Situated on the banks of the expansive Saint-Lawrence River, about an hour-and-a-half drive northeast from Québec City, is the gem that is Est-Nord-Est. Established in 1992, the independent artist residency has been inviting artists from Québec, Canada, and around the world to enjoy time and space to experiment and develop their practices in the thriving creative community of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. An influential center outside of a major urban hub, the program has established itself as a nucleus of artistic exploration and experimentation—and it has the facilities to boot.
In 2019, Est-Nord-Est opened a contemporary, airy space designed by Bourgeois/Lechasseur in a “contemporary tribute to regional town planning, articulating a gentle transition from the collective to the private.” Five spacious studios are complemented by one additional multi-use studio for special projects; workshops for metals, woodworking, and ceramics; a common assembly room; and the Documentation Center, a library of archived projects.
Residencies are typically 8 weeks long with opportunities in spring, summer, autumn, and winter, inviting emerging and established artists and writers who practice within the realm of contemporary art to convene in its unique setting. Applications open annually, and you can keep an eye on their opportunities on the website. Residents do need to cover the fee, materials, travel expenses, and any additional living expenses on their own, but the fee covers:
- occupation of an individual studio-workshop serving as a work and accommodation space
- access to specialized equipment (wood, metal, ceramics)
- access to a documentation center (books, journals)
- access to local resources
- personalized technical and logistical support
- access to a bicycle (in season) / to occasional local transport in winter
Est-Nord-Est’s primary objective? “To offer an international community of artists and authors space and time for experimentation as well as privileged access to diverse local resources and know-how. It promotes the value that the creative process represents in contemporary artistic practices.”
Header image: Facade of Est-Nord-Est. Photograph by Adrien Williams.