Category: Blog

CUCCR Artist Residency Call-Out 2020

We are so EXCITED to open the call for CUCCR’s 3rd annual Artist in Residence for 2020! This year we are partnering with the Art Matters Festival and will be included in their 2020 festival programming!

Residency dates: March 4th-28th

Deadline: December 2nd 11:59 pm



Art Matters is a platform for exhibiting students’ work and encouraging exchanges between artists. Art Matters brings art out of the studio and into the city. The festival takes place in March 2020 in galleries across the city, our show will be from March 7th – 28th in the VAV Gallery. All “art” matters and the festival encourages the inclusion of traditional and non-traditional visual arts mediums, installation, new media, performance, music, film, dance, literary arts, and so on. We are accepting applications from undergrad students from across all academic faculties so if you are an artist/maker but not in the Faculty of Fine Arts you can apply too!

Concordia University’s Center for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) is dedicated to diverting usable materials from inside Concordia’s waste-stream and offering them to the general community free of cost. This waste diversion project is having big impacts on campus, not only by making materials available for free to everyone but also by changing the culture of sustainability and reuse across campus and beyond. This year we would like to reach out to artists and makers that are not only using reused materials, and thinking about their practice through a more sustainable lense and interested in sharing that message with others. This year the 8-10 artists selected will be encouraged to put on at least one public engagement opportunity/intervention that can help continue the conversation around a more sustainable world. This idea will be refined and developed over the course of the residency with collaboration and mentorship with the CUCCR team, in partnership with an Art Matters’ Facilitator.

Participants will have access to CUCCR’s materials and team in order to create innovative works that explore care in material practices, and consciousness for the Earth. Concordia students from any department, working in any medium are encouraged to participate.

The Residency will last three months (December-February) during which the artists chosen will create works that expand their current practice and facilitate workshops and skillshares related to their work. The residency will end with a three-week-long exhibition (March 7-28) at the VAV Gallery, as part of the Art Matters Festival.

For documentation of past residencies, please check out


+ Applicants must be undergraduate students at Concordia University for at least one semester of the 2019-20 year. Part-time students are eligible.
+ Students from all departments are encouraged to apply but will not be considered if they have opted-out of the Art Matters fee-levey or if they have already participated in a past CUCCR artist residency.
+ Selected artists will receive a 75.00$ honorarium.

Want to learn more about Art Matters and CUCCR or have some questions about the Artist Residency Call-out? Contact us at or at

Application Form Questions

1. Please provide us with a brief proposal, outlining your intentions, ideas any background
information. (200-300 words)

2. Art that is environmental in subject isn’t necessarily sustainable. Sustainable art does not
necessarily need to speak to the environment, though it must consider the environmental
impact of making.
Please reflect on the following questions:
○ Where do your materials come from and how were they made?
○ Where will your project go after the show?
○ What labour went into the making of your materials?
○ What can others learn from you and your practice?

3. Please explain how your proposed project will explore and take into account these important
questions. (200-300 words)

4. Art Matters recognizes and welcomes the unique contributions that individuals from
marginalized and oppressed communities bring to our organization, and invites these
individuals to apply. We encourage applicants to describe the unique contributions they, as
individuals with diverse experiences, would bring to Art Matters. (optional, 300 words or

5. Please describe your project proposal. This should include a description of the work and your
plan for its execution. (200-300 words)

6. If you are selected, you will be asked to spark a public intervention to help us change the
culture of sustainability at Concordia. This could take the form of workshop, community
discussion, guerilla art postering, etc.. Here are some things to consider:
○ What do you wish others knew about the way materials are used?
○ How can you impact or change your community to become more sustainable?
○ What are some ways that culture changes, what responsibilities do artists have?
○ What barriers are present in our current society that prevent a more careful approach
to making?

7. Please contribute a tip, wish or concern about making your practice or department more
sustainable. (100-200 words)

Why I love being a reclaimer

Twice a year, CUCCR conducts its reclaimathon: a period at the end of each semester where usable materials are collected from around campus. Anyone can participate, be it as a donor, advocate, or, most adventurous of all… as a reclaimer!

How does it work?

Reclaimers choose a location on campus to focus on, then set up a bin for the community to leave donations in. CUCCR provides turquoise-painted bins in varying shapes and sizes, but even a well-labeled cardboard box will do.

