The AIR program is designed to support the individual artistic practices and professional ambitions of emerging and mid-career artists in Hamilton.

The program provides access to free studio space and associated benefits from being absorbed in the creative ecology of The Cotton Factory.

The program provides an exceptional opportunity for artists to develop both their creative processes and professional skills in building a successful career in the arts.

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November 29, 2021 - Hamilton Arts Council proudly announces Mosa McNeilly as Artist In Residence at The Cotton Factory from November 2021 through April 2022.


Mosa is an artist, educator, editor, and cultural consultant. She works through interdisciplinary methodologies of installation, encaustic, and performance. In describing her artistic vision Mosa says, “I see my work as part of a global canon of Black women artists concerned with cultural reclamation, social justice, and freedom. The piece I will be developing during this residency is a memorial to the Middle Passage, centring the Black female subject, and employing hybrid iconographies,” says Mosa.


Her work will premiere in the DAWA (Diasporic African Women Artists) cross-Canada touring exhibition. Mosa is a member of the DAWA Collective, whose work is grounded in an ethic of radical care for Black women artists in Canada. “The exhibition will open at A Space Gallery in Toronto and culminate at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Many thanks to Hamilton Arts Council and The Cotton Factory for this opportunity which affords me the time and space to focus on the completion of this work.


The Artist In Residence Program is a partnership between Hamilton Arts Council and The Cotton Factory, providing access to free studio space along with the associated benefits of being absorbed in the creative ecology of an artistic industries complex that is home to a variety of artists, makers and galleries. 


Mosa was selected by a jury of visual and multidisciplinary artists who reflected upon the strengths and breadth of creativity portrayed by the emerging and mid-career artists applying to the program. 


“With affordable art space being an increasingly limited commodity for artists in Hamilton, maintaining a consistent and supportive residency program is at the core of Hamilton Arts Council’s mission to provide inclusive opportunities to build connection and sustainability,” states David Hudson, Programs & Community Engagement Coordinator.


In addition to a designated studio space at the Cotton Factory, Mosa will be invited to provide an artist talk and showcase her work in the spring of 2022

The 2021 call for applications is now closed.

Next application intake: February/March 2022.


  • The program will accept one emerging or mid-career artist.

  • Participants must be Hamilton residents and students are not eligible.

  • The program runs twice yearly with calls for submissions around the fall & spring seasons.

  • Artists are selected by an adjudication panel of community peers, program administrators, and former AIR participants.

  • Selected artists will be assigned a free studio space for the duration of the program.

  • Selected artists should expect to dedicate 20+ hours per week to art practice and/or goals in the studio during the program.

  • Selected artists will be paid CARFAC fees to deliver an artist talk during the program.

  • Selected artists can apply for material supply assistance costs up to $150.

  • The program includes monthly discussions with Cotton Factory artists geared to selected artists' interests/focus.

  • Opportunity to participate at Cotton Factory open-door events. 

  • Opportunity to publicly hang work in the hallways.

  • The program is open to visual artists, writers, and musicians.

  • The program is absolutely free.

  • Participants will be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

We encourage individuals who reflect the diversity of Hamilton to apply.


The Cotton Factory is located at 270 Sherman Ave N, Hamilton, ON L8L 6N4

The studio is located on the second floor of the Storehouse Building at The Cotton Factory 


The Cotton Factory is a creative community in the heart of lower Hamilton. This former industrial building from 1900 is a prime example of adaptive reuse. It has been transformed from a cotton mill into a creative industries complex, with space for workshops, galleries, office space for creative professionals and studios for artists. The Cotton Factory continues to demonstrate, ongoing commitment to fostering emerging artist practices as well as their continued contribution to Hamilton’s flourishing contemporary art community.

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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.


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 making art and engaging with patients at St. Joes 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.


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 and has been interested in art her whole life. 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. As a lifelong learner, Karen is always looking for new techniques and enjoys the opportunity to try all forms of media. 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. Karen believes that we learn from each other and that it is important to give back to the arts community. 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).

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. Thomas’ approach with fine art photography is deeply influenced by her artistic background. 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). Her award-winning photography is sold through speciality stores in the city of Hamilton as well as online. 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.


The Hamilton Arts Council is pleased to announce artists Nick La Rocca and Keira McArthur as the recipients of the Hamilton Arts Council’s newest Cotton Factory Artist in Residence Program taking place from December 2018 to February 2019.

We are also excited to also announce a new partnership with the Women’s Art Association who have generously donated a $250 bursary, in support of their mandate and mission statement, Working to Advance Women in Art. The bursary will be awarded to Keira McArthur to be put towards materials.

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. Nick has had solo and group exhibitions in Hamilton, Oakville, Mississauga, and Toronto. Living his entire life in Hamilton, Nick enjoys encoding Hamilton subject matter and mythology into his work.

Keira McArthur is 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.


Open House + Artist Talk:  September 20th, 2018  7 PM - 9 PM at The Cotton Factory

The Hamilton Arts Council is pleased to announce artists Kristofir Dean and Danielle Roberts as the recipients of the Hamilton Arts Council’s, Cotton Factory Artist in Residence Program taking place from July to September 2018. 

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.  He has shown his work internationally in galleries in Australia, Hong Kong, and the United States and is represented by several galleries across Canada.  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.

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. Her experience and memories of these places inform her interest in the social dynamics of space, objectivity, and how humans socially engage with fabricated environments. She is also a co-founder of the MOPE artist collective in Vancouver BC along with Leah McInnis and Kai Choufour.