TAIS Artist in Residence Program focuses on research & production in animation, and is designed to offer opportunities for artists to expand and develop their practices and create independent work. Residency Artists also present their work to the public through artist talks and workshops.

TAIS is thrilled to announce the recipient of the
2020 Canadian Artist in Residence:
SJ Okemow

SJ Okemow is the founder and creative lead at Vernacular Studios. She is a board-certified medical illustrator and specializes in visualizing unseen worlds. She has a BSc from the University of British Columbia in Integrated Sciences with a minor in Visual Arts, and an MSc in Medical Art from the University of Dundee.

She is of mixed Cree and European ancestry and currently lives in Tkaronto. Her work as a medical animator has focused on cellular animations that illuminate the inner workings of the human cell, enabling us to learn about our bodies and our connection to the world around us. Her project with TAIS builds off her medical background, using a decolonial praxis to facilitate discussions about the ways new technology and art can inspire critical reflection on the ways we as Indigenous people move through, exist within, and share our environments.

SJ is a Nêhiyaw Iskwew, urban Indigenous, mixed identity, scientist and artist. As a woman who has grown up predominantly outside her ancestral culture, she has committed herself to a lifelong journey to reclaim this identity through art, language, and most of all community.

Kinanâskomitinâwâw to my ancestors, Chi-Miigwich to my Tkaronto community, and thank you to TAIS.

Sj will be joining the studios at TAIS starting March 3rd for two months and we are all looking forward to seeing what creations emerge!

Plans for the Residency

TAIS looks forward to welcoming the artist to the studio for 3 months, starting in March 2020. While at TAIS, SJ will give a talk on their project in development and artistic practice to date. Stay tuned for announcements regarding dates for all public programming related to SJ’s residency.

TAIS Canadian Artist Residency is two-months long. The goal for the Canadian Artist in Residence is to emerge with a finished work. The selected Canadian artist is awarded $7,000, comprised of $3,000 in-kind towards 2-months of studio space, equipment and resources at TAIS Studios, and $4,000 in cash funding for their project.

To read about past residency recipients, click HERE>>

TAIS residency programming is presented with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council for the Arts

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