Day 1 of Reclaimathon
Day 1 of Reclaimathon

In a perfect world, everyone at Concordia would know about CUCCR’s services. They’d know what CUCCR looks for in its intake, and reclaimer bins would overflow with quality materials in the final weeks of school. Maybe someday we’ll get there. Until then, the role of the reclaimer is two-fold. First and foremost, reclaimers look after their bin — keeping it tidy, sorting out non-reusable materials, and carting contents to CUCCR when stuff starts to overaccumulate. Monitoring is only half the fun, however. The real action lies in the hunt.

You want the good stuff? You gotta go out and get it.

Print media
Print media’s recycling bins are a goldmine for scrap paper and collage materials.

An excuse to explore

As a design student, I spend most of my time between the 5th and 7th floors of EV. When I do end up in different departments, it’s usually for a specific reason — a workshop, appointment, event, etc. But Concordia is a massive school, with hidden gems waiting to be unearthed from countless secret spaces. (Buried deep in a labyrinth of subterranean storage cages, CUCCR is a perfect example!) I love the reclaimathon because it gives me an excuse to open doors and poke my head around parts of the school I normally have no business in.

Last week while scouring the 9th floor of EV, I discovered the SenseLab: a vibrant, whimsical playhouse of art, plants and colourful curiosities loosely defined as “a laboratory for thought in motion.” Walking in on an event that saw participants perched around the room on pillows or hammocks, I was sent off with a handful of purple yarn and half a mind to question if I hadn’t imagined the whole thing.

Chloë Lalonde also volunteers at CUCCR. Having participated in the reclaimathon last year, she felt it gave her an opportunity to see another side of the school. “I really enjoyed seeing the ‘behind the scenes’ of unfamiliar departments and the interesting things left behind, especially in fibres.”

Teach others to “see the potential”

It’s the process of looking past an object’s assigned purpose in order to imagine future new uses, and frequenters of CUCCR know it well. On a grander scale, it’s one of CUCCR’s most valuable contributions to the community: an opportunity to question conventions; an exercise in thinking outside the box. Beyond simply cutting costs of production, “seeing the potential” will sharpen your mind to possibilities unseen by the masses. (Just be careful not to end up like me — creeping out each new roommate with the ever-growing pile of random crap in my room.)

As a reclaimer, the line between trash and treasure is yours to draw. In the beginning, the people you meet on your journey will probably need a fresh set of eyes to identify value in things they’re accustomed to throwing away, so don’t be afraid to push and prod a little. Soon enough they’ll be handing you all sorts of weird objects, animated at the prospect of participating in the unique search-and-rescue that is the reclaimathon.

Photography Studio
I’d never been inside this softly-lit photography studio before now. Inside, a fellow reclaimer and I met a man cutting up large-format prints of starry night skies. At first he was reluctant to believe he had anything to offer us, but after a bit of nudging, he showed us to a bin of shiny photo paper offcuts, some of which were quite large. We took the biggest pieces we could find and started for the door, where he stopped us with a tall, skinny box. “To transport the paper,” he explained.

For those sensitive to the amount of waste generated in material-heavy practices, saving things from landfill can also have a therapeutic effect. Yannick Victor, CUCCR volunteer and two-time reclaimer, adds, “For me being a reclaimer is really all about completing the circle and continuing the life cycle of the material, specifically for the sculpture area. After using and seeing so much material be used and transformed throughout the year in the sculpture studios, it was almost cathartic to go back and reclaim what was used.”

First dibs on the haul

The reclaimathon is when CUCCR gets in most of its stock for the following months, so naturally, tons of cool stuff streams in at once. Reclaimers have access to this fresh selection before anyone else.

“Having first pick is great,” says Chloë. “I stocked the summer camp I worked last year with stuff I reclaimed.”

This year’s top prize: two huge rolls of acetate! My favourite material for making stencils.

Co-curricular credits

As an added bonus, reclaimers can claim Sustainability Ambassador credits on their co-curricular record. These types of credits appear alongside your transcript, helping you to stand out when applying for academic opportunities.

Warm fuzzy-feelies for helping out your favourite creative reuse center

A motivated base of reuse-enthusiasts is essential to CUCCR’s mission of diverting as much waste from landfill and saving as much money for the community as possible. There’s a near-endless amount of stuff destined for the dump by the end of each term — certainly more than CUCCR’s limited staff capacity can handle on its own. Anyone who’s ever left the depot with an armful of materials and a feeling of gratified awe at the important work CUCCR does should consider taking part in the reclaimathon as a way of returning the favor to the organization that keeps on giving.

Bring a friend
When you do, bring a friend! The reclaimathon is twice as fun in pairs.

To know more, visit the Reclaimer page!