Artist in Residence

The City of Guelph Artist in Residence Program offers opportunities for artists to engage the public in creative experiences.

Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci (KIAM) were named this year’s Artist in Residence team

Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci (KIAM)

 Photo credit: Courtesy of Visit Guelph | Captured by Ward 1 Studios

KIAM’s project, titled #YourWard, used images of each of Guelph’s wards to create six large-scale paintings that explore transitions in the urban environment. Their artistic style uses thick layers of acrylic paint and gel mediums, photographs and washes to create mixed-media paintings that draw attention to contrasting perspectives on one canvas.

To complete the pieces, KIAM asked the community to provide images of #YourWard and hosted a number of outreach events over the summer months to engage with the community and collect a variety of images.

“We asked community members to think about the places that reside in their memories of Guelph that make them feel proud to live in their ward,” says Amanda.

The final pieces were unveiled at the Art Gallery of Guelph during Culture Days weekend and will be temporarily displayed at City Hall into the new year.

About KIAM

KIAM is a collaborative husband and wife artist team. Kiel and Amanda Wilson-Ciocci each hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Guelph. The duo offer art classes and workshops from their own studio, Art in the Ward. KIAM was one of 22 submissions for Artist in Residence, twelve of which were from other Guelph-based artists.

View Guelph’s wards

Artist opportunity

Earlier this year, the City of Guelph invited professional artists or artist teams to submit Expressions of Interest to be selected for the 2018 City of Guelph Artist in Residence program.

Program goals

  • creatively animate public space(s) – indoor, outdoor and online
  • provide opportunities for artists to engage with the public and showcase their creative practices
  • broaden the community experience of the arts
  • contribute to placemaking and civic pride


The City of Guelph will provide

  • assistance with any necessary permits for public space(s) (as appropriate);
  • access to municipal facilities and venues;
  • an opportunity for presentation and celebration at the end of the residency;
  • a budget which includes artist fees and funding to cover other costs directly related to the project;
  • promotional support (coordination of media releases, social media and promotional materials such as posters, postcards, signage etc.); and
  • recognition of the artist as the official City of Guelph Artist in Residence.

The selected artist will

  • commit to engaging community members in creative experiences;
  • deliver the selected project within the program’s timeline and budget;
  • provide regular progress updates to staff;
  • be available to speak with the media;
  • attend a debriefing session at the end of the residency period; and
  • supply a clear police vulnerable sector check.

As part of the program, the artist will be expected to undertake a selection of the following, to be agreed upon between the City and the Artist over Culture Days weekend, September 28 – 30, 2018:

  • Public talk
  • Public workshop or activity
  • Public exhibition/display of completed work

Scope of work

The artist’s project for this collaborative, community-based arts initiative should engage the residents and visitors of Guelph, add significance to civic spaces, and promote an appreciation of contemporary art practices.

Expressions of Interest should outline the project concept briefly and indicate if the project is intended for a specific location.

While the artist’s process is as important as the resulting artistic products, projects should produce an outcome such as, but not limited to, a temporary installation, performance, recording, collection, creative collaboration, exhibition or community experience that can be shared and celebrated with the public.

Eligibility requirements

Professional artists or artist teams working in any medium or discipline are eligible to apply. Artists should have proven experience engaging the public and working collaboratively with community members or other artists. They must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, and be 18 years of age or older.

Previous City of Guelph Artists in Residence and City of Guelph employees are not eligible to apply. Preference will be given to Guelph-based artists.

Fundraising activities are not eligible.


The total all-inclusive budget available for the selected artist is $6,500 and includes, but is not limited to, all costs associated with the creation and implementation of the public art project:

  • Artist fees (including research, administration and any travel expenses)
  • Materials (including any studio expenses, services or equipment)
  • Documentation, photography and/or video

Disbursements will be made throughout the project as per a negotiated schedule of deliverables.

Program timeline

The anticipated program timeline is outlined below and is based on a residency term of approximately 80 hours.

  • March 2, 2018 – Stage One submission deadline
  • March 13, 2018 – Selected candidates invited to apply for Stage Two
  • May 4, 2018 – Stage Two submission deadline
  • May 8 to 11, 2018 – Review of submissions and interviews (Applicants are asked to reserve these dates in their calendars.)
  • July 1 to October 1, 2018 – Approximate residency period

Applicants will be notified of their status as soon as the selection process is complete, approximately 2 weeks following the Stage Two deadline.

Selection process and criteria

The recommended artist(s) will be chosen through a two-stage selection process. The City’s Public Art Advisory Committee and City staff will review proposals based on program goals and selection criteria.

Stage One – Expression of Interest: Artists will be scored based on their previous body of work and experience; capacity to engage the community; ability to deliver work of high artistic quality on time and on budget; as well as their artist statement including a preliminary project proposal that is realistic and achievable and has a vision for community involvement.

Stage Two – Request for Proposals: Three shortlisted artists or artist teams will each receive a $250.00 honorarium upon submission of a detailed project proposal, timeline, and budget as part of Stage Two. Shortlisted artists will also be invited to participate in interviews as part of the review process.  They will be scored based on:

Qualifications and Experience (20%)

  • Experience, interests and talents as a professional artist complement the program
  • Demonstrated experience and inventiveness in working collaboratively with community members
  • Knowledge and skills required to facilitate, coordinate, and administer the project on time and on budget

Quality of proposal (40%)

  • Proposal has artistic merit
  • Proposal is innovative and unique
  • Proposal is realistic and achievable
  • Proposal responds well to the goals of the program

Realization of proposal (40%)

  • The proposed project will creatively animate public space(s)
  • Plans for cultural programming and community engagement are strong
  • The proposed project demonstrates a connection to the city and/or relevance to the citizens of Guelph
  • Proposal shows potential for impact in the community

Related pages

For more information

Jen Rafter, Cultural Program and Event Coordinator,
Culture, Tourism and Community Investment, Public Services
519-822-1260 extension 2629