Artist in Residence

Overview of Artist in Residency at St Andrew’s Wesley United Church:

Art in all forms provides a potent language for us as human beings to explore awe, wonder, loss, love, suffering and mystery. At St Andrew’s Wesley, we feel a deep sense of gratitude to artists. Artists feed our souls and imaginations, name inequities and challenge political systems, inspire and delight, and teach us to move beyond our own experiences, beliefs and ideas.

In our own way as a church, we generate and participate in art with our music, architecture, weavings, stained glass, writing, sermons, and our hosting of artistic events that aim to create and widen the sacred container of our lives. We are now launching our second year of our artist in residence program for a visual artist or writer to accompany our church so we can: a) actively support the arts in our community and b) co-create and engage both our congregation and the wider city in a dialogue around spirituality, justice and the arts.

Goals and purpose:

  • To open people of all ages and stages to the intersections between art and spirituality, and to provide an opportunity for community engagement with the arts
  • To provide a supportive space for an artist to continue to explore and create while receiving financial support to enable that work
  • To enrich Vancouver’s downtown core with more art and art that is accessible regardless of financial status
  • To further an ongoing dialogue between spirituality, justice and the arts

Scope of work:

This residency will partly support existing and ongoing work of the artist and ideally will also result in the creation of one “piece” from their time interacting with St Andrew’s Wesley and the wider community. However, equally important is that the artist, working with the support of the ministry team and volunteers, create weekly and/or monthly community engagement opportunities for the wider community. This might include workshops, artist talks, community art projects and collaborations with community partners.

The artist will work directly with Rev Rhian Walker, in particular around the community engagement pieces. The artist will be responsible for any community engagement design and execution, and will manage class lists, some communications, installations of any pieces for the residency and some social media. They will receive marketing, administrative and operations support from St Andrew’s Wesley to do this work.

 St Andrew’s Wesley will retain ownership of the commission unless otherwise negotiated with the artist, though the artist has full permission to use the work in their portfolio.  

Values and collaborative approach:

We commit to providing the artist with a warm, inclusive, supportive and open environment where they can bring their full selves. We commit to open and honest communication, curiosity and respect for beliefs, traditions and expressions of Spirit, including non-Christian traditions. We welcome diverse perspectives and beliefs, and continue to affirm the sacredness of LGBTQ2IA bodies.

Timelines and Deadlines:

Applications accepted from Jan 1 2023- Feb 28 2023. Review, processing and short list of artists created by March 15. Interviews in March/April 2023. Announcement of successful application April 2023. Residency starts Aug 1 2023 and ends Dec 31 2023.

Application: NOW CLOSED


  1. The artist must be willing to be located in Vancouver or the surrounding municipalities. Artist ideally will be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Artists from other countries will be considered but all Visa and Canadian-residency requirements are solely the responsibility of the artist. POC, Indigenous, LGBTQ2IA, people living with disabilities and all communities who have traditionally faced systematic barriers to access to participating in the public art space are strongly encouraged to apply.
  2. For this year, we are seeking either a a) visual artist (painting, photography, sculpture, graphic art, etc), though if the visual artist is multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary, that is welcomed too or b) a writer (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc.,).  Collectives and troops are also welcome to apply but the stipend unfortunately cannot be increased.
  3. Community engagement is a key element of this grant. Applications should bring some experience in engaging communities or teaching workshops to non-artists as part of their skill set.
  4. The artist(s) don’t need to have a faith background or spiritual practice but must be comfortable and intrigued at working with a faith community. We hope to create an open and supportive environment where we can collaborate with honesty, respect and integrity.

Duration: Aug 2023-Dec 2023.

Residency: $2000 a month plus budget for materials of $3000 for a minimum of 20 hours of community engagement a month, plus the hours required to create at least one significant art piece/project that involves/engages the church and the wider community. If possible, studio space will be set aside in the church for the artist. Use of the venue for practices, performances, or studio work will be provided in dialogue with St Andrew’s Wesley United. Regretfully we cannot provide a live-in space and artists will need to secure their own accommodation.

Location: St Andrew’s Wesley United Church, 1022 Nelson street, Vancouver.

Questions: Please contact Rev Rhian Walker,