FREE SPACE Artist Residency


*The FREE SPACE Self Directed Residency program and the Curatorial FREE SPACE program have been suspended due to COVID-19 and financial constraints. We are seeking funds to offer these programs again in 2024.

FREE SPACE – Self Directed Residency

The FREE SPACE – Self Directed Residency is a program offered by ACWR at ArtSpeak Gallery. It is an opportunity for regional artists to work on their art practice in a professional work space. This program offers the space and time for the advancement of your career and to strengthen your practice.

Each year we accept applications from artists and/or art collectives from our region. We encourage applications from emerging and newcomer artists (artists who moved to Canada in the past 7 years) or artists who identify as Anishinaabe, Lunaape, Haudenosaunee, Métis and / First Nations, Inuit in Canada. Projects that include two or more artists will be given preference, including artist collectives or ad-hoc groups.

The artist must be 18 years of age or older to participate. There is no application fee, but the selected artists are required to provide a key deposit of $50 at the start of their residency.

You don’t have to be a member to process your application.

Who: Suitable for artists of all disciplines
What: FREE SPACE | Self Directed Residency
When: TBD
Where: ArtSpeak Gallery


Check out our past FREE SPACE Residency participants below:

  • FREE SPACE Artist 2021: Teajai Travis

    Teajai Travis (he/him) is an Afro-Indigenous descendant of formerly enslaved peoples. Teajai is the Founder and Director of The Bloomfield House, the current chair of The Windsor Youth Centre and a board member with The Friends of the Court and Literary Arts Windsor.

    Teajai is currently working on a collection of poetry titled Born Enslaved: A Freedom Story, as well as a play and a collection of short stories of the same name. The work shares his Ancestors heroic journey from slavery to freedom. Inspired by the works of Nikki Giovanni, Dick Gregory, James Baldwin, Afua Cooper and Sal Williams, Teajai uses a poetic language to share the complexities of struggle and triumph from his unique lens.

    Twitter: @teajai7

    Facebook: @TeajaiTravis

  • FREE SPACE Artist 2019/2020: Lucas Cabral

    Lucas is an artist, curator, and arts administrator who has held positions in marketing/communications and community engagement at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, McIntosh Gallery in London, and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. Lucas is currently the Executive Director at Artcite Inc. in Windsor, Ontario.

    Recent curatorial projects include I Can Boogie But I Need a Certain Song at Artcite Inc. and If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It at McIntosh Gallery. Lucas contributed to the development of Inclusion 2025: A Practitioners Guide to Inclusive Museums, a project organized by the Royal Ontario Museum, Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Ontario Museum Association that aims to encourage public art institutions to meaningfully engage diverse communities.

    Through text, video, and sculpture, Lucas’ practice explores the ways we nourish/are nourished through intimacy and the dynamics that inform these exchanges.


    Instagram: caabral_

  • FREE SPACE Artists 2018/2019: Kristina Bradt & Abigail Roelens


    KRISTINA BRADT – is a visual artist residing in Windsor, ON and identifies as a narrator within her practice. Primary media includes sculpture, drawing, and digital media. Themes included in her work revolve around the study of people, their everyday surroundings, and the connections and interactions between the two. During her undergrad, Kristina was often drawn to industrial elements like sheet metal and found objects, but as time has passed her ideas have become more delicate and detail oriented utilizing digital rendering techniques including 3D design and ink drawings. Bradt has been continuously completing research over the past 2 years discovering how humans perceive and understand sound from the point of view of different senses, including touch and sight. Her other passion is the body of work that consists of ink drawings that continues to grow. She questions notions of fate and belief through the ongoing series of her line drawings.


    ABIGAIL ROELENS – is a recent graduate of the University of Windsor’s creative writing program. Her writing has appeared in print as part of Radish, one of Biblioasis’ chapbook series. As a writer, she gravitates towards poetry and creative essays as a vehicle to explore themes of memory, myth-making, psychological disorders, and family history. Currently, Abigail is working on a poetic project that speculates on the her great-grandfather’s journey from Belgium to Canada, a journey which may have involved an unused ticket on the Titanic.





  • FREE SPACE Artists 2017/2018: Alaa Elbarbary & Maham Gull


    ALAA ELBARBARY – is a multimedia artist primarily focused on installation, sculpture and painting. She explores a wide variety of themes that revolve around the human condition with emphasis on repetition and the parallelism of human actions, feelings, and perspectives.  An Egyptian, raised in Saudi Arabia, and currently now living in Ontario, Canada, Alaa is influenced by the multiculturalism she had experienced from a young age. Elbarbary has been involved with many community initiatives including being an active member of the University of Windsor’s 3D print club, the previous Art Director for Together We Flourish Youth Collective and Co-Art Director for the art program in the BloomField House.



    is a Pakistani artist currently residing in Windsor, Ontario. Maham received her MFA degree from the University of Punjab (College of Art and Design), where she majored in two distinctive forms of art: portrait painting and Mughal/Persian miniature paintings. Before moving to Canada, she worked as a freelance painter, art instructor and has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her inspiration of her work comes from her own surroundings. “It’s about observing the lives of women in different situations, looking at women as a whole”.  Currently, Maham is researching Canadian art while continuing to paint in her home studio.






