About

Wooden Path to Tower Studio

Fogo Island Arts (FIA) is a residency-based contemporary art and ideas organization that supports research, production and exchange for artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, curators, designers and thinkers from around the world.

Since 2008, FIA has brought exciting emerging and renowned artists of today to Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada to take part in residencies and to present solo exhibitions at the Fogo Island Gallery. FIA also produces publications and presents programs on the island and in cities across Canada and abroad, including the Fogo Island Dialogues interdisciplinary conversation series, as part of its international outreach. Combining contemporary art, iconic architecture and social innovation in a singular setting, FIA is a world-class organization that is uniquely rooted in community.

FIA builds on the resourcefulness and creativity of Fogo Islanders, whose lived experiences provide a vital framework for the organization’s activities. By facilitating collaborations and connections between a local and international network of practitioners and thinkers, FIA aims to provide relevant insights on questions of human relationships with place, nature, financial capital, and one another.

Crucial to FIA’s mission is the conviction that art and artists have the capacity to instigate social change and offer new perspectives on issues of contemporary concern. Fogo Island itself is society on a small scale, where all the challenges of our digitally mediated connections, our fraught relationships to the natural world, our integration within global economic, social and political currents are present in condensed form. Equally at play are the shared culture and profound connections of a close-knit community, a thread of relationships developed in tandem with a specific place. As such, Fogo Island is a significant location to test ideas and practices through FIA’s creative opportunities and research inquiries.

With an international outlook and motivation to tackle global and local concerns, FIA is a unique organization that champions the work of artists and the development of contemporary ideas that engage with diverse social and political concerns of our time.

FIA is a charitable program of Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity with the mission to build economic and cultural resilience on Fogo Island and to serve community well-being by building and sharing new models of economic development that are based upon the inherent cultural and physical assets of a place.

History

Fogo Island Arts was conceived as a continuation of Fogo Island’s deep-rooted relationship with art that emerged through the National Film Board of Canada’s (NFB) Challenge for Change program of the 1960s and 70s. A participatory project that used film as an instigator of social change, Challenge for Change led to the hugely influential Fogo Process films, which documented Fogo Islanders’ way of life and shared concerns, empowering communities to act together to determine their future.

Building on this legacy, FIA was established in 2008 as one of Shorefast’s founding projects. It forms part of a holistic set of charitable programs and social businesses that aim to build economic and cultural resilience on Fogo Island.

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Fogo Island

Fogo Island is an outport community: a small, remote coastal settlement unique to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Fogo Islanders are people of the sea who have made their living by fishing the frigid and often unforgiving waters of the North Atlantic. 

A non-capital-accumulating society until the latter decades of the 20th century, Fogo Islanders sustained themselves for generations by fishing as families and relying on an unrelenting sense of resourcefulness fed by a profound love of place. This history of relative isolation and self-sufficiency has shaped Fogo Islanders and the Fogo Island of today, and continues to inform the island’s economy and culture.

While Fogo Island is a settler community, its territory is part of the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, and the island of Newfoundland is the ancestral homeland of the Mi’kmaq and Beothuk. FIA also recognizes the Inuit of Nunatsiavut and NunatuKavut and the Innu of Nitassinan, and their ancestors, as the original people of Labrador.

FIA pledges to reflect a diversity of identities and perspectives in our programming, including international residencies, exhibitions, public programs and other initiatives. We commit to continually examine structures of power and decision-making within and beyond our organization with an aim to actively embody the values of inclusivity, equity and accessibility in everything we do.

We welcome conversations regarding how FIA can champion a wide range of practices, ideas and identities.

Contact Us

Shorefast

Advisory Board

Staff

Press

Artists

Amy Fung

Danai Anesiadou

Brenda Draney

Kate Newby

Thomas & Helke Bayrle

In this age of instability, inequality, and environmental crisis, artists’ contributions to culture, society and knowledge production are more urgent than ever. By offering new perspectives and ideas, artists can help us make sense of the world, refine our attention, and shift conventional thinking. Fogo Island Arts continues to focus on issues of global critical importance and is motivated by the conviction that art and artists make significant contributions to progressive society.

Residencies

Fogo Island Arts’ international residency program provides opportunities for artists from a wide range of disciplines to live and work on Fogo Island for periods ranging from two to four months. Artists-in-residence are provided with accommodation and studio space, as well as a weekly stipend to offset the costs of materials, shipping, and day-to-day living expenses. Most travel expenses are also covered. Artists-in-residence must give one public presentation, performance, workshop, or lead a similar event during their residency.

