The Campbell River Arts Council is launching an artist in residence program in the Walter Morgan Studio this summer, with two local artists taking the first residencies.
The first artist, writer Libby King, started writing after taking a writing course at Sybil Andrews Cottage. Her work is in various publications including PRISM International, Prairie Fire, Grain and Meanjin. Her goal for 2020 is to write a novel about the disintigration of platonic female friendships within a landscape influenced by new forms of memoir with the support of a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Orland Hansen is a sculptor who recently moved to Campbell River. Born in Aklavik, Northwest Territories, Hansen learned carving while living in a bush camp with his family at an early age. He started carving soapstone in 1992 and in a short period of time became an accomplished artist. Hansen has expanded to other mediums, including different types of stone, bone, horn and antler, and often combines the materials together in innovative ways. His sculptures can be found in private and corporate collections throughout Canada, the United States, Australia and Asia.
While big things were planned for the Walter Morgan Studio this summer, the council has had to walk back some of those plans in light of COVID-19.
“We had originally planned to begin an artist residency in 2020 that would aim to attract national interest and would include public workshops, talks and access to the resident artist, but Covid changed our plans,” said Ken Blackburn, Executive Director of the Campbell River Arts Council. “However we wanted to make use of the amazing studio space that we now have in the Walter Morgan Studio. The city completed renovations last fall. Even though we are in difficult days, the Studio, or ‘Shed’ as it has been called over the years, can be put to good use by local artists working on specific projects.”
The residency will not be open for public drop-in, but will be used instead as a working space for the development of the artists. It is hoped that as social distancing guidelines open up there may be opportunities for community interaction with the artists during the summer months.