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The Tallinn Town Hall by Ilya Orehov on Unsplash

Hamilton Arts Council offers the European Artist Exchange (EAX) program, in partnership with the Estonian Artists’ Association, funded through the generous support of The Cotton Factory. Click the images below to learn more.

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The EAX program is designed to expand the individual artistic practices and professional ambitions of mid-career visual artists. The program provides airfare and studio live/work accommodation, with the associated benefits of being absorbed in the creative ecology of the Estonian arts scene. This is an exceptional opportunity for an individual to develop both their creative processes and professional skills in enhancing a successful career in the arts.


In addition to airfare and accommodation, this opportunity includes a $500.00 CAD weekly residency stipend and a production allowance for material costs between $300-$500 CAD. The studio is approximately 538 square feet on two (2) levels and includes a full bathroom with shower.


The studio is situated in the Tallinn Art Hall, built in 1934, which is a major centre of Estonian art life located close to Europe’s best-preserved medieval city, Tallinn. The building also contains several artists’ studios, the office of the Estonian Artists’ Association, the Estonian Centre for Contemporary Arts, an art supply shop, and art galleries. Additionally, the KuKu Club and the KuKu Café are both popular meeting places for local artists. The resident will be immersed in the vibrant Estonian arts scene.

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View from the art studio by Ty Tekatch, 2019 recipient

  • Mid-career level visual artist, able to demonstrate their commitment to the career of a professional visual artist by having practiced professionally in their field:

    • for a minimum of eight (8) years,

    • an independent body of work, and

    • at least two (2) public exhibitions in a professional context.

  • Live and/or work in the Greater Hamilton Area (Ancaster, Dundas, Flamborough, Glanbrook, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Waterdown) or the Six Nations of the Grand River.

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident with a valid passport (expiry date of no earlier than May 2023).

  • Fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and able to comply with travel regulations.

  • Able to commit to the residency in Estonia for a four (4) week period in September/October 2022. 

  • Willing to conduct two (2) speaking engagements in Tallinn and at Tartu University, sharing about their art, career, and influences.

  • Completion of an “I am an Artist/Creative” profile on The Arty Crowd at the time of their submission. (The Arty Crowd is free for artists/creatives.)

  • Completion of an EAX Application.


Applicant Eligibility

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  • Applications are reviewed and a resident selected by a panel of a minimum of three (3) representatives from Hamilton Arts Council, The Cotton factory, and the Estonian Artists’ Association. 

  • The panel will consider the content of the applicants’ Arty Crowd profiles (e.g. goals/vision, examples of work), their resume, and their EAX Application (e.g. how the EAX residency might impact their practice within a larger context, allocation of time). 

  • Each adjudicator assigns a score in each of the four (4) criterion of the Adjudication Scoring Guidelines below. Scores are tallied and the top three (3) applications are reviewed for final selection.



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Application Scoring Guidelines

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This year's EAX recipient is Lisa Pijuan-Nomura! 

2022 Recipient

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Lisa Pijuan-Nomura (she/they), a multidisciplinary artist, storyteller and creativity coach, will be hosted by the Estonian Artists’ Association October to November 2022.

For the past 30 years, Lisa has immersed herself in the world of performance and visual art combining dance, mixed media collage,  theatre, and storytelling to create solo and group performance pieces. An artist based in Hamilton, they have performed in Canada, Europe and Mexico. 

To read more about Lisa, visit their profile on The Arty Crowd:

About 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.


About Estonian Artists' Association (EAA)

The Estonian Artists' Association (EAA) is the legal successor of the Soviet Estonian Artists' Association established in 1943 and is an umbrella-organization uniting nineteen (19) professional unions of artists and art historians.


Most of the members of the EAA have graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts. The goals of the Estonian Artists' Association are to promote and enhance art culture in Estonia; to support the members of the EAA; and to create good working and exhibition conditions for them. The Estonian Artists’ Association is the mediator within the fields related to art and artists, and protects the rights of its members as well as the association as a whole. The EAA is a member of Res Artis and organizes a residency in Tallinn. The guest studio has been available for artists from abroad and our guests since November 1998. 

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Previous Rcipients

Photos provided by 2021 Recipient, Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay


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Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay is an award-winning Hamilton-based artist and arts-educator whose practice includes film and video, storytelling, visual experimentation, installation, sculpture, and collage. Gender-based barriers, marginalization, and social equity are constant themes in her work.


Discover more about Vanessa here.

International laureate and lecturer, Britta Benno, is a printmaker, visual artist, and all-round alchemist of layers, texture, and media. Britta is a Tallinn-based artist whose creative voice has exhibited and lectured across the globe, including Finland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Iceland, and Australia.


Discover more about Britta here.


