Artist in Residence

The Artist in Residence program provides the opportunity for a local artist to develop artistic works and engage community members in dialogue, workshops, events and activities throughout the residency term.

Amy Malbeuf, Artist in Residence 2017-2018

PhotoAmy Malbeuf:

The Native Arts & Culture department at Portage College is pleased to announce the appointment of Amy Malbeuf as Artist in Residence for the 2017/18 academic year. Malbeuf is an award-winning Métis visual artist from Rich Lake, Alberta and will be sharing her knowledge, skills and experience with our own art students as well as local communities.

  This is not the first residency Malbeuf has participated in. She has been chosen for many international artist residencies including at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia; The Banff Centre; and The Labrador Research Institute. In 2015, she was one of two Canada Council for the Arts fellows at the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico.  

Malbeuf is an accomplished and highly sought-out artist. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally at such venues as Art Mûr, Montréal; MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina; Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; and Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua, New Zealand. She is profiled in the most recent edition of Canadian Art magazine and will also be featured in an upcoming TV series Skindigenous airing on APTN in January, demonstrating traditional tattoo methods.  

Currently Malbeuf is working alongside Portage College instructor Ruby Sweetman to create works of art for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. This Commemorative Art Project tied into the College's Museum of Aboriginal Art and Artifacts is titled 'Hide Tanning: Tradition Inspiring the Present and Future'.  

Malbeuf holds a Master of Fine Arts in Visual Art from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan and is a past graduate of the Native Arts and Culture program at Portage College. In 2016 Malbeuf received a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award and a William and Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Artists in Canada from the Hnatyshyn Foundation.  

Portage College is proud to have such a distinguished alumnus back home, sharing her exceptional artwork and knowledge with our students.

The Artist in Residence Program


  • To provide space for emerging artists to nurture and develop their art
  • Support a collegial environment and new artistic talent
  • To provide instruction and mentorship to Portage College NAC students
  • To provide Portage College students with the opportunity to see the development of artistic vision and process through the body of work produced by the artist
  • To provide supplementary and adjunct perspective to both process and content in art media for NAC staff & students
  • To provide Portage College NAC students with the opportunity to attend workshops/lectures/demonstrations by the artist, to draw inspiration from the artist and to develop an understanding of work ethic and time management in the production of artwork
  • To promote Portage College NAC programs provincially, nationally and internationally through the display of artist's work and the promotion of the unique Aboriginal art programming and activities associated with both the residency and the programs


  • 16 weeks
  • Fall term (September to December) or Winter term (January to April)

Portage College will provide:

  • Dedicated space within the Portage College Lac La Biche campus to work including an easel, table & chairs
  • Access to studios
  • Access to library & internet privileges
  • Exhibition opportunity at the conclusion of the residency
  • Public lecture/presentation opportunity
  • Facilitate presentations or workshops at settlements, reserves and schools
  • Letter of support to pursue individual funding
  • Accommodations for one person plus a weekday meal card
  • A stipend which the artist is expected to use for weekend meals, art supplies, personal expenses and travel

Artist will:

  • Provide 3 workshops/lectures/demonstrations with NAC students; predetermined by NAC Coordinator, Dean , staff and the artist
  • Provide access for students & staff to view artist's work on a weekly basis and speak to the artist
  • Provide access to all work for use in promotion of Portage College programs including website promotion and display
  • Be focused and self-directed
  • Provide artwork, for public display within the Lac La Biche campus, on an ongoing basis during the residency
  • Create a body of work for an exhibition that will take place at the completion of the residency
  • Maintain regular studio hours comparable to Portage College NAC student timetables (hours)
  • Provide all supplies and materials for their artwork
  • Provide travel expenses to and from Portage College Lac La Biche campus
  • Provide, with facilitation through the NAC coordinator, a minimum of 3 workshops or presentations in area settlements and reserves
  • Provide, with facilitation through the NAC coordinator, a minimum of 2 presentations or workshops in local area schools
  • Donate one piece of art to funding sponsor (if applicable)
  • Sign a contract with Portage College which defines requirements and expectations

