The traditional functions of art galleries and schools are in flux. Quest believes that art and galleries have a purpose that is generative and relevant beyond art appreciation. We encourage critical thinking and act as catalysts for indepth exchanges about complex subjects and engage with critical thinking. We provide a safe space for challenging conversations to occur – moral, social, cultural and political – and developing solutions to the issues challenging society and community. It has been stated that the most important contribution to a society's success is innovation: we provide opportunities for innovation to be nurtured and developed. Arts and culture are a means to public dialogue, contribute to a community’s creative learning, create healthy communities, provide a powerful tool for community mobilization and activism, and help build community capacity and leadership.
The Arts Incubator project provides artists with opportunities to focus on the development of their work, mentorship opportunities, building networks and working through their ideas with a supportive environment. The residencies can include opportunities for group discussions, reading, performance events and shared meals. We will be encouraging artists to reflect and think earnestly about their practice. We will provide opportunities for the artists to experiment with embodied and located practices. The participatory programmes developed will be a means to public dialogue, contribute to the development of a community’s creative learning, and create communities capable of action.
This programme enables the artists to work in a new environment, often away from the restrictions and pressures of their everyday lives. The residency provides the time and space for the artist to develop work and creatively explore new ideas which engage with diverse audiences. They will be supported and mentored by curatorial staff and senior artists.
Quest Art is committed to supporting artists at all stages of their careers. This particular project is focused specifically on emerging artists and the challenges that they face. We have professional staff with extensive experience within the art world. Our ED and Curator has almost 30 years professional experience within the art world. Her membership in CAMDO (Canadian Art Museum Director's Organization), her being Past-President of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, and her winning the provincial award for Curatorial Excellence from the Ontario Crafts Council, has given her extensive contacts within the art world that will be used to advantage for the artists participating in this programme. We have positive and ongoing relationships with many mid-career and established artists who would act as mentors. We have several spaces where the artists could undertake their residency - including living accommodations. We also partner with numerous groups on developing ongoing programming including Huronia Mseum, Martyr’s Shrine, St Marie Amongst the Hurons, Waypoint Mental Health Centre, the North Simcoe Youth Wellness Hub and all the school boards in our area. WE collaborate on delivering participatory projects involving youth and professional artists, with recent collaborations being with Sheatre and the Mammalian Diving Reflex, giving us experience and new contacts for collaboration and audience development.
There is a great need for programmes such as this one, dedicated to helping emerging artists move to the next level of their professional practice. This Incubator provides unique opportunities for the artists to engage with traditional and non-traditional residency spaces and places. While we are located in a smaller centre we have confidence in the impact that we can have through supporting these artists. We see ourselves as an incubator - able to support artists experimenting and trying new things but also being able to receive mentorship and real life critical feedback to help them develop their professional careers. We provide direct and immediate encounters with art that are enhanced and augmented by educational resources, interactive presentation and related programmes and through that, we become an accessible forum of social inclusion, exchange and dialogue that reaches diverse audiences in meaningful ways.