Most FIA artists-in-residence are selected through invitation and partnerships. A general call for applications for a limited number of residency spots is held every two years, while specific calls for applications made possible through partnerships are released regularly.

To receive notifications of calls for applications and other updates, please join our mailing list by signing up below.

Open Call

Residency Partnerships

Digital Programs

Artists-in-Residence

Studios

Exhibitions

Wilfrid Almendra, Light Boiled Like Liquid Soap, 2016

Brenda Draney, Atlas, 2019. Oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches. Photo courtesy the artist.

Ieva Epnere, On water, wind and faces of stone, 2018

Ieva Epnere

Abbas Akhavan, script for an island, 2019

Fogo Island Arts’ exhibition program includes major solo commissions and site-specific installations by selected participants of FIA’s international residency program. Exhibitions are presented at the Fogo Island Gallery, a 1200-square-foot space located in the Fogo Island Inn, as well as at offsite locations as part of FIA’s international outreach.

An artist monograph produced by FIA in collaboration with Sternberg Press (Berlin) accompanies most major exhibitions, helping to provide critical context for the understanding of each artist’s work.

In addition to major commissions, FIA invites emerging artists-in-residence to create a site-specific installation at the Fogo Island Gallery as the culmination of their residency. Emerging artist exhibitions are shorter in length and designed to foster space for experimentation and spontaneous intervention. They also provide mentorship opportunities through contact with FIA staff and Advisory Board members.

Gallery hours: 12 pm – 6 pm daily
Admission is free

Please note the Fogo Island Gallery is currently open by appointment only. Please contact: [email protected] to make an appointment to view the current exhibition.

Digital Programs

In response to the unprecedented social and economic impacts of the global pandemic on artists and arts professionals, this platform for discussion and engagement is an opportunity to support participants by offering fees, strengthening capacity to build networks, and increasing the exposure of work and ideas. Furthermore, by hosting programs online, FIA hopes to connect more geographically varied audiences and provide alternative modes for engaging with FIA’s programming. The Digital Program has three main facets:

The Lost & Found Agency features artists, professionals, and researchers from a variety of disciplines to hold a monthly public conversation and lecture series online. Events range from formal lectures to informal participatory conversations that encourage exchange in a peer-to-peer learning environment. The Lost & Found thematic engages key thinkers and makers addressing themes pertaining to decolonization, the climate crisis, alternate economies, reciprocity, new forms of democracy and democratic engagement, migration, and consensus building in the age of fake news, among other topics of the participants choosing.

The Digital Residency is a new virtual program that will offer opportunities, three months long in duration,  for artists, writers, filmmakers, curators, organizers, and other cultural workers. Selected participants will be offered the freedom to program a central part of the website and feature content of their choosing with the support or collaboration of FIA staff. Participants are offered a stipend in order to assists and encourage new production, as well as opportunities for exchange, exposure, collaboration and mentorship with members of FIA’s community.

The FIA Network, is an ever growing web that traces the work of FIA team and alumni beyond Fogo Island’s shores. The network serves as a central and active archive to circulate information about exhibitions, awards, appointments, publications, and other work produced by the FIA community.

In addition to public programs, regular sessions will be held internally for Shorefast staff and Fogo Island community members. While focused on art and contemporary ideas, these programs will be tailored towards issues of local concern, emphasizing open exchange, education, and capacity building for staff members and guests who may be less familiar with art.

FIA Network

Digital Residencies

Lost & Found Agency

Programs

Fogo Island Arts presents regular programs on Fogo Island, including artist talks, film screenings, open studios, educational workshops and special projects. Selected programs are presented in cities across Canada and abroad, including the Fogo Island Dialogues interdisciplinary conversation series, as part of FIA’s international outreach.

Fogo Island Dialogues

Artist Talks

Fogo Island Film

Special Projects

AiR Initiatives

Publications

Fogo Island Arts’ monographic publication series accompanies major solo exhibitions and commissions presented at the Fogo Island Gallery. The volumes provide extended consideration of an artist’s work in formats including critical essays, interviews, experimental writing and fiction. Combined with installation views, process documentation and artist contributions, FIA publications serve as a record of the artist’s time on Fogo Island and their creative contributions that can be disseminated internationally.

The series is co-published with Sternberg Press (Berlin), with graphic design by Markus Weisbeck Studio.

Fogo Island Arts produces limited editions in collaboration with selected artists who have participated in a residency. Proceeds from the sales of FIA Editions support Fogo Island Arts and its parent organization Shorefast, a registered Canadian charity.

FIA is grateful to the artists who have generously donated their work in support of FIA initiatives.

Monographs

Jahresring 65

Artist Editions