. The performance was very well organized, had professional sound and felt safe despite the numbers(audience members wore masks and were screened for valid Covid vaccinations). During my music performance, artist, Tina Newlove painted live for the audience. Despite knowing each other for 30 years this was actually the first time that we had collaborated together in a performance so it was amazing to have this opportunity. The residency’s tiny homes were clean, comfortable and surrounded by trees. Each artist had a private space but also had the welcome opportunity to share in conversation in a central meeting area. After the performance night, I spent the additional days and evenings engaging with other artists and local residents and exploring the island collecting sounds and images for new music and paintings. Stone and Sky was a welcome retreat, very well organized, refreshing and inspiring.
Over $400.00 in admission donations were collected towards the Pelee Island V.O.N. (Victorian Order of Nurses)
The Stone and Sky Residency offered me the opportunity to be open to my artist within. I took full advantage of it. I explored the east coast of the island in depth, making digital still and video captures of things I normally would not photograph. I had time during the day and especially in the middle of the night to reflect and write down my thoughts. I drew—something I rarely do. Later in the week I made a meaningful connection with Mary Jo Mullins, another resident artist, and together we created a strong, large, and useful body of work. I enjoyed Trevor and Patricia’s fine hospitality and guidance. We talked about art and our lives. The Stone and Sky Residency allowed me to try new ideas in a meaningful way in an environment I found stimulating and for that I am grateful.
The Stone & Sky residency on Pelee Island was a fantastic experience. It was a much needed respite after many months of dealing with Covid-19 and not having engaged in any professional creative endeavours for so, so long. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with photographer Douglas MacLellan while on the island. Regardless of delay after delay and finding it difficult to prepare for this residency, the timing of my stay could not have been more perfect me. It truly was a very potent opportunity for me to explore new creative processes and authentic collaboration. I am really looking forward to the installation, gallery and performance of my interdisciplinary and collaborative work: she walks both worlds.
With so much gratitude, Mary Jo
A. Corinne Brown
I was honoured to be granted the Waawiiyaatanong Feminist Theatre’s Artist-in-Resident in the autumn of 2021. As a writer with chronic and autoimmune diseases in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, it was a privilege to access a gem of a space in a natural setting on Pelee Island where I could be alone for nine days during which I could clear my head, and enable the restorative elements of nature to fuel my creative projects. I also valued the opportunity to use the beautifully constructed tiny, tiny houses on the private wooded property, which made it possible for my editor and my sister – a fellow writer to join me, in a social distance way, on the last night of my residency. It is indeed advantageous that creative and resourceful people with the ability to appreciate a minimalist lifestyle can utilize the Waawiiyaatanong Feminist Theatre’s concept of an Artist-in-Residence. This program has set an appealing standard that afford the luxury of extended quiet time and a well-crafted space to re-imagine the possibilities for one’s work as well as one’s life as a whole.