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Artists in Residence Program

Artists in Residence Program

Since 2018 Union House Arts has hosted professional artists and programming in Port Union, NL as part of our artist-in-residence program.

UHA typically accepts applications once annually for our artist residency program, which provides studio space, on-site accommodations, and additional support for professional artists.

Andrew Testa, May 2019. Taking a walk with a printing plate.
Andrew Testa, May 2019. Taking a walk with a printing plate.

Applicant proposals are reviewed and evaluated by the UHA programming committee. The program places special emphasis on supporting projects that involve direct engagement with the community, whether through collaborative activities, participatory installations, site-specific intervention or other imaginative ways of sharing your practice.  UHA provides selected artists with an opportunity to experiment with their practice, develop their focus or test new ideas in the unique historic district of Port Union.

Areas of research that are particularly relevant include: visual culture, contemporary rurality, Indigeneity, land and ocean resources, geology, tourism, and local community histories.


What to Expect Before Applying

ACCESSIBILITY: 

Building 

The artist apartments are on the second floor of the UHA building and at this time we do not have an elevator. There are accessible restrooms and a kitchen on the first floor. We currently do not have automatic doors, all of which must be manually opened. The front entrance has five steps from the main street and the back door has an accessible ramp entrance.

Language 

The UHA staff and board speak and write fluently in English.

Community

UHA will not tolerate discrimination or violent acts in any capacity.  This applies to all visitors, volunteers, staff, and artists-in-residence. Contact information for the Board and Staff will be available to you if you have any concerns. 

UHA strives to be a welcoming and accessible space for all. We acknowledge that accessibility in a historic building will always be a work-in-progress. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the accessibility of the space.

TRANSPORT:

Port Union can be accessed by car via Route 230 off the Trans Canada Highway, near Clarenville. It is approximately a 3.5 hour drive from St. John’s. If you do not have a vehicle, there is a daily taxi to and from St. John’s. Communities on the Bonavista peninsula are dispersed and having a vehicle during your residency would be beneficial to your residency experience but is not entirely necessary. 

Weather : Please note that Port Union may experience extreme weather conditions during the winter including: ice, snow, freezing rain, harsh winds, and at times unsafe driving conditions. Should the weather be unsafe during your residency arrival or departure dates, we are happy to adjust the residency period accordingly. 

STUDIO PRACTICE AT UHA: 

  • 24-Hour ocean-view studio access
  • Desk spaces 
  • Electrical outlets
  • WiFi
  • Flexible use of second floor studio spaces
  • Shaded Outdoor Maker’s Platform
  • UHA committee will provide support and consultation with Artist-in-Residence while developing community-engaged activities

AVAILABLE STUDIO EQUIPMENT

  • Compact 24″ 4 Shaft Loom
  • Hand Crank Bobbin Winder
  • Thirteen Yard Warping Board
  • Plein Air Easels
  • Stainless Steel Stock Pots (Natural Dyes Only)
  • Outdoor Propane Burners
Elijah Janka, November 2022 experimenting with natural Dyes

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about the studio space.

LIVING SPACE AT UHA: 

  • Bedroom (double bed) and sitting room with ensuite bathroom (shower, sink, toilet) on second floor 
  • Linens provided
  • Washer and dryer available 
  • Shared kitchen on ground floor 

It is the responsibility of the artist to care for their living space during their time of their residency. This includes maintaining cleanliness of the artist’s apartment and all shared spaces. We have limited staff resources and your contribution to the upkeep of the space is important and much appreciated. 

FAMILY RESIDENCY: 

We are proud to welcome Artist Families in our space! In 2020 we launched our Family Residency as a separate application process, and we were overwhelmed by the positive response. We ask that if you would like to participate in a Family Residency, please indicate that on your application. It’s important to us that parent artists aren’t competing with one another for one opportunity, which is why we are combining it with our regular call for artists. 

If any of the selected artists require family support, we will work with the artist to accommodate. Please note that childcare supports are pending funding.

WEAVING RESIDENCY

In 2022 Union House Arts acquired a portable loom through Come Home Year Funding. Our Loom is a 24” Leclerc Compact 4 shaft Loom. Alongside our loom we have two wooden shuttles, a hand-crank bobbin winder, and a thirteen yard warping board, as well as some hooks and bobbins if needed.

