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Announcing ANDREW MCPHAIL as the 2023 NAX recipient

“In Tallinn I’m hoping to connect with the arts community and help to create links between them and artists here in Hamilton,” 
-Andrew McPhail

As an artist, McPhail’s talents extend to drawing, sewing, sculpture, textiles, photography, installation and performance art. Much of his artwork is wonderfully outrageous. It is also born out of a need to address acts of violence directed at gender-diverse people. And McPhail’s art gives voice to people with HIV and AIDS. He’s been living with HIV for more than 25 years ...

Follow @NAXhamilton on Instagram for updates on Andrew's residency!

The Cotton Factory in partnership with Hamilton Arts Council and Estonian Artists’ Association offers the Nordic Artist Exchange (NAX) program.

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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 accommodation of both an apartment and studio, with the associated benefits of being introduced to the many facets of the Estonian arts scene. This is an opportunity to deepen your creative processes and build relationships with international creatives and artists.

Image from NAX recipient Lisa Pijuan-Nomura (2022)

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. You will be provided with an apartment and studio that will be situated in the Old City of Tallinn close to many galleries and artist studios.

While in Estonia you will be partnered with an artist liaison that will help you navigate the city and the art scene in Tallinn, Estonia.

About the NAX program

Initiated in 2017, the Cotton Factory’s Nordic Artist Exchange Residency provides a mid-career level visual artist from Hamilton, Ontario, the opportunity to create new works in the inspiring artist studio provided by the Estonian Artists Association in Tallinn, Estonia over a four to six week period in September/October 2023. 


The vision of this residency program is to build and strengthen cultural connections between Europe and Canada by providing an opportunity for Hamilton artists to work in Europe and meet local artists in the vibrant Estonian arts scene. The residency is hosted by The Cotton Factory in partnership with  Hamilton Arts Council and the Estonian Artists Association. 


The residency provides an opportunity for professional and artistic development through access to facilities to create new work; engagement with local artists through the Estonian Artists Association; and includes the opportunity to teach workshops or give artists talks while in Tallinn.


The residency will provide a $500.00 CDN ($350 Euro) per week stipend, accommodation in a live/work studio, travel to and from Tallinn, Estonia from Hamilton, Ontario, and a production allowance for material costs between $300-$500 CDN dollars.


Upon return to Hamilton, the artist will be asked to give an artist talk based upon their NAX experience.

For any questions about the program, please email

Images from NAX recipient Lisa Pijuan-Nomura (2022)

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.

2022 Artists

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For the past 30 years, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura has immersed herself in the world of performance and visual arts 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. They have initiated several long-standing cultural projects including The Hamilton 7 Storytelling Collective, RED: A Night of Live Performance, FOOL: Festival of Oral Literatures, and The Artist Is In (A Public Performance of Art and Craft); demonstrating Lisa’s long standing interest in creating fresh connections between artists and new ways of connecting with audience. “I have always felt that unconventional connections create magical art. In my experience as a curator, storyteller and artist, some of the best art happens when you bring two very different worlds together,” says Lisa. Discover more about Lisa here.

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Johanna Ulfsak (M.A.) is an artist and textile designer based in Tallinn, Estonia whose works are part of the permanent collection of the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design. Her work is presented as artworks in gallery exhibitions and as non-seasonal collections of design and fashion objects. Ulfsak combines and mixes traditional weaving techniques with contemporary art concepts to create unique items and installations that challenge the established boundaries between disciplines. She is a guest lecturer at the Estonian Academy of Arts. You can find out more about Johanna’s work here.

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KÄRT OJAVEE (Ph.D.) is an artist, designer and lecturer. Her work is focused on future, concepts of textiles and materials. She experiments with new technologies and traditional textile fabricating techniques, testing the borders of both disciplines. In 2013, she defended her dissertation “Active Smart Interior Textiles: interactive soft displays” at the Estonian Academy of Arts, supervised by Maarja Kruusmaa at the Centre for Biorobotics.

Besides working on her own practice, Ojavee is currently a research fellow at the Estonian Academy of Arts’ Interior Architecture Department where her focus is on experimental biomaterials and living materials. Ojavee’s recent projects and exhibitions include installation at Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan: the Paljassaare Chapter at the Kai Art Center, textile installation Save As in collaboration with Johanna Ulfsak at the Espoo Museum of Modern Art, costume designs for Lehman Brothers theatre play at the Estonian Drama Theatre, directed by Hendrik Toompere and Estonian Games: TÖNK, a musical performance directed by Peeter Jalakas. You can find out more about Kärt’s work here.

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