Who is Eligible?
Artists meeting all of the following criteria may apply:

  • Must be an emerging artist from any discipline (preference will be given to visual artists)
  • Must be a current practicing artist
  • Must have completed basic art training
  • Must be able to work in a self-directed and focused manner
  • Must have basic computer skills and knowledge

How to Apply?
Applications must be sent by email and include all of the following:

  • 10 images of work and an image list (images must be readable on a PC and in a suitable format (1024 x768) - doc, jpg or pdf
  • A letter of interest indicating artistic focus including artistic history.
  • A detailed plan of proposed focus and scope of work.
  • A current resume (3 pages max.)
  • Criminal Record Check
  • Two letters of reference

Email to: Donna Feledichuk

Past Artists in Residence

My artwork investigates the interaction of the basic elements of art, in particular, color and shape. I take my inspiration from the world around me and I am drawn to the simplicity of shapes like circles and rectangles. Everywhere we look there is an abundance of gadgets and products that are formed from simple shapes - circular objects like clocks and berries. How do these shapes affect us emotionally? How do they affect our artwork? In my artwork, I try to experiment with the idea of simple shapes and colors and how they are the foundation of our artwork.

These simple shapes have a strong presence in my artwork although I also incorporate many recycled materials such as boxes, plastic lenses, used fabric material, and embroidery hoops. I enjoy the challenge for taking something old and disposable and turning it into artwork. I find it rewarding taking these materials and giving life back to them in an artistic way. I am constantly growing and experimenting as an artist and feel there is freedom in my expression of art using these discarded and disposable materials.

ArtOcean Coral by Meghan


Blue Boxes










Organic Babies




Organic Growth


Footprint Impression

Art  Art

Wax Tree 1                              Wax Tree 2




Green Snake and Pupil



Green Boxes


Fish Scale


Mixed up

Art    Art

Triangle Animal 1                              Triangle Animal 2


Mountain Side







October 3 - Pakan School (Whitefish/Goodfish)
October 12 - Kikino Métis  Settlement School

October 19 - Elizabeth Métis Settlement School
October 20 - Legoff School
November 17-19 - IMPRESSIONS Art Show, St. Paul & District Arts Foundation
November 19 - The Home Schooler Children's Mask Workshop, St. Paul & District Arts Foundation
November 19 - Paper Folding Christmas Card Workshop, St. Paul & District Arts Foundation
December 1-2 - IMPRESSIONS Art Show, Portage College, Lac La Biche Campus


December 1 - Heart Lake Kohls School, Tour of IMPRESSIONS Art Show & Workshop
December 1 - Amisk Community School, Tour of IMPRESSIONS Art Show & Workshop
December 1 - Light of Christ Catholic School, Tour of IMPRESSIONS Art Show & Workshop
December 1 - Paper Folding Christmas Cards for Adults, Portage College, Lac La Biche Campus
December 2 - Ecole Plamondon School, Tour of IMPRESSIONS Art Show & Workshop
December 2 - Aurora Middle School, Tour of IMPRESSIONS Art Show & Workshop
December 3 - Mask Making for Children, Portage College, Lac La Biche Campus
December 16 - Paper Folding Christmas Cards for Native Arts & Culture students

PhotoAmber Weasel Head was our first "artist in residence" at Portage College. 

She is an alumni of the College and graciously agreed to return to work with students. Amber delivered workshops with Beaver Lake School and Goodfish School as well as working on projects along with Portage College students. 

Amber is an indigenous artist of Blackfoot and Bitterroot Salish and is originally from southern Alberta but has resided in Lac La Biche for several years. Art has become a way of healing for Amber, she has learned to express difficult emotions as well as overcome challenging situations through her artwork. 

She truly believes that "you can make art out of anything" and it has become such an important aspect in her life. Amber would like to pursue a career as an art therapist so she may help others heal and be able to fully express themselves in a constructive and healthy way just like she does.

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