Call for Emerging Artists – Elemental Festival 2017

4elements Living Arts welcomes proposals from emerging artists who would like to participate in this year’s Elemental Festival in Kagawong | Gaagigewang on Mnidoo Mnising |Manitoulin Island.

Elemental Festival is a site-specific multi-arts gathering that occurs annually during the salmon run in the fall. Our small village centers around the Kagawong River that runs over Bridal Veil Falls and empties into Mudge Bay at the northern side of the island. Billings Township has a population of approximately 500 year- round residents, living in a stunning northern Ontario location, on the North Channel of Lake Huron. Its closest neighbouring community is M’Chigeeng First Nation, one of six First Nation Territories on Manitoulin Island.

This year, we invite proposals for temporary sculptural installations, film/new media works and writing, that consider questions of land, and land-use history. We are particularly interested in the relations between the land, environmental change, and reconciliation given the impact of settlement, forestry, farming, and Treaty history, on Manitoulin Island in particular. How has colonization shaped how we understand the land? What are relations between environmental issues and Treaties? How do we re/claim land through land-based practices, art and art-making? Festival engagements will encourage consideration of the relations between land, environment/environmental change and reconciliation; they will acknowledge the important role of the many cultural communities within and adjacent to Billings Township: the French, the English, and the First Nations (Ojibwe, Odaawaa and Pottawottami).

With the support from federal Canada 150 funding, 4elements and Billings Township will see 7 permanent public sculptures and 40 heritage plaques installed throughout the Township this year, creating a ‘Billings Art and Heritage Trail’. Six artists have been chosen via an extensive community engaged selection process; the 7th sculpture will be designed via a 4elements’ facilitated community collaborative design process. All permanent works will be installed by end of summer 2017 and will be ‘unveiled’ during Elemental Festival.

The emerging artist(s) selected from this call are asked to enter into a dialogue with one of the new permanent works as well as the curatorial theme, to challenge the idea that permanent public installations are static. Rather, we propose that the permanent works present entry points into a complex, multi-layered discussion and should act as provocations for discussion to be picked up and carried forward by community members, and in this case, the selected emerging artist(s). For further information about our village, the curatorial theme, or the selected permanent sculptures to respond to email: patricia@4elementslivingarts.org.

The selected emerging artists will receive an artist honorarium of $1000, plus accommodation if non-local. Artists must be able to attend the festival and arrive in time to complete installation a day prior to the festival opening. All applications are welcome and in particular, Francophone and First Nations artists are encouraged to get in touch.