Independent Studio Program

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is committed to supporting research, creation, presentation, collaboration, dissemination of contemporary art and cultural practise. The gallery provides space to engage in arts-based research, activations, creative exploration of materials and process, community relations, and concept development through:

CVAG Next Door Residency is an independent studio practice initiated in 2020 by the Comox Valley Art Gallery.  Residencies are open to artists and curators engaged in contemporary interdisciplinary art practice. The gallery provides this opportunity as a way of supporting deep and sustained artistic practice during residency periods that are two – six weeks in length. More information can be found on the CVAG Next Door page.
During the current Public Health Order directives, the CVAG Next Door residency opportunities are limited. Contact the CVAG curators to discuss what might be possible.

CVAG Next Door Application Guidelines

Incubators at CVAG support artists, students and community with the opportunity to conduct research and to collaborate and engage with other artists/ students / wider community, as they develop their creative concepts and work in process.

Project Room Studio opportunities that occur throughout the CVAG spaces and offer artists dedicated time to do their work. Projects may be stand-alone or woven into the gallery’s thematic programming as preparatory inquiry and development for future exhibition work.  Occasionally, artists will open their space to community, informally or for specific events. Project Room Studio events are posted in the CVAG e-news, on CVAG’s web and social media sites.

CVAG Project Room Studio Facebook Album


CVAG Next Door – June 8 – 21, 2020:

ROCK PEOPLE / A Short VR Experience

Filmakers: Josephine Anderson & Claire Sanford

Time is huge, and it just keeps slipping into the future. An island rises from the ocean, and its inhabitants go about their life’s work – blasting, hauling, and shipping the rock on which they live. Framed as an immersive portrait of a tiny oceanic enclave called Texada Island, Rock People explores the elasticity of time, and the nature of how we spend ours.

Rock People is a short virtual reality experience that draws on documentary storytelling techniques to explore how time is spent in our resource extraction society.

During their independent residency, Josephine Anderson & Claire Sanford continue to develop an interactive virtual reality documentary using stereoscopic 360-degree video, ambisonic sound design, and animation. Artists are residing at CVAG next door and using the Project Room Studio as a working space.


December 13, 2019 – January 4, 2020:

beside / new work from NIC Fine Arts course Sculpture and Integrated Art Practices

Mona Baker / Janina Brugamn / bobbi denton / Tina Filippino / James Kormansek /
Bran Mackie / Rennee Poisson / Spencer Sheehan-Kalina / Kelly Wilson

Collective Statement – Working side by side, with clay, plaster, metal, video, text and wax we wove our processes together. We inspired and energized each other. Our individual understandings expanded through discussion, storytelling, critiques and sharing. 


untitled / new work in sculpture + mixed media + digital imaging / NIC Fine Arts Program students

Artists: Gabe Moore / Brandon St-Laurent / Cassidy Gehmlich

North Island College Fine Art students studying Sculpture and Integrated Practices have collated their work in an incubator project with the support of the Comox Valley Art Gallery. This is a visual representation, of a diverse group of artists, showcasing the primary creative concerns that they have worked throughout this past academic semester.

Event Page  
Facebook Album


August 6 – September 28, 2019:




Nadine Bariteau is at CVAG  until the opening of the exhibition UNCOVER on September 28, 2019. The artist is developing work that was begun at CVAG in 2018. 

“My intention for the residency at CVAG is to work on a new, two-part body of work. I recently started the Stitch series, using found plastic materials most specifically net bags from fruit packaging as a matrix for mono-printing. The series reuses consumer packaging as a way of researching shapes and forms; this process is akin to “sketching” for me and informs my work in other media.

The second part to this body of work is the realization of small models also made from found plastic materials. This Shelter series addresses a basic human right: shelter. My research focus is to explore the possibilities of reusing found materials to make art. Through the use of my chosen materials and the forms I am creating, I am meditating on two issues that are very important to me, and to society as a whole—homelessness and the profusion of waste. By creating shelters from recycled materials, I am exploring a scenario which addresses both problems: utilizing a material that is free and discarded, thereby highlighting the unaffordability of housing—a major issue in the homelessness crisis in Canada—and diverting plastic and a variety of materials from landfills.”

The intention during the residency will be to split my time between printmaking and sewing with the intention of building a human-sized version of a shelter with materials found in the Comox Valley.

Nadine Bariteau is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in sculpture/installation, video and printmaking. Her work as been presented in solo exhibition at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, Halifax, the Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, at the
University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, Open Studio in Toronto, at Latitude 53, Edmonton  and also at National Taipei University of Education in Taiwan. She also presented her work in selected group exhibitions, notably at, Rodman Hall Art Centre in St Catharines, Hamilton Art Gallery in Hamilton, Shengshi Art Centre in Beijin, Zhongshan National Gallery in Taiwan, Novosibirsh State Art Museum in Russia and the International Print Center in New York City. She was invited to present her project Crown for International Water Day at the New Museum in New York City. Her special project Do Angels Exist was commissioned to be shown in the downtown core for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2018. Her work can be seen in private and public collections including the National Library of Québec, Foreign Affairs Canada, Shengshi Art Centre, Bejing, China and Frans Masereel Center, Belgium. 
Bariteau is the founder of Studio Coyote a mobile printshop that engage with diverse communities she also teaches at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto, Nadine presently lives in the Comox Valley.

