Artist Talks Series

Learn from visiting professional artists. The NIC Artist Talk series invites Canadian contemporary artists to speak about their professional art practice.

NIC Artist Talk Series

The NIC Artist Talk is a lecture series that invites contemporary Canadian artists to speak about their professional art practice. It is an opportunity to meet professional artists and hear them speak first-hand about how and why they create their artwork. Each lecture is free and open to the public. The talks are one hour, followed by an open question and answer period.

The NIC Artist Talks create an opportunity for the enhancement of knowledge, and development of professional practice. Each professional artists must learn how to navigate the infrastructure of the visual art world — how to develop a robust studio practice, find their own voice within arts-based research, create successful applications for grants, exhibitions and residencies and cultivate relationships with fellow artists and curators to develop collaborative work and gallery shows. The career path of a professional artist is unique to the individual, the Artist Talks offer insight on how artists navigate the various obstacles and seek opportunities.

As our program is interdisciplinary, we invite artists from a wide range of disciplines: painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography, new media, installation, collaborative and curatorial practices.

Upcoming Artists

Check back for details of the 2022 Winter Artist Talk Series!

Winter 2021 Visiting Artists

The Winter 2021 Artist Talk introduced a new, virtual format for the series. The transition allowed for the continuation of the series during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also providing increased flexibility in terms of dates, times and locations – with attendees able to access the series from across Canada and around the world.

The series kicks off with artist, writer and arts educator Jim Holyoak, who will speak Monday, Jan 25 at 6 pm. His practice is comprised of drawing, ink-painting, artists’ books and room-sized drawing installations, such as Quagmire. Read more

Raised in North Delta, BC, Sonny Assu discovered his Kwakwaka’wakw heritage when he was eight years old. This discovery became his art’s conceptual focal point.
His diverse practice includes painting, sculpture, photography, digital art and printmaking and is informed by Kwakwaka’wakw and Western principles of art making.
His work is often autobiographical and explores his family's history as a way to shed light on Canada's treatment of the First People. Read more

Justin Love is a multimedia artist and entrepreneur. His selected performances and installations include PrayStation, an interactive biometric swarm painting system that harnesses a user’s brainwaves to produce an image on a digital canvass, as well as Grand Theft Bicycle, an art installation that also functions as a video game for the user. Read more

Artist Kristin Nelson uses common objects to explore the complex social and political issues in the context of intellectual, artistic and manual labour. As a self-identified queer person with a disability, Nelson seeks to question the value of mass-manufactured objects by putting them through an artistic practice in the art gallery/commodity context. Read more

Sandra Meigs, is a past winner of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and professor emeritus of visual arts at the University of Victoria. Meigs is known for a vivid, immersive, and enigmatic style that combines “complex narratives with comic elements,” according to her artist biography. She has also inter-woven sculpture, film, sound, and other media in her works. Read more

Scott Amos and fellow artist David Parfit make up the Victoria-based team Monkey C Interactive, which has wowed audiences with installations and interactive sculptures ranging from a towering LED cube that reacts to movement to a five-storey musical stairwell. Amos, who wears the jokingly self-bestowed title “Mostly Harmless Mad Scientist,” takes apart and rewires old technology into the hardware for Monkey C Interactive’s new creations. Read more

Sean Caulfield, a centennial professor in the University of Alberta’s Department of Art and Design, has exhibited prints, drawings installations and artist’s books extensively throughout Canada, the US, Europe and Japan. His work has also featured in prominent public and private collections, including Houghton Library at Harvard University, the Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas. Read more

Kim Dorland is known for his striking use of western Canadian landscape in his work. Hailed by some as the 21st-century answer to Canada’s Group of Seven, Dorland’s striking style pushes the boundaries of painted representation through an exploration of memory, material, nostalgia, identity and place. Read more…

Connie Michele Morey is an artist whose work tackles the relationships between displacement, resource management and mismanagement, labour and housing.
Her work Project Homesick and Roof (Over My Head) makes use of site-specific performative structures made primarily of reclaimed wood and repurposed wool blankets and draws on her childhood experiences living rurally off the land, surrounded by masonry, construction and textile practices. Read more…

Vancouver-based painter Fiona Ackerman describes her artistic style as changing to the mood or concepts of the projects she is working on.
“Over the years, my work has seen many different stylistic evolutions,” she said. “I see my arc of work much like that of an author. Each series is like a new book, different in tone, style and story. But they are all part of a larger archive, and each a meaningful piece of the whole.”
Ackerman was longlisted for the Sobey Prize in 2015 and received an honourable mention for the Kingston Prize for Canadian Portraiture in 2009.
Read more…

Anna Gustafson’s artistic practice combines a spare aesthetic with a sincere use of materials and rigorous methodology. The artist works with a limited palette and a restricted vocabulary of natural materials and found objects.
“As we consume the earth’s resources to manufacture and power ‘invented-needs’ consumer products, we destroy ecosystems,” Gustafson explains in her summary of the work. “These often-ignored pieces of our contemporary culture are then consigned to landfills, further continuing this devastation. In response, I enshroud discarded small appliances in old linen, a manner historically used to prepare the dead for burial.” Read more…

Acclaimed Comox Valley photographer, artist and world traveller Boomer Jerritt’s work is found in various tourism initiatives and publications throughout BC and across North America. Jerritt’s work takes him abroad as a photographer-in-residence for One Ocean Expeditions in the summer and fall months. A recent compilation of work, Antarctica-In Depth, includes video and photographic stills from four years’ travel in Earth’s southernmost continent, highlighting the region’s stark landscape, colossal icebergs and polar wildlife, including penguins, whales and seals. Read more…

Victoria-based artist Samantha Dickie is known for her abstract, minimalist approach to ceramics. The contemporary ceramic artist has fostered an artistic practice over the past two decades that prioritizes the natural beauty of imperfection by preserving the raw, visceral and tactile beauty of clay through textural surfaces and abstract forms. Over the past 15 years, her practice includes various residencies in Canada and abroad and receiving national and provincial grants to create large-scale projects for exhibitions in public galleries across Canada. Read more…

Beth Cavener’s sculptures focus on human psychology, stripped of context and rationalization, and articulated through animal and human forms. In the words of her bio: “I want to pry at those uncomfortable, awkward edges between animal and human. Entangled in their own internal and external struggles, the figures express frustration for the human tendency towards cruelty and lack of understanding. Something conscious and knowing is captured in their gestures and expressions.”

