Calls to Artists News Programs Visual

RECLAIM public art residency

a partnership between VAC + STEPS Public Art

Deadline to apply: 19 June 2023

Are you interested in gaining experience, building networks and the professional skills needed to launch or expand a public art practice? The Victoria Arts Council is working with STEPS Public Art to offer the RECLAIM Public Art Residency – a program that supports early to mid-career artists in their pursuit of public art practices. 

RECLAIM focuses on the use of upcycling art and/or construction materials in the creation of new work for exhibition in the public realm. During the course of the month-long program, Germaine Koh – an experienced public artist – will lead a small cohort of early to mid-career artists (with little to no public art experience) as they work together to create a work of public art to be exhibited locally.
STEPS Public Art is a charitable cultural organization that engages artists and communities to transform public spaces into vibrant places through our public art, cultural planning and artist capacity building services. Responsible for some of Canada’s largest and most community-engaged public art initiatives, STEPS transforms urban areas into vibrant public spaces, helping artists, community organizations, municipalities, and Business Improvement Areas (BIAs), push creative boundaries.

Where: Victoria Arts Council (1800 Store Street, Victoria BC)
When: 8-30 August 2023 (10-20 hours per week, flexible)
RECLAIM not only strengthens the skills of artists as they shift their practices into three-dimensional works in the public realm, but also minimizes the amount of discarded materials and waste being sent to landfill each year. While this residency also encourages conversations of design and placemaking – it also builds solidarity amongst artists and fosters connections between participating artists and their communities. Led by artist Germaine Koh and complemented by workshops and artist talks, RECLAIM includes skill-building and mentorship opportunities to develop and grow public art practices and discourse. The skills learned and experience gained throughout the residency will leave a lasting impact within the arts sector, enabling a new generation of creatives to share the value and power of public art with others, furthering collective knowledge and creativity, while integrating waste diversion and sustainability into their artistic practice.
Please note this professional development opportunity is open to artists based in and around Victoria (BC) only. Five (5) artists will be selected to participate in the residency, with each participant acquiring valuable skills in the field of public art. Each selected artist will be paid an honorarium of $1000 CAD (tax inclusive) for their full participation in the program. VAC + STEPS will also partner with SUPPLY Victoria Creative Reuse Centre to source materials.

It is anticipated that the participants will work with the lead artist on a collaborative work of art as well as produce a maquette for an artwork of their own design. Both the collaborative work and the maquettes will be displayed publicly during Culture Days BC (22 September – 16 October 2023). The Fall issue of VAC’s online magazine, UNTIL, will be dedicated to exploring Public Art from various perspectives, and will highlight RECLAIM and its participants.

How to apply:

To apply, please send the following as a single PDF to Collin Zipp at by Monday 19 June at 11:59 PST:
Name, address and contact information (email address and phone) Brief letter of intent about why you are interested in this opportunity (max 1 page 12 point font)Up to 10 samples of past work

We encourage applications from all qualified candidates that represent the full diversity of communities in Canada, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, class, gender, race and sexual orientation. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from equity-deserving communities, such as those who identify as two-spirit, trans, Indigiqueer, Afro-Indigenous, as well as individuals living with disabilities.

Applicants who are Deaf, have a disability, or who need support applying for this opportunity are encouraged to contact Collin Zipp at at least two weeks before the application deadline (by Monday, 5 June 2023) to allow STEPS to appropriately accommodate your needs and to discuss alternate formats for submitting your application.

About the Lead Artist
Germaine Koh is an artist and organizer whose work ranges widely across media. Her work adapts familiar objects, everyday actions, and common spaces to create situations that look at the significance of communal experiences and the connections between people, technology, and natural systems. Her ongoing projects include Home Made Home, an initiative to build and advocate for alternative forms of housing, and League, a participatory project using play as a form of creative practice. In Victoria, she produced the public art for the new Topaz Skatepark.