Nadine’s Project Room – Facebook Album

March 18 – July 13, 2019:



During her Project Room Studio at CVAG, Gillian Turner is developing a body of work for the upcoming exhibition Hold Being Held at the Comox Valley Art Gallery June 27 – September 7 2019.

Water that is safe to drink. Water to bathe in without risk of infection. Shelter providing protection and warmth. For much of my life, I have been fortunate to have had easy access to all of these. For many, these necessities are unaffordable luxuries. In February 2019, the CBC televised a short documentary on the peoples of Garden Hill, Manitoba, drawing attention to the 180 families residing there without potable water or electricity. My own community of Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island, has been on a boil water advisory since last December. With consideration of increased awareness towards the effects of climate change, population growth, and future worldwide potable water shortages, I am making small scale ceramic water cisterns and houses. It is my intention to build 180 of each, for installation during the Comox Valley Art Gallery group exhibition, Container/Contained. It is my wish that eventually all Canadian peoples, and all fellow earth dwellers, will have clean, safe water sources and humane safe shelter within which to live. By creating these objects, the intentions and hopes from within my heart and mind materialize and have presence within the tangible realm. Potential for good within myself connects to the potential and abilities of the materials, encouraging internal reflection and potential dialogue for an observer. My small ceramic forms are made of clay and are fired using atmospheric firing methods, with the intention that the naturally occurring decoration will provide a strong connection of the man-made vessels to the natural world. I am grateful.
– Gillian Turner

April 12 – 27, 2019:



Throughout April, I will activate GATHER:PLACE through interlacing research activities, collaborative actions, and conversations around gestures of hospitality. As this creative-research unfolds in a public forum, my intention is to establish a greater depth of understanding of how these elements operate in practice, pedagogy, and in public, and how they offer a range of ways of being and working in relation.

Through greater attentiveness and sustained commitment to local relevance, the centralization of gestures of hospitality supports nuanced modes of acknowledging, thinking, and practicing together through our differences. Curatorial hospitality engages reciprocity and a continual negotiation of the boundaries of guest-host relations, and through action and ethics, suspends the mythic singularity of the curatorial. This research intentionally puts name to actions to make visible, “to revive” (Somerset 2018), and to explore gestures of curatorial hospitality, wherein guest and host meet one another at the door, so to speak, both prepared to share in the responsibilities, to give and to receive, knowing that “all parties enter collaborations with expertise and that art historical expertise is no more valuable than other kinds of competencies” (Marstine 2014). Within the space of the curatorial, gestures of hospitality function as methodologies for engaged encounters, dialogue, collaboration, and care amongst artists, audiences, communities, and cultural workers. Audre Lorde reminds us: “Without community, there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not mean a shedding of our differences” (1983).

– Toby Lawrence

March 16 – 22, 2019:



During her Project Room Studio Artist Madeleine Wood will be essentially moving her studio practice to GATHER:PLACE as an experiment. By working in the downtown core she hopes to encourage dialogue and exchange with the community and welcomes visitors!

More than SUM
We have more than some. Home is more than the sum of its parts.
With this project, I’m responding to the notion of home, as a Vancouver transplant and first time homeowner. In More than SUM, I return to the surface of things and the immediacy of my surroundings, grounded in the tangible details of our renovated house and its property. I’ve been in the process of painting samples from the interior and exterior, contained in a grid pattern of 6” squares to construct a flat, dense, fragmented view. Universal cues are evident in some of the squares, while others are more abstract and obscure. I plan to add individual square panels to trail behind the rest, which could be anything from blank spaces to glimpses of the surrounding environment.
Fragmented, closely cropped images are typical of my work; an impulse borne of self-censorship in a postmodern age. I resist the traditional whole. The density and compression conveniently reflects my life experience: physically limited vision, chaotic family constellations, the clutter of interrupted thoughts and even the shape of my urban life. Today, the slowness of painting feels like an act of resistance against the rapid pace of digital media.

March 9 – 15, 2019:



Since 2014, Scott Bertram has been periodically exploring a body of work that is somewhat tangential to his primary artistic focus. This body of work consists of applying very fluid acrylic paint to a slick, polyester film surface with large scraping tools. This process creates complex interactions of form and colour that arise out of a few simple, repeated, and layered gestures.

Between March 9-15, Scott will be exploring this painting process further at the GATHER:PLACE studio and the public is invited to drop by Monday-Friday, 10-1pm.
Private viewings may also be arranged at alternate times by contacting

March 2 – 8, 2019:



Transparent Space + Star Language Divination Days Concurrent with the exhibition of work in the exhibition Approaching Painting, Carole Tompson, will engage in a Project Room Studio in GATHER:PLACE at the Comox Valley Art Gallery. During this time the artist will engage in research exploring the process of making multi-layered transparencies. Working experimentally with acrylic skins, additive crystalline substances, various media and pigments, she will explore their application on mylar and clear vinyl. A large scale hanging will be in progress in GATHER:PLACE along with Carole’s creative research.

