It's a pretty cool spot and I'm really glad I decided to apply to this one! The residence is in a re-purposed elementary school on Centre Island - just a short ferry ride away from downtown and right on the shores of Lake Ontario. Each artist gets an entire classroom as a studio - it's kind of neat to be back in school with the old chalkboards, drinking fountains and the little desks. I can't believe how small everything is! I've also got a nice view of a lagoon full of ducks and the CN tower in the distance. It's a great place to spend time outdoors too - the residency is a few steps away from surprisingly nice beaches and there are bike/walking paths all around the island.
It's a lot larger than what I was expecting - there are more people (approx. 20-30) doing different types of art and staying for different lengths of time so it's a bit less intimate than Elsewhere Studios where there were just a handful of people sharing a smaller space. I think this can be good or bad depending on what you prefer, but I've enjoyed both so far.
At first I was a bit overwhelmed by the big empty space, the pressure to make my time here worthwhile and wasn't sure what kind of project I wanted to work on. I decided to start playing around with some clay a couple of days ago and ended up sculpting a monkey head. It must have been a subconscious response to an article I read last week about monkeys being shipped to the United States for animal testing. I love monkeys and it really disturbed me to think that we're still using and abusing such amazing creatures in this way (please read more here). I don't think this will be a one-off sculpture - I want it to be the start of a bigger project to raise awareness about animal cruelty issues.
If you have any questions about the residency or my new project, let me know in the comments section below!