Open Call

Plastic | Visual Arts Thematic

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

With Funding
Banff, Canada


Residencies offer a structured program where visual artists, curators, and other arts professionals come together to create work and discuss pertinent themes. Through peer interaction, discussion groups, studio work, formal lectures, and studio visits from world-renowned visiting faculty, artists and curators, participants gain new ideas and insights that can be applied to creative exploration and professional development of their work. We invite makers and thinkers to reimagine their relations with this now fundamental material, to explore processes of recycling and reconstituting, and to pay attention to the uneven materialities of plastic and its affordances as an artistic material. This program is designed for participation over the entire period. Variable dates will not be considered.

Number of Participants

This residency is open to visual artists, curators, and academics. Applicants should have completed formal training in visual arts or a field related to this program at the post-secondary level, and should demonstrate a history of exhibitions, publications, and projects. Collectives of no more than two people are welcome to apply.


Selection Results (Announcement Dates)


July 20, 2020 - August 21, 2020


  • CA$2,373.00 stipend (one-time)


  • CA$65.00 application fee
  • CA$5,346.00 program fee (one-time)


Ceramic Facility, Gallery, Individual Studio, Installation Space, Library, Print Shop, Sculpture Facility, Wood Shop


Private Room, Shared Room


Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch


Conceptual Art, Crafts & Trades, Curatorial, Fiber Arts, Makers, Public Art, Sculpture, Visual Arts


No languages listed

Program Description

Plastic is everywhere, and is increasingly an object of environmental concern. However, it also provides the basis of our contemporary infrastructures including buildings, clothing, and communications networks. Despite the necessary campaigns for the elimination of single-use plastics, it is a material that cannot be easily dismissed. Plastic is one of the most intimate manifestations of our connections with oil, as it is used in everything from baby bottles to sex toys. It is also one of the foremost materials used in the production of contemporary art, from moulds to vinyl to paints. This residency explores how we might reconfigure our relations to plastic, seeing it as a material of potential connection, of resilience, of queer productivity without denying its immediate and devastating environmental consequences. What might happen if we thought of plastic as incredibly valuable material, rather than as immanently expendable?

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