February 23 – March 1, 2019:



Problem Solving and Art Chat with Robert Moon will present some of artist, Robert Moon’s past works including two short films “Breath” and “The Entire Trip” (circa 1974), and publications which feature art that he has created over a lifetime. Visitors will have an opportunity to meet with the artist while he is on-site in GATHER : PLACE Monday – Friday from 12PM – 1PM for “problem solving and an art chat”. Works by the artist will be presented in GATHER:PLACE and in the current exhibition approaching painting while he is on site and during gallery hours.

February 2 – 8, 2019:



Over the course of the week, Nicole will be experimenting with paper sculpture, as it relates to receiving watercolour paint and video projections of watercolour paintings; exploring the possibilities of sending her practice toward varied spatial dimensions that may or may not receive the transmissions.

January 26 – March 17, 2019:



Artist, Barb Hunt, will be on-site at the gallery for a Project Room Studio to continue development of an ongoing body of work. The gallery is sharing its resources, large working spaces and surfaces, to support the artist in her work.
The artist will extend invitations for the community to visit her during her working sessions. Contact CVAG for times or visit our Facebook page.

December 7 – 15, 2018:



Artist Nadine Bariteau will be in CVAG’s GATHER:PLACE for a Project Room Studio creative residency.
“Inspired by the junction that exists between the natural environment and that fabricated by the human hand, my practice proposes a subtle dialogue that lies somewhere between poetry and social awareness and strives to highlight various ways in which we connect with our surroundings. … my intention will be to cut, print and weave plastic in an attempt to research the best way to create a shelter.”
Visit the Restructure on the CVAG events page to learn more about Nadine’s Project Room Studio creative residency.

August 9-13, 2017:

Means of Exchange


Means of Exchange is a series of relational experiences and experiments. Each session includes meditations, creative self-explorations and conversations which invite you to open up about the topics that are hard to look at and harder to talk about. Thea creative research residency will invite Open Studio Visits, and is comprised of three sessions in which we’ll explore sex, money and death as means for radical politics, generative relationships and vibrant aliveness. Please visit the Means of Exchange event page for further information on the sessions.

July 17- 31, 2017:



Clea Minaker will be using the project room for creative residency from July 17- 31, 2017. She will create a research laboratory with kids and interactive experiments using ‘phenomena’ for an upcoming installation/performance with the working title Perception.

July 10 – 12, 2017 (9PM -12PM + 1PM – 4PM):

Making Art from ‘Un-Making’ Electronics


Providing an opportunity to build and explore art making and electronics ‘un-making’. Participants will be encouraged to explore how to disassemble broken electronics to then use in their art creations.

 May 19 – June 2, 2017:

TIMELESS – A Wild Blue Yonder


Jade de Trey and Methuselah Dancers will be developing a new dance performance in CVAG’s Project Room Studio. The collaborators will present the results of their dance research in a public performance entitled Timeless – A Wild Blue Yonder, on June 2 as part of the opening events for CVAG’s community show Image to Text to Image, starting at 7pm.

Timeless – A Wild Blue Yonder is a contemporary, creative and intuitive dance about Love, fear, birth and death, performed by Jade de Trey and the Methuselah Dancers. She and they  are a collective of creative and improvisational movement artists from the Comox Valley. More info at

April 28, 2017 (4PM – 7PM):

GATHER: Interactive Media Showcase 


“After many sleepless nights of art, coding, and design, we are elated to invite family, friends, and the professional community to celebrate the diverse talents of the 2017 North Island College Interactive Media graduating class. There will be a wide range of work on display featuring skills in graphic design, digital art, photography, UI/UX design, and web/mobile applications and designs.

Find us in the lower level of CVAG, in the new Project Room Studio, between 4 pm – 7 pm and share in the celebration!”

Facebook Album

March 23 – April 7, 2017:



On exhibition during PULL will be large scale paintings by Scott Bertram that were recently completed during his two week residency at the CVAG’s Project Room Studio. Scott’s artistic practice centres around ideas of improvisation, finding meaning within unintended stimuli, and playing with the dynamics of perception. The resulting images typically contain a degree of ambiguity, openness, and indeterminacy. More info can be found at

An improvised musical performance by the experimental band BIRCH will also take place during this event. BIRCH includes members Destanne Lundquist, Jesse Gentes, and Scott Bertram. More info can be found at

March 23, 2017 (6PM – 9PM):

Kitchen Party  


Join visiting artists Vida Simon, Jack Stanley, and Rita McKeough for a community potluck in CVAG’s new Project Room Studio. Also a guest appearance by BIRCH, featuring Jesse Gentes, Scott Bertram, and Destanne Lundquist.

Facebook Album

February 10 – 24, 2017:

Building Up The Body  


Nicole Crouch, an artist and art therapist, will be using the space to air her current body of work, researching, experimenting, altering and generating works.

Facebook Album