Welcome to the Capacitor project, a programming channel and artist residency for Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming artists and digital creators with a connection to Saskatchewan hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collections. Funded through the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now Program, the Capacitor project is intended to build space and capacity in the arts community for trans people who have disproportionately experienced violence, misrepresentation, and exclusion within the province and its art spaces. Keep and eye on this page for updates as the project develops.

Capacitor Info Session

Submissions are now open! If you are interested in applying to be part of the project but need a little help putting your application together, check out this recorded info session from April 7th, 2022, with Art Auntie Jaye Kovach. If you still have questions or concerns you may also contact Jaye directly at art.auntie@usask.ca.

Call for Artists and Digital Creators

Are you a Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, or gender nonconforming artist or digital creator with a connection to what is colonially known as Saskatchewan?

Consider applying to be part of the Capacitor project, a programming channel and artist residency hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collections. Funded through the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now Program, the Capacitor project is intended to build space and capacity in the arts community for trans people who have disproportionately experienced violence, misrepresentation, and exclusion within the province and its art spaces.

Resources:

Successful applicants will be offered the following:

  • A $2000/month stipend for a period of six months.
  • Six months of benefits (including prescription and dental).
  • Access to an accountant.
  • Weekly meetings with the Art Auntie.
  • A public studio visit conducted over Zoom.
  • The opportunity to showcase their practice on the Capacitor website.
  • Workshops and other training opportunities in correspondence to one's practice.

Participant’s expectations during the project:

While participants are encouraged to take advantage of all the project has to offer, they are under no obligation to produce or show their work. We believe, and universal basic income (UBI) programs have demonstrated, that when given time, support, and access to a livable wage, artists will be productive. We further believe that the metrics that define productivity are fraught and rooted in capitalist, colonial and ableist worldviews. 

Eligibility criteria:

Applicants must:

  • have a connection to Saskatchewan and its communities.
  • be a Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, or gender nonconforming person.
  • be invested in their artistic growth and practice.

The Capacitor project will prioritize applications from underserved artists and digital creators who aren’t eligible for other funding opportunities or who have been denied funding in the past. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from those who are Black, Indigenous, or people of colour; who are intersex; who are disabled, blind, d/Deaf, or hard of hearing; who reside outside of major metropolitan centres including the cities of Regina and Saskatoon. 

Application Deadline: May 15th, 2022 at 11:59 pm CST

How to apply: 

Apply online by filling out the following form: https://forms.gle/XN4jLcKk7cMyhDfu7 

Or

Record a short video presentation and email it to art.auntie@usask.ca with “Capacitor Application” in the subject line. Please be sure to answer the following questions:

  • Tell us about yourself. Who are you? Where are you from? What is your connection to Saskatchewan and its communities?
  • Tell us about your practice. What do you do and why? Why are you interested in the Capacitor project? How would you spend your time if you were selected to participate in the project?
  • Show us some examples of your work.

You may apply on your own behalf or nominate someone else. We strongly encourage equity-seeking organizations to nominate the artists and digital creators they serve and work with.

Please direct any questions or comments you may have to Jaye Kovach, art.auntie@usask.ca

Capacitor Project Launch

On March 31st, 2022, this International Transgender Day of Visibility, the Capacitor project and its application process will be launched with an online panel discussion with members of the Capacitor Advisory Council exploring the processes, infrastructures and space making that have gone into the project thus far, and to celebrate its remarkable presence and positionality within Saskatchewan’s arts ecology.

Join us on Zoom this Thursday, March 31st, at 7:00 pm CST. Register online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/international-transgender-day-of-visibility-capacitor-project-launch-tickets-306068086887?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch

Introducing the Capacitor Project and the Art Auntie

The Capacitor project is a programming channel and artist residency for Two Spirit, trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming artists and digital creators with a connection to Saskatchewan hosted by the University of Saskatchewan Art Galleries and Collections. Funded through a 100k grant from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Now Program, it is intended to be a pilot project to produce the space and capacity necessary for a community that has disproportionately experienced violence, misrepresentation, and exclusion within the province and its art spaces.

The project has been developed by the community in parallel with USAGaC through the creation of the Capacitor Advisory Council. The council has been meeting regularly to develop the project and its processes through active conversation and reciprocal exchange. It was determined that the traditional structures of management and curation needed to be expanded and clearly identified within an ethics of care. This has resulted in the creation of a new contractual position within the galleries, Art Auntie

The Art Auntie will serve as the primary contact for the Capacitor project as well as a conduit between the Capacitor Advisory Council, the USAGaC staff, and the 4 artists that will be selected to participate in the project through both nominations and an open call. The advisory council recommended Jaye Kovach of Treaty 4 (Regina, Saskatchewan) to take on this important work. Jaye will be serving a leadership role within the galleries that is dedicated to this project specifically. We are excited to welcome her onboard and extremely grateful to the Capacitor Advisory Council (Cat Haines, Evie Ruddy, respectfulchild, John G. Hampton, and Hagere Selam 'shimby' Zegeye-Gebrehiwot) for the generative and extremely generous work they have done on this project to date.

