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

Video from Tatu Capital of Culture (2024)

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Experience unparalleled opportunities for professional and artistic growth tailored specifically for mid-career artists. Delve into a dynamic environment that fosters creativity and innovation, with access to art facilities to bring your artistic visions to life.

Images from NAX recipient, Lisa Pijuan-Nomura (2022)

Engage with the vibrant Estonian arts community through the Estonian Artists' Association, forging connections and gaining invaluable insights. Plus, seize the chance to share your expertise by teaching workshops or delivering artist talks during your time in Tartu, the 2024 European Capital of Culture.

As a participant, you'll receive comprehensive support, including a generous $500.00 CDN ($350 Euro) per week stipend to cover living expenses, accommodation in a live/work studio for immersive artistic exploration, and seamless travel arrangements to and from Tallinn, Estonia from Hamilton, Ontario. Additionally, a production allowance ranging from $300.00 to $500.00 CDN ensures that you have the resources necessary to realize your creative vision. Don't miss this extraordinary opportunity to propel your artistic career forward. Apply now and embark on a transformative journey of artistic discovery and professional advancement.

Upon returning to Hamilton, the artist will be invited to deliver an artist talk reflecting on their NAX experience and have an exhibition of their work at The Cotton Factory. CARFAC fees will be covered for this exceptional opportunity.

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 2024. 


Our vision is to foster cultural bridges between Europe and Canada by facilitating artistic exploration and collaboration. The residency, supported by The Cotton Factory, Hamilton Arts Council, and the Estonian Artists' Association, offers access to studio facilities, engagement with local artists, and opportunities to share knowledge through workshops and talks. 


Experience unparalleled opportunities for professional and artistic growth tailored specifically for mid-career artists. Delve into a dynamic environment that fosters creativity and innovation, with access to art facilities to bring your artistic visions to life.


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.


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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