The application deadline for Alchemy 2022 has closed.
Return back in winter 2023 for next year's plans!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alchemy is an international artist-led residency exploring the common themes between artistic practice and the cooking and sharing of food in community settings. Since 2017, this residency has taken place in rural Hillier, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada, during the harvest season.
Since the onset of COVID, we have found 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.
Our 2022 programming builds on work launched in 2020 and 2021. For example, during the 2021 harvest season, Alchemy organized and curated “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 2000 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 2022 programming builds on the success of these two projects under the Alchemy umbrella.
Alchemy Prince Edward County 2022 plans to host and curate 10-12 artists (2-3 artists per month) for two to four weeks at a time. Participating artists will:
Our 2022 plans will include adherence to all federal, provincial, and local COVID-related safety precautions to keep both community members and participating artists safe.
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 explore the synergy between artistic practices and the growing, cooking and sharing of locally cultivated food in a community setting.
Since its first programmed residency on the Toronto Islands in 2015, Alchemy has grown through the thoughtful participation of more than 70 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.
A community and relationship building residency, Alchemy is based on four pillars:
First off, our 2022 plans will include adherence to all federal, provincial, and local COVID related safety precautions to keep both community members and participating artists safe.
During harvest season, selected artists (up to 12) will create site-specific art and engage in (as COVID allows) 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.
Up to three local or visiting artists per month between June and October 2022 to visit for two to four weeks. These artists will:
• be connected to a local farm or vineyard to inspire site-specific work
• have access to a studio space
• host one community workshop or one live streamed artist talk (by zoom)
• leave something behind for either a virtual exhibition or a site exhibition in fall 2022
• contribute up to one day per week of kitchen duties for “Table Settings” meals (working under the coordination of our kitchen brigade facilitator)
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 cuisine. 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.
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 foster and engage makers, residents, workers, and visitors in a location with stated interests in furthering community engagement and food sovereignty.
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. The final works will be part of our “Field Notes” Exhibition at the end of the harvest season (Sept/Oct 2022).
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 two harvest seasons we have planned, prepared, and offered close to 2000 meals though “Table Settings”.
During 2021, seven visual artists and one writer each spent a portion of the county’s harvest season reflecting about what compels people to continue to create, grow, farm, and live on the county’s western edge. In 2022, we plan to engage more artists – both local and visiting in this project.
In preparation, two weeks prior to the scheduled residency, each artist is on boarded prior to arrival —to help crystalize the approach to your work and how to understand what a day in the “Table Settings” kitchen looks like. This is a mandatory scheduled 1-2 hour virtual meeting with the Alchemy coordinators Claire Tallarico and Tonia Di Risio.
Alchemy 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.
Artists are welcome to apply for periods of two, three and four weeks during the period of June – September 2022. In your application, please indicate the number of weeks and month you wish to attend. Please tell us your top 2-3 preferred times.
We ask participating artists to commit to being present for the entire residency.
Alchemy artists live and work in a quiet western corner of the county called Hillier. We can recommend housing options, refer you to those we know may fit into your budget and in some cases, COVID dependent, may be able to facilitate a low or no cost billet with a local artist or farmer. Please tell us what your housing needs are in your application. We used to rent communal housing and may do so in the future, but it is not part of our current 2022 planning.
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 2022 will also be part of the month long national arts festival called Culture Days.
From June through September (COVID permitting), we will facilitate Open Studios in a publicly accessible location on a twice weekly basis. Open Studio encourages the sharing of work between local and visiting artists and the PEC wider community.
You will get the low down on how all this works closer to our opening date.
Alchemy fees for 2022 are set between $500 and $600 plus HST.
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”. We also pay artists who chose to lead a community engaged activity such as a workshop or artist talk. 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 artists and we are not quite there yet. We will know soon if we can lower the cost because of successful grant applications. 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. Artists are also invited to explore several of the easily accessible outside porches, barns and plein air spaces in and around Hillier. Some of last year’s artists worked on 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
You can rent a bike through Closson Road Cycles. 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.
There are a few shared meals, depending on the artists in residence at any given time, including (COVID permitting) though the “Table Settings” dinners we prepare together for seasonal agricultural farm and vineyard workers.
If sharing food isn’t your jam, you are likely be better suited to another residency.
Most accommodations and working spaces have Wi-Fi. See above: be prepared for a rural setting.
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.
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. Your Field Notes exhibition preparation and your participation in Table Settings and any other Alchemy programming is the focus of the Residency.
We are not able to accommodate last minute requests or assumptions that whomever accompanies an artist can be assigned a kitchen or studio role.
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 between 5 and 5:30pm one day of the week. Kitchen days start around 11 am and finish after cleaning up at 7pm.