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Practice / Process 01: What is a Residency?

WHAT: PW Practice/Process 01: What is a Residency?
WHERE: Possible Worlds (708G Somerset Street W.)
DATE: Sunday, September 24, 2017
TIME: 4:00-6:00 PM

Open to all creative levels and disciplines.

This event is PWYC with registration; suggested $10 at the door. Spaces are limited. Register here:

Practice/Process is a new series of professional development meet ups for emerging artists, designers and other creative practitioners hosted by Possible Worlds.  

This month, we’re focusing on residencies and hosting a discussion led by photo-based artist Olivia Johnston, painter Ryan Smeeton, and print artist and Possible Worlds co-founder Melanie Yugo. Other creatives who have participated in residencies are also invited to attend and share their experiences.

Drawing from their recent residency experiences in Senegal, Spain, and the Philippines respectively, Olivia, Ryan, and Melanie will share their insights on finding, applying for, and financing residencies, as well as managing time and projects while away, and how their practices have been informed by their residencies since coming home.

Regardless of where you are in your career, residencies are opportunities to dive into research, learn new techniques, make connections to larger art communities, and access resources, ideas, and landscapes unavailable at home. Whether you’re curious about the possibilities of residencies, or you have your own experiences to share, join us on Sunday September 24 to discuss how to make a residency happen, and how to make the most out of it once you’re there.



OLIVIA JOHNSTON is an artist based in Ottawa, Canada, and is currently the Photographic History Instructor at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa. Her practice includes both photo-based and multi-media work, within which she is preoccupied by questions of art history, the photographic image, gender, individuality, vulnerability, and identity.

In 2017, Johnston was a finalist for the RBC Emerging Artist Award. Her work has been displayed nationally, including in Ottawa's Nuit Blanche, as a part of the City of Ottawa’s collection, and in the largest photography event in the world, the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto. She has also shown her work internationally, in New York, NY; Portland, OR; Saint-Louis, Senegal; and London, England.

In March of 2016, Johnston attended a month-long residency at WAAW in Saint-Louis, Senegal. The work she produced while she was there will be part of a two-person exhibition with artist Shaya Ishaq entitled overcome/reconcile at the Ottawa Art Gallery in April of 2018.


RYAN SMEETON is an artist based in Ottawa. He obtained his BFA from the University of Ottawa in 2011, and balances his time between a studio painting practice and creating site-specific murals. He most recently completed large mural commissions for the Canada Science and Technology Museum, the City of Ottawa, and Carleton University. His work takes on the purpose of presenting an alternate perspective of the world that is a median between our reality and an imagined one. In July 2015 he completed a month-long residency at La Postiza artist centre in the rural community of La Cueva, Spain.


MELANIE YUGO is a Filipina-Canadian artist-researcher, educator, artistic director and cultural worker born in Toronto, now based in Ottawa, Canada. She co-founded and directs Possible Worlds, a gallery, shop, publisher and project space, as well as the multidisciplinary collective/studio Spins & Needles, recognized for its participatory art and music programming in non-traditional venues. As a print artist, Melanie specializes in silkscreening and Risograph printing in the form of prints and artist books, exploring themes of community, culture, identity and place. Melanie received a B.Sc. in Psychology from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Social and Cultural Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and completed summer studies in silkscreening at the School of Visual Arts.  

Melanie completed a research-based residency with 98B Collaboratory in Manila, Philippines in February 2017.

We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.