Maru Aponte, Sidi Chen and Marion Landry Receive Griffin x ECU Residency Awards

July 18, 2023

By Perrin Grauer


The artists and 2023 MFA graduates will receive studio space, stipends and networking opportunities as part of the initiative, co-led by Griffin Art Projects and the Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship.

From left: Maru Aponte, Andres en Playa Sun Bay, 2023. Watercolour on canvas. | Sidi Chen, Where I Am When I Land Between the Waves, detail and reflection view in the mylar layer, 2023. Photo by Michael Love. | Marion Landry, Chasing the light #6, angled detail view, 2023. Photo by Michael Love.

Maru AponteSidi Chen and Marion Landry are the 2023 recipients of a trio of awards offering professional development to graduating Emily Carr University MFA students.

Led by the Shumka Centre for Creative Entrepreneurship in partnership with Griffin Art Projects, the Griffin x Emily Carr Residency Awards support the development of artistic practices with short-term studio space, materials stipends and networking opportunities.

“Post-graduation can be a vulnerable time in an emerging artist’s career. Leaving the support structure of a formal schooling environment and encountering the realities of studio costs and finding new communities and networks can be daunting,” says Lisa Baldissera, director of Griffin Art Projects.

“The Griffin Award series is intended to provide an environment to nurture emerging post-graduate artists at this crucial time. We believe in supporting artists through these challenges, and this program allows us to do so in a concrete way, which we hope will help launch new artistic careers and visions.”

Maru Aponte, Infinity Pool, 2023. Watercolour on canvas. (Image courtesy the artist)

Maru Aponte received the Griffin x ECU Fellowship Studio Award; Sidi Chen received the Similkameen Artist Residency Award; and Marion Landry received the Griffin x ECU Studio Award. All three artists receive free studio space, a materials budget, promotional support and chances to interact with arts professionals, collectors and the public.

“I look forward to seeing the practices of the awardees evolve,” says Cemre Demiralp, project manager, Partnerships + Creative Entrepreneurship at ECU. “It’s a privilege to be able to support the artistic development of our students post-graduation. I’m tremendously grateful to RBC for fostering this opportunity to amplify the arts ecosystem in this province, to extend our relationship with our graduates, and to help ensure their professional mobility and resilience.”

Sidi Chen, Mirage Raft (The Dream Talking Oyster), image still, 2022-2023. (Image courtesy the artist)

Maru says she intends to “continue exploring the potential of watercolour as a contemporary artistic medium” during her time at Griffin.

“While the MFA helped me sharpen my ideas, the Griffin residency will help explore further and other ways that colour can express our relationship to climate,” Maru continues. “Being from Puerto Rico and currently living in Canada, my ambition post-graduation is to continue getting to know the city and engaging with the local art community in Vancouver.”

Sidi, whose practice explores the “intersectionality of the body, community space and the land,” says he looks forward to working with the local flora around the scenic Similkameen Art Residency.

“I am excited to experiment and collaborate with trees and forests to develop the movement and sound scores for my next project, Wintering Ground, which utilizes dreams as a portal to explore the temporality of the diasporic body in relation to the environment,” Sidi says.

Marion Landry, Chasing the light #6 and #7, installation view as part of biometaphysicalmateria MFA Thesis Show at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 2023. Oil on canvas. (Image ©Marion Landry)

Marion, whose practice involves paintings and installations that respond to specific locations, says she’s “excited to see what will emerge from the specific conditions of the Griffin studio.”

“I intend to fully immerse myself in this new environment and explore the interplay between the physical features of the space and the surrounding natural elements,” Marion continues. “This residency represents a tremendous opportunity to produce a body of work outside the familiar ECU context and make a transition into a full-time professional practice.”

Visit Griffin Art Projects online to find out more about their programming, publications, exhibitions and events.

Visit ECU online to learn more about studying in the Master of Fine Arts program at ECU.

The Griffin x ECU Residency Award is funded by the RBC Foundation in support of RBC Emerging Artists.

You can find this article also on Emily Carr News.