  • FREE SPACE Artists 2016/2017: Stephanie Yee & Sasha Opeiko

    SASHA OPEIKO – (b. 1986 in Minsk, Belarus) lives and works in Windsor, ON. Her practice varies between painting, drawing, media, sculpture and design. Using found materials as points of study, her work visualizes the melancholic, self-reflexive and paradoxical tendencies inherent to our ontological relationships with objects. Sasha received a BFA from the University of Windsor (2009) and a MFA from University of Victoria (2012). Her work has been exhibited at Artcite Inc. (Windsor), SB Contemporary (Windsor), Thames Art Gallery (Chatham) and Deluge Contemporary Art (Victoria). She works collaboratively with Martin Stevens on an ongoing, object-based basis. In 2015 she received a Canada Council for the Arts Project Grant to Visual Artists. In 2016 she received the Visual Artists: Emerging grant from the Ontario Arts Council and participated in the AIR Studio Paducah Residency (Paducah KY) and the BAiR Late Winter Intensive program at the Banff Centre (Banff AB) to develop her project “Elephant’s Foot”. Sasha will continue to work on this project during the ACWR’s Free Space Residency.


    STEPHANIE YEE –A new resident to Windsor, Stephanie Yee developed her artistic career in Halifax, after receiving her BFA from NSCAD University. She has curated, organized and presented in festivals and exhibits in Ontario, the Atlantic Provinces and New York. Her practice consists of performance and installation works which primarily explore societal and cultural relationships through the manipulation of everyday objects. She is grateful to the ACWR for this opportunity to develop a new work inspired by the history and humanity of her new surroundings. 


Neighbourhood FREE SPACE

  • Neighbourhood FREE SPACE Artists 2017

    Alexandra Beriault holds a BFA in Sculpture and Installation from OCAD University, graduating as the recipient of the 2014 Sculpture/Installation Medal. Throughout Beriault’s work, she has developed a practice where the objects and circumstances she creates manifest as performative purgatorial experiences.


    Béla Varga is a Canadian born Roma artist, and a recent BFA graduate from the University of Windsor. Through Varga’s artistic practice, he hopes to share the unknown stories of the Roma people and to integrate Romani cultural artifacts and knowledge into a contemporary context.


    Laura Horne-Gaul was born in Peterborough, UK. She currently lives and works in Kingsville, ON. Horne-Gaul was the Coordinating Director at Christopher Cutts Gallery in Toronto from 2005 – 2015 and is a founding editor of Tussle Magazine.

Curatorial FREE SPACE

About: Curatorial FREE SPACE is a project of the Arts Council Windsor & Region (ACWR) made possible through the support of our funders and partners. The mandate of the FREESPACE project is to provide professional development opportunities for emerging curators and to develop critically engaged exhibitions and texts on the work of regional artists.

For Hire, curated by Anthony Youssef

Placed, curated by Nadja Pelkey

(un)happy objects, curated by Adrienne Crossman

  • Anthony Youssef

    Anthony Youssef: With a mentor, Youssef was awarded the curator-in-residence position – developing the exhibition and a critical essay focusing on the intersection of the automotive industry, labour and the precariousness of industrial employment. He has previously worked as a research assistant on topics such as equity and inclusion in architecture as well as the emergence of modernism in Canada. Anthony is currently a Program Officer at the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada working on projects and issues that enhance the profession of architecture. For Hire marks Anthony’s first exhibit as a curator.

  • Nadja Pelkey

    Nadja Pelkey is an artist, writer, and cultural worker based in Windsor, Ontario. She earned a BFA from the University of Windsor, and an MFA from the University of Guelph. She has contributed catalogue essays, reviews, and criticism to both regional and national publications. In 2014 she was nominated for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts by senior artist nominee Iain Baxter&. Her work has appeared in both commercial and public galleries in Ontario, Alberta, the United States, and Finland.

  • Adrienne Crossman
    Adrienne Crossman (They/Them) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and curator working in Hamilton, Ontario. They hold an MFA in Visual Art from the University of Windsor (2018), and a BFA in Integrated Media with a Minor in Digital and Media Studies from OCAD University (2012).