Canadian Architect

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RAIC Awards of Excellence: Allied Arts Medal / Special Mention

Since 2014, HCMA has hosted six Canadian artists at its studio for periods of several months each.

May 15, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Solid Liquid Ether was a site-specific dance piece choreographed by Heather Myers at a recently opened aquatic centre designed by HCMA. Photo: Black Rhino Creative

Solid Liquid Ether was a site-specific dance piece choreographed by Heather Myers at a recently opened aquatic centre designed by HCMA. Photo: Black Rhino Creative

HCMA Artist-in-Residence Program

Since 2014, HCMA has hosted six Canadian artists at its studio for periods of several months each. The Artist-in-Residence Program provides the opportunity for participants to pursue their artistic research, take advantage of resources at the HCMA studio and collaborate with the studio on projects.

Katherine Soucie experimented with circular knitting looms during her residency. Photo: HCMA

Katherine Soucie experimented with circular knitting looms during her residency. Photo: HCMA

Each artist is financially supported by HCMA with a materials budget and honorarium. HCMA aims to work with artists who look at relationships, connections, human interactions, human potential, social potential and social space—areas that their architectural team wants to explore in greater depth.

HCMA’s first artist in residence, Julien Thomas, developed and constructed The Faraday Café—a Vancouver coffee shop designed to repel wireless signals. Photographer Krista Jahnke, the next artist, constructed a portrait of Vancouver that reorganized Vancouver landmarks into a new configuration. The resulting mural, A Stable World That Will Last Forever, was displayed at the Olympic Village SkyTrain Station from January to April 2015.

When HCMA moved to its current location, it sought a memorable first installation for its new rotating lobby gallery. Artists Michael Rozen and Scott Sueme were invited to paint directly on to the studio walls, and were fully integrated with HCMA’s team for the duration of their residency.

Choreographer Heather Myers’ residency delved into the intersection of dance, architecture and film. This research resulted in a choreographed dance at the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre, an architectural project completed by HCMA in early 2016.

Scott Sueme and Michael Rozen at work on the Connections mural at the HCMA studio. Photo: HCMA

Scott Sueme and Michael Rozen at work on the Connections mural at the HCMA studio. Photo: HCMA

The firm’s most recent artist in residence temporarily transformed HCMA’s model workshop into a textile studio. Katherine Soucie specializes in the re-use of pre-consumer textile waste, using it to create clothing, accessories, interior products and 3D sculptural forms.

HCMA encourages artists to share their final piece with the public to ensure their work isn’t confined to the studio and staff. Some of the residencies have led to artist collaborations on architectural projects. But more importantly, the program has given HCMA new windows into the creative process. The goal is to stir debate, challenge assumptions and ultimately push the boundaries of traditional architecture practice.


:: Jury ::

It is very clear that this program has tremendous value. The presence of an artist-in-residence at the HCMA Studio is stimulating to the architects. It challenges their perceptions and broadens their perspective. The program is a source of inspiration to other firms, providing them with a model to emulate.



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