2024 will see the first year of two residency slots being held for weaving artists. Once again, as a part of our application process we will be selecting at least two artists whose main discipline is weaving. Please indicate on your application if you self-identify as a weaver and will need access to our loom.

Please note, artist’s who apply for a weaving-focused residency must show that they are knowledgeable and trained on how to operate a loom.

Any questions regarding our loom can be directed to unionhousearts@gmail.com

OTHER PERKS

During the residency period, there may be additional opportunities such as youth mentorships, studio visits, artist talks, or other special events. The UHA committee works with selected artists to create residencies that support both the artist and the community’s development. While it is not expected that the applicant has an existing relationship with Port Union, the committee will consider the relevancy of the proposal in the context of Port Union and the wider region and histories of Ktaqamkuk when making their selections.

In 2020, UHA created a partnership with Terra Nova National Park that will provide opportunities for artists participating in Terra Nova’s “Art in the Park” program and UHA’s residency program to spend a portion of their residency time in Port Union or Terra Nova Park. This opportunity will be rolled out during the 2021 summer season.


Makers Nights

In conjunction with our artist-in-residence program, we host open studio style evenings for creative and curious local residents to meet and work alongside visiting artists.

Food and Friendship

We love getting to know our visiting artists during their time at UHA, usually with a feast or two.

Artist Workshops

We do our best to secure funds to pay visiting artists to offer workshops during their residencies.

Your Experience & Our Community

in Port Union and on the Bonavista Peninsula

We encourage you to get out of the studio and spend time getting to know our community and our region while you’re here. And while a project proposal is great, we know that once you get here things might set you off course – and we love that! Consider your residency as a starting point, rather than just time to complete an existing project.

Check out these local organizations, businesses, and sights to see for a sense of what is happening on the peninsula!

Artist-run shops and galleries: Wild Cove Pottery, Cape Shore General Store, Treeline Fine Art and Craft, Barbara Houston Art Studio + Sheep Shop, ArtVista Studio, Mill Road Studio, Brim Pottery Studio + Boutique, Toporama Prints, Chris Ricketts Fine Art Gallery (in Round Da Bay Inn), Women’s Institute Craft Shop (Port Union), Liam’s Pottery (William Raymond), Studio by the Sea (Julie Raymond), ArtBonavista Studio, MIRABELLA by Elizabeth Burry Studio

Community Organizations and Attractions: Discovery UNESCO Global Geopark, Root Cellars of Elliston, Bonavista Biennale, Sir William Ford Coaker Heritage Foundation (Archival Letterpress Facilities), Home from the Sea Sealers Interpretation Centre, Hike Discovery (A network of hiking trails all over the peninsula), The Green Family Forge, Trinity Historical Society, Vista Family Resource Centre, Bonavista Living and Bonavista Creative, The Garrick Theatre, Rising Tide Theatre, Champney’s West Aquarium, Trinity Eco Tours, Sea of Whales Adventures

Other innovative local products and experiences that we love! Roots Rants and Roars Local Food Festival, Clarenville Farm and Market, Three Mile Ridge Farm, Gillis Naturals, Newfoundland Salt Company, Port Rexton Brewing Co., Two Whales Coffee Shop, The Boreal Diner, Bonavista Coffee, Bonavista Social Club, Bonabooch Kombucha, East Coast Glow, Fishers’ Loft, Artisan Inn & Twine Loft, Sweet Rock Ice Cream, Oh My Cheeses, The Quintal Cafe, Bonavista Bicycle Picnics, Maudie’s Tea Room, Little Dairy King

On top of a tight-knit community, Port Union is home to a rabbit-hole of rich history and culture. To find out more about this Union-Built town, check out a couple of these introductory resources: Our History: Sir William Ford Coaker Foundation, Historic Places, NL Government, Memorial University


Long Story Short,

We want you to get to know our community and the people who make it happen here!

Take some time when imagining your residency in Port Union, what questions do you have? What experiences might lead you to answers?

Our next call for proposals is coming soon and will be posted here. Join our mailing list and follow along on social media for reminders, we can’t wait to hear from you!


Applications for Residencies Are Currently Open!