Renowned Quebec-based ceramicist Rachel Grenon’s work is presented in public and private galleries in Canada and internationally, was one of the artists representing Canada at the 2009 International Craft Biennale in South Korea. She took part in Comox Valley Art Gallery’s Creative Residency program in 2019, creating the site-specific clay based work: Water Effect mama et bota, and leading three art projects at the Comox Valley Art Gallery.

Barb Hunt’s art practice integrates installation and textiles to examine the construction of gender, violence, domesticity, and the rituals of everyday life, as well as recent work focusing on the natural environment. Hunt’s work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and internationally. Read more…

Paul Walde is an artist, composer, and curator. Walde’s body of work suggests unexpected interconnections between landscape, identity, and technology. Walde is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Department Chair at the University of Victoria, and in 2018, the recipient of the UVic REACH Award for Creativity and Artistic Expression. Walde is also a founding member of Audio Lodge, a Canadian sound art collective and EMU Experimental Music Unit a Victoria-based sound ensemble. Read more…

Steves is an interdisciplinary artist and teacher whose work frequently explores the narratives of place and draws connections between people and the spaces in which they exist. Her work is influenced by the crafts of her childhood.
“Embroidery, knitting, crochet, drawing, string games, story-telling and handwriting all share a repetitive quality that binds people to place,” said Steves in her artist statement. “I am interested in the ways that this repetition, through re-learning and re-telling in various spatial and community contexts, can reveal difference while providing a sense of stability in a constantly shifting world.” Read more…

Award-winning visual artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ career spans decades and bridges the worlds of art, writing, political communication and cross-cultural engagement. Yahgulanaas created the art form “Haida Manga”, which combines Haida and Asian artistic influences. Yahgulanaas’ visual practice encompasses a variety of forms including watercolours, acrylics, mixed media sculptures, re-purposed automobile parts and illustrated publications. His work can be found across the globe, including the British Museum, Seattle Art Museum and Vancouver Art Gallery. Read more…

One of Canada’s most influential painters, Landon Mackenzie is an artist “well known for her technique of mapping human experience, giving form to physical and psychological spaces through a layering of references and challenging play with visual representation,” Read more…

Mowry Baden, a giant in the Canadian art world, Baden boasts an exhibition and teaching career that spans more than half a century. His work includes harnesses, furniture, rooms, pathways and catwalks, “all with the goal of impinging upon the viewer’s movements and awakening a physical self-awareness that was previously unconscious,” according to his official biography. Read more…

Scott Bertram is an abstract painter whose practice centres on ideas of improvisation, finding meaning within unintended stimuli and playing with the dynamics of perception. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions at Two Rivers Art Gallery in Prince George; the Forest City Gallery in London, Ont.; and Galerie BAC in Montreal. Read more…

Skeena Reece is an award-winning coastal First Nations artist fluent in multiple mediums. Reece comes from Tsimshian Territory, born of Métis/Cree and Tsimshian/Gitxsan descent. She has worked in the arts since 1996, broadening a multi-disciplinary practice that includes performance art, spoken word, writing, singing, ‘sacred clowning’ – a performance of a character who often says or does uncouth things to impart wisdom – and video arts. Read more…

Kelly Richardson is recognised as a leader within a new generation of artists working with digital technologies to create stunning landscape portraits. Richardson’s work has been widely acclaimed within North America, Asia and Europe, with recent one-person exhibitions at galleries and contemporary arts spaces like CAG Vancouver, VOID Derry, Vienna’s Natural History Museum and Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. Read more…

Leong uses the language of landscape to explore hybridity between disparate experiences of space and place.
Drawn from observation and influenced by historical Chinese art forms, his work investigates the interconnectedness of the land and the subjectivity of human experience. Read more…

Artist and teacher Clive Powsey has exhibited in solo and group shows since 1981. His acclaimed watercolour paintings have been seen around the world and have won multiple awards. Powsey also worked in animated film and television from 1985 to 2016 as an art director and background artist for companies like Walt Disney Animation Canada and the award-winning animation studio Nelvana Ltd. Read more…

Cook was born in Alert Bay on Vancouver Island. The natural beauty of his surroundings served as inspiration in his early years, as did his grandparents, whom he credits for instilling important life and cultural values. He has solidified his status as a talented artist in several mediums, including wood sculpture, metal work and painting. He trained under mentors in Italy and New York and his works can be seen in galleries in the US, Canada and around the world. Read more…

A multi-disciplinary artist, Bariteau is known for her practice in printmaking, sculpture, installation and video performance. She studied at Concordia University in her hometown of Montréal, then earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at York University. She currently lives in Toronto and teaches printmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Read more…

Tang is one of Vancouver’s most dynamic young artists, winning the Mayor’s Arts Award for Craft and Design in 2017. Born in Ireland to Trinidadian parents, Tang moved to Canada at age five. He studied art on both Canadian coasts and the American Midwest. One of his calling cards is the fusion of traditional elements of art, such as ceramics, with techno-pop components. Read more…