About the artist

Zach Polis is a poet, spoken word performer, screenwriter and playwright. He studied scriptwriting for film and television at the National Film and Television School and screenwriting at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Zach was St. Albert’s first poet laureate, acting as a literary and cultural ambassador for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. Zach has performed in New York City and across Alberta, including the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. His poems have been recognized on Vogue Italia’s PhotoVogue, as well as in public art displays and Edmonton transit.

Photo of Zach Polis

He is one of the Edmonton Public Library’s Featured Writers in 2021, a recipient of the Edmonton Artists' Trust Fund Award, and an RBC Emerging Artist. Zach holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Creative Writing from the University of Alberta.

Polis’ project, 'Light Plucked from the Universe' will have 2-parts: a collection of his spoken word poetry presented throughout the residency, and a filmed curation of Alberta-based poets and writers performing their work. The project will explore what being an artist in Alberta means in our current COVID-19 reality and the future that lies ahead as we transition out of the pandemic.

  • You can follow the artist’s activities on the Alberta Artist in Residence and Arts Ambassador Instagram page at @ab_artistinresidence.

Artist shortlist

Lanre Ajayi – filmmaker and visual artist, Calgary

Lanre Ajayi is a passionate storyteller who believes in using his artistic skills to build community and as a platform for every member of society to become aware of the happenings around them. His new media storytelling project, called 'the Waters of Alberta,' is a collection of short documentary films to inform, educate and entertain communities about the importance of this invaluable resource abundant in our province.

Jacqueline Huskisson, visual artist, Calgary

Photo of Jacqueline Huskisson

Born and raised in Calgary, Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Print Media from the Alberta College of Art and Design and an Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Belfast School of Art. Her work explores human connection through narrative and has been awarded various local and national grants, including the inaugural Scott Leroux Media Arts Exploration Fund. She has been doing various projects, installations, and residencies around Canada, Northern Ireland, Germany and Finland, with recent solo exhibitions at Main Space Gallery (Alberta Printmakers, Calgary), and Poolside Gallery (VideoPool, Winnipeg). She currently works out of Artpoint Gallery and Studios Society.

Claudia Jimenez-Chagoya, visual artist, Calgary

Claudia Jimenez-Chagoya

Claudia Jimenez-Chagoya is an interdisciplinary visual artist born in Zacatecas, Mexico, now based in Calgary where she earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary. Her art explores topics related to gender violence, specifically femicide. Through her art, she invites community to mourn together and enable social engagement. She believes engaging people in this matter is important to find new forms of creating supportive communities and cross–cultural understanding.

Aeris Osborne, visual artist, Edmonton

Photo of Aeris Osborne

Aeris is a self-taught emerging Hong Kong – Canadian female visual artist. Aeris moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 2007 where she learned to paint. She’s been painting for over 10 years, inspired by her travels where the changes in the living environment stimulate her creativity by using the visual medium to express her vision. She was the artist in residence in McLuhan House run by Art Habitat Edmonton from Oct. 1 2020 to Sept. 30, 2021. Her first solo exhibition is 'YEG Old Houses–Discover 11 Edmonton Home Architectural Styles'. She has also won the Open Art Competition in Allied Art Council Spruce Grove twice.

Previous artist

Joal Kamps

Photo of Joal Kamps

Alberta’s second Artist in Residence and Arts Ambassador was Joal Kamps, a musician and co-member of Flint & Feather. During his term, Joal performed a free online concert, Joal Kamps – Backstage and Up Close, filmed at the Southern Jubilee Auditorium. His final project 'Wild Rose' was premiered during Month of the Artist at an Alberta Culture Days event at the Polaris Centre for the Performing Arts on September 11. 'Wild Rose' explores the personification of Alberta as women and incorporates other art forms, including visual arts and dance, into the performance.

We thank Joal Kamps for his work and accomplishments as Alberta’s first Artist in Residence during a challenging year.

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