We will issue a call by early 2024.. In the meantime we encourage you to follow our Instagram feed. Curious about the residency and what we do?
Scroll below for general information and frequently asked questions.
Do you have more questions and want to connect directly with Claire, Tonia & Erin? Email us at email@example.com
Alchemy is an international artist-led residency exploring the common themes between artistic practice and the cooking and sharing of food in community settings.
Alchemy is all about safe and creative ways to engage and encourage artists to continue work in progress or undertake new work inspired by the people and terroir of this dynamic rural agricultural setting. Participating artists committed to this project will live and visit Hillier from late spring through to the fall harvest season to create site-specific art on wineries and farms and engage in community events and activities. Programming will bring artists and the community together to explore, learn, create, and share lines of inquiry. Through community engagement and a commitment to collaborative process, we collect, tell, and document multiple stories showcasing what compels people to continue to create, grow, farm, and live here.
During the 2021 harvest season, Alchemy organized and curated its first “Field Notes”, a month-long exhibition featuring site-specific projects by eight artists and one writer. At the same time, through our “Table Settings” initiative, we planned, prepared, and provided more than 2500 suppers to acknowledge the hard work and significant contribution of farm and vineyard labourers, many of whom come from outside of Canada to harvest food and grapes enjoyed in the county and beyond. Our current programming builds on the success of these two projects under the Alchemy umbrella.
For more information go to Frequently Asked Questions
Claire M Tallarico, a visual artist and trained chef whose social practice explores how the everyday activities of art making and food sharing can contribute to the well-being of artists and furthering community engagement for a community and its citizens.
Tonia Di Risio, a visual artist whose work has developed through ongoing investigations of the growing, making, preserving, celebrating, and sharing of food.
Alchemy Artists Residency is an Ontario-based international artist-run residency, founded in 2015, and committed to community engagement by making and sharing art, food, and ideas.
Participating artists have an opportunity not only to share their creative cooking skills but also to examine themes of food sovereignty, creative practice, and community engagement.We match local vineyards and farms with visiting artists to inspire new work or develop site specific installations..
Since its first programmed residency on the Toronto Islands in 2015, Alchemy has grown through the thoughtful participation of nearly 100 talented, working artists from three continents – the majority of whom form collaborations that extend well beyond their time together. This hands-on, creative model has a positive effect on individual participating artists and their communities. We also have a lot of fun.
A community and relationship building residency, Alchemy is based on four pillars:
During harvest season, selected artists will create site-specific art and engage in community events and activities. Digital and in-person programming will bring artists and the community together to explore, learn, create, and share lines of inquiry about what compels people to continue to create, grow, farm, and live here. During July and August 2023, these artists will:
• be connected to a local farm or vineyard to inspire site-specific work
• have access to a studio space
• contribute up to one day per week of kitchen duties for “Table Settings” meals (working under the coordination of our kitchen brigade facilitator)
• leave something behind for either a virtual exhibition or a site exhibition to be held during Culture Days 2023 (September 22- Oct. 16, 2023)
A small hamlet called Hillier with 100 permanent residents in the centre of wine county! Since 2017, Alchemy has nurtured food, art and dialogue between visiting and local artists, wine makers, growers, long-time residents, and seasonal agricultural workers in Hillier.
Prince Edward County (PEC), Ontario, Canada. Alchemy is 2.5 hours by car from Toronto, 3 hours from Ottawa and 90 minutes
from Kingston. It is easily accessible by plane, train (to Belleville or Trenton, Ontario) and automobile. “The County” is known for its strong agricultural roots, a thriving arts and cultural community, outstanding natural beauty, and farm to table
Our location boasts hundreds of acres of stunning countryside to explore and access to the Millennium Trail. It is also Ontario’s fastest growing wine region and the home of Sandbanks Provincial Park, the world’s largest freshwater sandbar. For more about our location: http://prince-edward-county.com.
PEC is a magical place for artists to continue work in progress, explore new ideas, consider collaboration, and connect with residents, farm and vineyard owners, and seasonal agricultural workers.
Through our annual residency programming and ongoing conversations with lifelong residents, farmers, vineyard owners and artists, we have developed a deeper appreciation for both the beauty and physically demanding work that come with living and working at the western edge of Prince Edward County. Our conversations led us to consider how the simple, yet profound acts of artmaking and food sharing can further community engagement and food sovereignty.
When the first wave of COVID 19 arrived in 2020, we suspended our traditional residency programming and created a new Alchemy inspired program called “Table Settings”
We designed “Table Settings” to recognize the contribution of farm and vineyard labourers, many of whom come from outside of Canada and all of whom work alongside local farm and vineyard owners to harvest food and grapes enjoyed in the county and beyond.
