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Image: 2022 Artist in Residence, Vick Naresh, presenting his Artist Talk in The Cotton Factory. Staning in front of piece titled, "Birds of Paradise" (2022)

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Presented in partnership between

Hamilton Arts Council and The Cotton factory

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The 2023 Artist in Residence is Dawn Grant!

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Dawn Grant (she/her) is a distinguished wearable art designer, make-up and special effects artist and brand owner. 

She brings to the Residency 14 years as a Makeup & Special Effects Artist, 10 years as the Owner and Designer of UFascinateMe, seven years as a Props and Production Designer, 13 years as a Makeup Educator and various accreditations for her work in film, television advertisements and music videos. In the course of the Residency, Dawn will create a collection that explores themes including, ‘How it Feels to Walk in My Feet’, ‘It’s All in Your Mind’ and ‘An Eyeful’.

Image: Dawn Grant holding Puppet Hands

“I try to add colour and diversity into everything I create”, Dawn says, “To make people interested in the fine details of my work, is for them to reflect on themselves and how they perceive identity.”

Dawn’s passion for inclusive spaces extends to her therapeutic art practice, which helps people explore self expression and emotions, using art and creative processes as a compass for personal insight and healing. While in the studio, Dawn will host therapeutic art sit-ins (in-person and virtual), to accompany her thematic collection.

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Examples of Dawn's work (left-right): Locs Shawl, Unicorn Crown, Special Effects Makeup, Orb Props

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Examples of Dawn's work (left-right): Therapeutic Art Making, Dynasty Crown, Deer Crown, Kween Crown

Discover more about Dawn Grant by visiting her profile on The Arty Crowd, and follow her on Instagram, @dawngrantartistry.

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Applications for the January - June 2023 Residency are now closed.

About the Program

Applicant Eligibility

Application Items


The Cotton Factory

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Previous Artists in Residence

Vick Naresh - Artist in Residence 2022

Vick Naresh is a Mumbai-born, self-taught contemporary artist currently living and working in Hamilton, Canada. His ongoing body of work is an exploration in figurative abstraction that delves into metaphorical narratives tackling social contemporary & personal themes around post-colonial displacement, belonging & identity.

Select exhibitions include 19 Karen Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, The Art Gallery of Burlington, Hamilton Artists Inc. & The Art Gallery of Hamilton. Naresh’s paintings have been widely acquired by private collectors all over Canada, The USA, Europe, The Middle East & Asia.

The following film is by Jocelyn Togeretz, with additional photography by Josh Ducharme and Music by Beetlemuse.

Vick's Video

Mosa McNeilly - Artist in Residence 2021/2022

Video coming soon!

Olivia Brouwer - Artist in Residence 2020/2021

Olivia Brouwer has been HAC's Artist-in-Residence from December 2020 to September 2021. Olivia is a partially blind artist, and the artwork she creates attempts to translate the experience of vision loss in ways that make the viewer think differently about sight, perception, and meaning. During this six-month residency, her goal is to complete a refined body of work expanding on the theme of blindness using mixed media painting, sound installations, and sculpture. She will develop work encouraging viewers to use the sense of sight, sound, and touch, and ultimately bring awareness to the need for accessibility in the art world.💛

Cesar Cordoba- Artist in Residence 2020/2021

CESAR CORDOBA's style focuses on organic sculptures, using a technique incorporating plants, seeds, peels, and natural materials collected from different regions of Canada and Mexico. His process has evolved over the past 17 years. These sculptures are a commentary on the consciousness embedded in the natural world.



JACOB FORREST is a 25-year-old illustrator based in Hamilton, Ontario. He went to Mohawk College for 3D Animation and Graphic Design, where his passion for traditional art was realized. After graduating, he became a freelance illustrator using markers to capture his love of pop culture.

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ANGELA SHAW is Hamilton-born and raised. In high school she began experimenting with alcohol and it ruined the years of her youth. From this point on, Angela led a life close to twenty years of pain and turmoil. Through a friend, she discovered a spiritual twelve-step program. In the first few months of sobriety, Angela found her gift of visual art. Ever since she has been using this gift as a means to speak to the world. Angela’s art has appeared in many establishments around the city of including The Hearty Hooligan, Stonewalls and most recently at The Art Gallery of Hamilton. When not working on her own expressions and raising her daughter Emilly, her spare time is spent engaging with patients at St. Joe's psychiatric hospital. Angela also holds an award from the Paul Hansell Foundation Achievement Award for her continuous growth as an artist in recovery. 