On March 31st, 2022, this International Transgender Day of Visibility, the Capacitor project and its application process will be launched with an online panel discussion exploring the processes, infrastructures and space making that have gone into the project thus far, and to celebrate its remarkable presence and positionality within Saskatchewan’s arts ecology.

Art Auntie Bio

Jaye Kovach (Treaty 4/Regina)

Jaye Kovach (she/her; they/them) is a queer, disabled, butch trans woman, and a multimedia and performance artist living as a white settler on Treaty 4 Terrirtory (Regina, Saskatchewan). She graduated from the University of Regina in 2013 with a BFA in Visual Art. Since then, their practice has expanded to include a growing tattoo business that, using trauma informed approaches, centers creating a safe space and comfortable tattooing experience for marginalized bodies. (To see more of Jaye's tattoo work, follow @ihaveasickness on Instagram.)

Jaye’s work has received local and national recognition. In 2019, she was featured in the spotlight section of Canadian Art’s FEMME issue. In 2020, they attended the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency. Her performance work has been presented at Queer City Cinema/Performatorium, a queer media and performance art festival based in Regina, Saskatchewan, that attracts international artists and film makers. They perform as part of Homo Monstrous and Forced Femme, bands that blur the line between music and performance art. She is a current participant of Tender Container’s Peer Mentorship Platform, Do Trans People Dream of Nonbinary Sheep?.

Meet the Capacitor Advisory Council

Cat Haines (Treaty 4/Regina)

Photograph by Jaye Kovach.

Cat Haines is an emerging academic and artist weirdo based in Regina, Treaty 4, with a practice that focuses on transmisogyny and the societal and individual consumption of trans women's bodies.

Evie Ruddy (Treaty 4/Regina)

Evie Johnny Ruddy is a trans non-binary white settler living in Treaty 4. They are a socially engaged, interdisciplinary artist and PhD student in Cultural Mediations at Carleton University. As a PhD Fellow with the Transgender Media Lab, Evie is researching feminist lab ethics and helping to develop an online database of film and audiovisual works made by transgender, non-binary, Two Spirit, intersex, and gender non-conforming artists. Their doctoral research investigates improvisation as a method for ethical co-creation between media artists and trans collaborators.

John G. Hampton (Treaty 4/Regina)

John G. Hampton (they/them or he/him) is a curator, artist, administrator, and current Executive Director and CEO of the MacKenzie Art Gallery. They hold a Masters of Visual Studies – Curatorial Studies from the University of Toronto, and a BA in Visual Arts from the University of Regina. John is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, the United States, and Canada, and grew up in Regina. They have previously held positions as Executive Director of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Artistic Director of Trinity Square Video, and Curator at Neutral Ground Artist Run Centre. In addition to their role at the MacKenzie, Hampton holds an adjunct curator appointment at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto, adjunct professorship at the University of Regina, and is a member of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective board of directors.

respectfulchild (Treaty 6/Saskatoon)

respectfulchild is an interdisciplinary artist born, raised, and living as an uninvited guest on Treaty 6 Territory. Rooted primarily in sound and composition with their violin, their practice openly engages with any medium that best serves their creative expression. Their work explores the quiet tensions and chaotic beauty of being a queer Chinese-Malaysian settler on the prairies, opening up space for intimate reflection and community dialogue.

The name respectfulchild is the literal translation of their Mandarin name 敬兒[jìng er]. This name was given to them by their grandmother when they were born, a name and a culture they’ve been estranged from having lived their whole life in the predominantly white world of the Canadian Prairies. respectfulchild is their space to seek meaning in 敬兒 again.

Hagere Selam "shimby" Zegeye-Gebrehiwot (Treaty 4/Regina)

Photograph by Delf T. Gravert.

Hagere Selam "shimby" Zegeye-Gebrehiwot is an artist, administrator, and writer born in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 and based in Regina, Treaty 4. Their research and community building practices centre queer, feminist, bipoc, and analog moving image futures. Currently, they are the Executive Director at the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative, co_Director of WNDX Festival of Moving Image and guest editor of the forthcoming Art&Wonder publication.

Get In Touch

Please direct all project inquiries to art.auntie@usask.ca.