Artist in Residence

The Artist in Residence program is part of the City’s continuing effort to encourage community involvement in the arts. The program invites a professional artist to work with City staff and the community to identify and develop creative artworks and projects in Victoria.

The Artist in Residence program is open to artists residing in British Columbia Selected artists participate in the City’s planning process over a two-year term.

Kemi Craig

Victoria-based dancer and visual artist Kemi Craig is the City’s third Artist in Residence. She will serve for the 2022–2024 term. 

Craig is a graduate from the Emily Carr University of Art Design with a Masters degree in Fine Art. Since graduating, she has performed through local arts centres as well as across B.C. and Canada.

Craig’s film and video work has been exhibited at local galleries such as Legacy Art Gallery, Flux Gallery and the Ministry of Casual Living, as well as the Victoria International Film Festival and Antimatter Media Arts Festival. She has also worked with the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and Xchanges Gallery as an educator and curator.

Read the original announcement of Kemi Craig’s appointment.

For more information about Kemi’s programming during her residency, please visit her Instagram @kemi.craig.

Photo Gallery

Image of Kemi Craig's Afroquatics projected public artwork during the City's Winter Arts Festival.
Kemi Craig's Afroquatics: A Call and Response Below the Surface projected art display at 708 Douglas Street during the City's Winter Arts Festival, February 16-19, 2024.
Image of Artist in Residence Kemi Craig holding up a green indigo dyed artwork
Kemi Craig's Indigo project
Kemi Craig's Afrofuturism display on 707 Douglas Street windows
Kemi Craig's storefront Afrofuturism animation at 707 Douglas Street

Current Projects

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You’re Invited: In the Darkroom with Indigo

Kemi Craig is hosting an experimental workshop with collaborating artist Trudi Lynn Smith and guest artist Josh Ngenda from Flux Media that will introduce participants to alternative ways of developing analogue film using indigo and other plant-based materials. 

When: Friday, July 12, 2024
What: Experiment developing analogue film with indigo pigment and other plant-based materials 
When: 4-6 p.m.  
Where: Wark Street Commons Garden, 941 Kings Road

Cost: Free
RSVP: Register on eventbrite

Kemi Craig is a woman of African descent who grew up in South Carolina where indigo is of historical significance for Black cultures. As an artist working in analogue film, which has also deeply affected ideas of Blackness across cultural spectrums, Kemi is interested in exploring relationships between image making and indigo. In unpacking parallel practices and cultural relationships to indigo and film, Craig has invited Joshua Ngenda from Flux Media to collaborate. Trudi Lynn Smith will generously share her extensive film development experience and plant knowledge with participants.

Participants will be given strips of film which they can use to explore images produced by a variety of plant-based developers and tints, with a focus on indigo. No experience with dark room process is needed. All materials will be supplied. This event will be hosted outdoors.  

Upcoming Projects

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You’re Invited: Darkest Light 2124

Kemi Craig is hosting tours of Darkest Light 2124, an augmented reality installation comprised of hand drawn silhouettes of local people of the African diaspora and their oral narrations. This latest public art piece from Kemi Craig was created with support from Flux Media Gallery and Joshua Conrad of Slow Studies and developed with contributions from artists, academics and community organizers of the local African diaspora.

When: Self-guided tour starts on July 10, 2024 or join a guided tour with Kemi Craig on July 10 from noon-1 p.m. or July 11 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. For the self-guided tours, please use the map below and click on the three QR codes below to experience each augmented reality experience.

What: Access QR codes for the installation online starting July 10 as well as printed materials available at City Hall for self-directed tours.

Where: For guided tours on July 10-11, meet at the upper causeway of the Victoria Inner Harbour, 720 Wharf Street. Follow the map for self-guided tours. 

RSVP: 
Reserve your ticket for the July 10 guided tour or for the July 11 guided tour.

 

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Map of downtown Victoria with blue dots leading from the Inner Harbour to the present day Hudson Building


Imagined as a time capsule, Darkest Light 2124 is an augmented reality installation comprised of hand drawn silhouettes of local people of the African diaspora and their oral narrations of either: a thank you to an ancestor, a story of joy or a message to a descendant. Their stories range from extraordinary occurrences, profound wisdom to be passed on and the small moments of delight found in the everyday. It was created with support from Flux Media Gallery and Joshua Conrad of Slow Studies and developed with contributions from artists, academics and community organizers of the local African diaspora, including Charles Amartey, Tania Betiku, Zoe-Blue Coates, Jamila Douhaibi, Silivia Mangue, Devi Mucina, Taylor Pannell, William Ngenda, Angie Riley, Yimmie Sonuga and Megan Stuart.

While speaking through the images and voices of local Black communities, its locations throughout the downtown core trace a route which connects historical, present and future Black presence. Beginning with the upper causeway of the Inner Harbour where the steamship Commodore brought Victoria’s first Black settlers, to the bricks along government street which acknowledge their experiences through naming and referencing the research of BC Black History Awareness Society in documenting their stories. Finally, the experience rests at what is now the Hudson Building (Victoria Public Market). In the past, this was a settlement filled with tents where people, including Black settlers lived until going on to build homes, schools, churches and businesses in the Greater Victoria area and moving into W̱SÁNEĆ territories also referred to as Saanich. Though making the work accessible from many locations and for many bodies was important to partners in this project, it was also important to create a route which marks ongoing Black presence in space and time.

Past Projects

Below are some of Kemi Craig's past projects as the City's Artist in Residence.

Previous Artists in Residence