F️or the past six months, our studio space at the Cotton Factory (@cottonfactoryca) has been overflowing with creativity from our Artist-in-Residence, Cesar Cordoba (@cesarmanoplas) ✨

Cordoba's style focuses on organic sculptures, using techniques incorporating plants, seeds, peels, and natural materials collected from Hamilton, and different regions of Canada and Mexico. 🌿🇲🇽

In addition to a designated studio space, Artists-in-Residence typically deliver talks to share their artist experience as well as showcase the work produced during their time in residence.

This year, we saw an opportunity for a (socially distanced) intimate conversation with Cesar, to discuss his life as a newcomer to Canada, an artist, and as a recent father.

We are delighted to announce that a short film about Cesar will premiere on our social media and website this Friday, December 18th at 2pm 🎥⭐

Stay tuned to watch our conversation with Cesar, and keep an eye out for our new Artist-in-Residence 💛

The HAC Guided Artist-in-Residence Program is designed to support the individual artistic practices and professional ambitions of emerging and mid-career artists in Hamilton by providing access to free studio space and the skills and experience of established artists working at 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. 

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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  • The program will accept 2 artists per session. 1 emerging, 1 mid-career.

  • The program runs from the 1st of April to the 30th of September.

  • The program is absolutely free.

  • 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 their art practice and/or their goals in the studio during the program.

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

  • Attendance at 3 Cotton Factory open-door events is mandatory. 

  • Opportunity to publicly hang work in the hallways.

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

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

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

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

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


  1. A letter of application: What are your goals as an artist? How would your current practice benefit from this program? How will you devote adequate time to the development of your work while balancing other commitments? (max 2 pages)


    Video link application: Produce a video addressing: What are your goals as an artist? How would your current practice benefit from this program? How will you devote adequate time to the development of your work while balancing other commitments? (Max 3 minutes)

  2. Link to your website or a Resume/CV (max 1 page) and 5 jpeg images or a short video (max 5 minutes) with accompanying image list (including title, date, media, dimensions). 

Please combine all written components into a single PDF document.

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, only the successful applicant will be notified. 

Send your application in an email to

*Please include "HAC AIR Submission" in the subject line of your email.



The Hamilton Arts Council is pleased to announce artist Olivia Brouwer as the recipient of the Hamilton Arts Council’s newest Cotton Factory Artist in Residence Program taking place from December 2020 to Fall 2021 (Extended due to Lockdowns).

OLIVIA BROUWER 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.

Image courtesy of artist


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.



Creator: Suzanne Steenkist 

Copyright: SuZImages



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.