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Image: Photography by Nordic Artist Exchange artist Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay (2022) 


Hamilton Arts Council offers the Nordic Artist Exchange (NAX) program, in partnership with the Estonian Artists’ Association, funded through the generous support of The Cotton Factory.

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The NAX program is designed to expand the individual artistic practices and professional ambitions of mid-career visual and media 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

Program Eligibility

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

Program Eligibility


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. 

Photos provided by 2021 Recipient, Vanessa Crosbie Ramsay

2022 Artists

2021 Artists

2019 Artists

2018 Artists


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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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