For this project, we recruited a small brigade of (volunteer) artists and chefs to plan and prepare twice-weekly suppers for up to 40 farm and vineyard workers in Hillier. Over the last three harvest seasons, we have planned, prepared, and offered close to 2500 meals through “Table Settings”. Table Settings continues in 2023.
Alchemy artists are carefully paired with a farm or winery – this provides a local backdrop to understand what compels people to continue to create, grow, farm, and live on the county’s western edge.
Our participating artists further engage with the community by contributing a day a week to “Table Settings” by assisting Alchemy coordinators Claire Tallarico and Tonia Di Risio in planning and preparing weekly meals featuring local produce and proteins for the 40 seasonal agricultural workers who live and work on collaborating local wineries.
These meals are offered to acknowledge the significant contribution of farm and vineyard labourers, many of whom come from outside of Canada and all of whom work alongside local wine makers and vineyard owners to harvest food and grapes enjoyed in the county and beyond. To go behind the scenes of this project visit makealchemy.com.
In 2023, formal Alchemy programming is set for 15 days.
We ask participating artists to commit to being present for the entire residency.
Alchemy artists live and work in comfortable and well equipped farmhouses in a quiet western corner of the county called Hillier.
Yes! We organize and curate individual artist’s work in a month-long group exhibition called “Field Notes” which will run from September through to October. “Field Notes” takes place in and around Hillier at participating wineries, farms, and other publicly accessible spaces. You can see last year’s “Field Notes” work here. Field Notes 2023 will also be part of the month long national arts festival called Culture Days.
You will get the low down on how all this works closer to our opening date.
Alchemy fees for 2023 are set at $500 per artist plus housing.
Studio workspace, one to two suppers weekly, facilitating a match and working arrangements between an artist and participating winery and farm. This fee also covers your participation, curation and the installation of your work in “Field Notes” and the Open Studio program.
Yes. Alchemy pays exhibition fees to artists participating in the group exhibition “Field Notes". Details will be confirmed by the Alchemy coordinators.
Housing and travel expenses to and from the residency are not arranged or covered. Renting a bike is optional.
It costs money to run all the various aspects of our community-based programming. At the same time, we think it is very important to pay artists. Our goal is to only pay and not charge artists and we are not quite there yet. Right now, we would rather
not promise lowering of fees until we understand some of our other funding streams.
Our programming schedule is flexible enough to provide a good amount of studio time in historical Hillier Hall. Artists are also invited to explore several of the easily accessible outside porches, barns and plein air spaces in and around Hillier. Artists often work the land of the winery they were paired with – with magical results.
Alchemy is strictly a bring-your-own affair. There is no local art supply shop. There is a general hardware store in Wellington. Be prepared and bring your own supplies. We provide the space, and a good size work table.
No. Alchemy strives to maintain a very relaxed atmosphere - one in which creative people can both work hard and relax. That said, some people choose to check out at least one fancy restaurant during their visit.
Yes. While near beaches, it is also extremely rural. We are minutes from Lake Ontario (North Beach, Wellington Beach) and Sandbanks Provincial Park – the world’s largest freshwater sandbar. You can get to the beach within a few minutes by car and somewhat longer by biking.
No. But there is a laundry mat in Wellington. And your house may have a washer and dryer.
You can rent a bike through Closson Road Cycles. http://www.clossonroadcycles.com
The Tyer’s family delivers awesome bikes right to your door.
Could it be bug spray? Sun block? These things tend to deplete quickly, so do bring some with you, or remember to pick some up in town.
We have access to fabulous farm grown local protein and produce. There are more then a few shared dinners, included the “Table Settings” dinners we prepare for seasonal agricultural farm and vineyard workers. If you aren’t into sharing food, then you would be better suited to another residency.
Food allergies and restrictions will be accommodated as best as we can – which has become pretty good over the years. We cannot guarantee nut-free facilities.
Yes. Lots. That said – be prepared for a rural setting.
There are also farmers markets and stands all over the county, and vineyards! The lakeside village of Wellington is 11kms from Hillier and has a Saturday Farmer’s market, grocery stores, coffee shops, pharmacy, liquor store, local restaurants, and
hardware store. Wellington is about 10 minutes by car or 30 minutes by bike. Other larger towns in the county include Bloomfield and Picton.
Most accommodations and working spaces have Wi-Fi. See above: be prepared for a rural setting.
That is up to you and the housing situation you choose. We want you to be able focus on your work and the programming that has been designed especially for participants. Guests are welcome if the work of your house and studio mates are not disrupted.
In a word, Yes. And certainly, you could begin work in advance if you choose, that is up to you. As for the kitchen part of the project, the meals are planned. There is a schedule for each day the kitchen opens with clear direction as to who is doing
what and by when. We prepare meals that are ready at 5:30pm one day of the week. Kitchen days start around 11 am and finish after cleaning up at 7pm.
Send us an email with a specific question and we will do our best to answer promptly. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org