About Visual Arts

The Banff Centre’s Visual Arts programs focus on professional development, research, and training opportunities in media and visual arts. The programs provide access to world-class facilities in photography, sculpture, printmaking, papermaking, ceramics, textiles, painting, performance, media arts, film, and video, as well as curatorial and critical studies. Residencies are for professional artists with an exhibition record who have had formal training in visual arts, or equivalent experience and recognition from their peers.

Visual Arts Programming

Visual Arts programming at The Banff Centre is comprised of four main areas:

Creative Residencies

Creative Residencies offer artists a unique opportunity to explore, expand, and develop their practice within various studio environments. They facilitate theoretical and intellectual growth through interaction with a peer group, lectures, and mentorship, and provide access to the tools and support needed to nurture the creative process. Residencies also offer the luxury of time and space for artists to create new work, research innovative ideas, and experiment with different techniques and modes of production. Artists have the opportunity to explore other Visual Arts facilities, regardless of their primary discipline, with a goal of opening up new possibilities and directions in the production of their work. Defined as Thematic or Banff Artist in Residence (BAIR) programs, Creative Residencies attract artists, curators, and other arts professionals who are engaged with exploring innovative art and ideas.

Thematic Residencies

Thematic Residencies offer a structured program where artists, curators, and other arts professionals are brought together to research a specific theme. Through peer interaction, discussion groups, studio work, formal lectures, and studio visits from world-renowned visiting artists and curators, participants gain new ideas and insights that can be applied to creative exploration and the development of their work.

Program structure and benefits:

  • Fees vary according to programs
  • Individual studio with 24-hour access
  • Access to Visual Arts facilities
  • On-campus meals and accommodations
  • Scholarships of up to 50% of the program fee available

» Current Opportunities

Banff Artist in Residence (BAIR)

Banff Artist in Residence programs offer independent periods of study where artists, curators, and other arts professionals are free to experiment and explore new directions in the production of their work. Participants are provided with an individual studio accessible 24-hours a day, as well as use of Visual Arts facilities including printmaking, papermaking, ceramics, sculpture, and photography. Access to these facilities is subject to additional fees. BAIR offers short and long-term opportunities to work at a remove from the constraints of everyday life.

Program structure and benefits:

  • Studio fee, weekly accommodation rates
  • Individual studio with 24-hour access
  • Access to Visual Arts facilities (subject to additional fees)
  • On-campus meals and accommodations
  • Participants are encouraged to seek external funding opportunities
  • Flexible dates and length of stay (minimum 12 days)

» Current Opportunities

The Walter Phillips Gallery

The Walter Phillips Gallery, established in 1976, is committed to the production, presentation, collection, and research of contemporary visual art and culture. The Gallery exhibits and collects painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, photography, and new media-based works. The Gallery’s substantial collection of video art is housed in the Paul D. Fleck Library at The Banff Centre and is available for public viewing.

The Banff International Curatorial Institute

The Banff International Curatorial Institute (BICI) provides unique support for emerging and mid-career curators through its curatorial residency and Work Study programs, and provides professional development opportunities through think tanks, symposia, and publications.

Work Study Programs

The Banff Centre’s Visual Arts program offers Work Study (or internship) opportunities in visual arts studio, curatorial practice, arts administration and research, and gallery installation. These programs are designed to expand and upgrade creative and producing skills and to increase employability and creativity for these job categories.

Work Study placements are appropriate for individuals who have recently completed their studies or wish to leave their current work worlds or formal advanced studies for a period of time in order to expand and develop their careers, professional experience, and capabilities. These programs require full-time commitment and independent thinking.

» Current Opportunities

View a listing of current Visual Arts programs.