CAROLINA GAMA was born in Brazil in 1979 and has made Canada her permanent home. She uses collage, textile, and video as media for her confessional and feminist art. Since acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts in 2005, Carolina has shown her work in Guatemala, Kenya, Brazil, and Belgium while also working in film as a graphic designer, editor, and director. After battling breast cancer in 2014, Carolina moved to Canada with the purpose of living in an intentional community and has focused on using art as a healing too to express her experiences through diverse media.

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AILISH CORBETT has a Bachelor of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Music from McMaster University. As a multi-disciplinary artist, Ailish enjoys using a wide variety of media to create her visual art. From paint to recycled plastic and textiles, she is never afraid to experiment with new media. Ailish has always had a fascination with collage, even in painted works. Her love of collage is closely tied to her musical background, as all music is created from combining simple units of pitch and rhythm. Because of this, Ailish enjoys creating visual work that is made of many small parts and layers that culminate in a harmonious whole.

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KAREN LOGAN was born and raised in Hamilton. Taking private drawing lessons as a child with Juanita LeBarre Symington, specializing in art studies throughout high school and receiving three honours certificates in fine arts from Mohawk College has helped keep art a central component of her life. She has worked in pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, watercolour, encaustic, acrylic and Chinese Brush Painting as well as ceramics and silversmithing and stained glass. Originally a mechanical draftsperson and technical illustrator, Karen now works part-time for two not-for-profit industrial environmental organizations. She currently is the Vice President and Exhibit Coordinator for the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators (SONSI), the Book Keeper for The Botanical Artists of Canada (BAC) and the Treasurer of the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH).

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ANITA THOMAS is an artist and a photographer known for her aerial, aviation, and landscape photography. She flies frequently with her private pilot husband, capturing her aerial photography from a Cessna 172. Being around planes, and with a life-long love of motorcycles, her fascination with, and passion for, machine, speed and performance come together in a mergence with her passion for art. She is often inspired by what she has captured in her photography to reinterpret through acrylics, pen and ink, watercolours, and encaustics (layers of fused molten, pigmented beeswax and damar resin). She has participated in many juried group and solo exhibitions, arts festivals, and fundraising events including at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Dundas Valley School of Art, DVSA Gallery, McMaster Innovation Park's Art in the Workplace, HPL galleries, the Fieldcote Museum and the Louvre in Paris, France. Her work hangs in private collections and in professional offices throughout Canada, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.


NICK LA ROCCA is an award-winning artist and illustrator from Hamilton interested in sequential, conceptual, and experimental art. He graduated from Sheridan College and now works as a fine artist and freelance illustrator. Living his entire life in Hamilton, Nick enjoys encoding Hamilton subject matter and mythology into his work.

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KEIRA MCARTHURis a visual artist and performer whose exhibitions include interactive performance art, live music, and a synthesized re-interpretation of the whole process in book form. She has been in solo and group exhibitions across Ontario and been trained at such institutions as Wilfrid Laurier University, OAC/Royal Conservatory, Sheridan College, York University, and the Mary Schneider School of Fine Arts. Keira received a $250 bursary from Hamilton Arts Council's partner, Women's Art Association, in support of their mandate and mission statement, Working to Advance Women in Art. 


KRISTOFIR DEAN is a painter based in Hamilton and holds a BFA from Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU). His paintings create optical effects using light and shadow, perspective, and inventive panel shapes that make viewers question their sense of the works' dimensionality. Kristofir's art activates a conversation about the quality and value of saturated colours to captivate and lift the energy of a space and the people who inhabit iT.

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DANIELLE ROBERTS holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. She is a visual artist whose practice is primarily painting based. A recent arrival to Hamilton from British Columbia, she is intrigued about painting public spaces as they are at night and by the unique impact of urban landscapes like fast food drive-thrus, churches, movie theatre interiors, and bowling alley interiors. She is also a co-founder of the MOPE artist collective in Vancouver BC along with Leah McInnis and Kai Choufour.

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