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Tyler Tekatch is Hamilton-born Canadian artist whose work explores the nature of dreams, perception and the religious imagination. Tekatch studied filmmaking at Ryerson and York University and began producing and exhibiting 16mm films in the context of Canadian avant-garde cinema. He has extended his practice to include collage, photography, digital cinema and interactive installation. He is inspired by the desire to explore the mysterious, hidden and uncanny dimensions contained within the quotidian. His work is driven by the conviction that the creative nature of perception and dreams reveal everyday existence to be deeply unknowable. Tekatch’s work has been screened nationally at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the TIFF Bell Lightbox, the National Film Board, the WNDX Festival and internationally at festivals in Seoul and London. He is a member of the Toronto based Loop Collective.

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Kai Kaljo was born to a family of artists (both her parents were engravers), and she studied at a school specializing in music, after which she worked for several years (1979-1983) as a decorator at one of Tallinn’s main theatres. She then studied painting from 1983 to 1990 at the Institute of Fine Arts in Tallinn, where she began to teach in 1990. She currently teaches contemporary art at Tallinn University. After starting out her career with installations, stained-glass windows, murals, and graffiti, she made her first video, Luuser [“Loser”] in 1997 for the Funny Versus Bizarre exhibition in Vilnius. It features the artist in close-up, speaking in a low voice for a little under one and a half minutes about objective facts about her life as an Estonian artist, which are met with laughter similar to American TV comedy canned laughter. A dark and bitter encapsulation of the Eastern European identity and of an artist’s situation in contemporary society, the film gained considerable international acclaim and launched Kaljo’s career as a video artist.



Tor Lukasik Foss is a native Hamiltonian artist whose creative practise spans over two decades and encompasses visual art, performance, and creative writing. In the last decade, his practice has investigated social anxiety particularly as it relates to public and private space. Lukasik Foss has used storytelling and songwriting as both intimate and public actions, particularly stories and songs that stem from myth, folklore, and religion. His multidisciplinary practise investigates the eccentricities of the public sphere, everything from municipal signage to the concert stage. He exhibits work both individually and as part of TH&B, an artist collective of which he is a founding member (along with Ivan Jurakic, Simon Frank, and Dave Hind). Lukasik-­‐‑Foss performs under the pseudonym ‘Tiny Bill Cody’ and has released four Cd’s of original songwriting over the last two decades, He writes regularly for “Hamilton Magazine”, is a founding member of the Hamilton Seven, a storytelling collective seen most notably at the 2017 Hamilton Fringe Festival. He has also been awarded the 2007 K.M. Hunter Award for Visual Arts, 2008 Visual Arts Award from the City of Hamilton, a 2009 Hamilton Music Award (Best Male Artist) multiple Ontario Arts Council Mid Career Visual Arts Grants and a 2014 Canada Council Project Grant. He lives with his family in central Hamilton and works as the Program Director for the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Peeter Laurits is an extremely gifted multi-media artist.  His main means of expression are photography and digital manipulations.  Early in his career, Peeter began to critically examine mass media and commercialism following Estonia’s emergence from the Soviet dictatorship.  Soon afterwards, he began to explore the ecology of human life as just one of many equal components in the global ecosystem.  Peeter moved his practice to the forest where he combines the values of a natural and sustainable existence with state-of-the-art technology.  This is reflected in both his lifestyle and his work. Peeter’s current focus examines a world where humans are not at the centre of existence but instead are part of a larger community of conscious creatures. His work has been exhibited in many public and private collections and several of his large-scale pieces have been installed in public spaces. With the re-establishment of Independence in 1991, the Baltics escaped the old Soviet restrictions. With this new freedom of expression, came a political and social upheaval that has allowed the arts to flourish.  Estonia’s thriving arts scene has resulted in a blossoming of museums, galleries and arts hubs to showcase the resulting cultural outpouring.  Peeter Laurits will give a series of artist talks across Ontario about his career as well as the vibrant Estonian art scene. 


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Marko Mäetamm is an Estonian multimedia artist, working within the mediums of videodrawing and the internetMäetamm began studying graphic art at the Estonian Academy of Arts in 1988 and received his M.A. from the academy in 1996. Mäetamm also studied practicing print technologies at the Swedish Royal Art High School. His professional art career spanning over two decades, Mäetamm emerged as one of the most prominent artists in Estonia upon graduating from Estonian Art Academy. Marko Mäetamm has exhibited internationally since the 1990s and represented Estonia at the 52nd Venice Bienniale in 2007 and in 2003 as a part of artists duo John Smith (with Kaido Ole). Throughout his practice, the artist’s primary focus has been on family life, which he has explored though videos and paintings. Treating the family as a microcosm of a wider socio-political and economic models, Mäetamm collects petty every-day situations, presenting them filtered through a prism of his unmistakable dark humour. Partly inspired by his own private life, Mäetamm’s work explores the grey area where ambiguous feelings of being in control and being controlled merge.

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