Emily carr + 2 rivers gallery artist residency series

On behalf of Emily Carr University’s Material Matters research lab, in partnership with Living Labs, Emily co-curated an artist residency series and New Craft Symposium in partnership with Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George.

The series took place over 6 months and included 3 month-long residencies with artists Terri Fidelak, Benny Zenga, and Justin Miles. To conclude the series, Smith and Keith Doyle curated The New Craft Symposium, which included a “Mighty Ugly” workshop with Kim Werker, Chicken automata building, and artist talks. Participating artists bios below.

Artist Residency 1: Installation with Terri Fidelak at BMO Kidz Art Dayz

Artist Residency 2: “Mini High up hut” building workshop and installation with Benny Zenga

Artist residency 3: chicken automatons with justin miles


Justin Miles


Justin has been tinkering with automata in his studio for many years. He has a keen interest in Japanese craft, and in particular, Karakuri Ningyo, a 300 year old Japanese tradition of automata-like devices. In 2010, he traveled to Inuyama, Japan, to visit a well known Karakuri museum. While there he had his first brief hands-on experience studying these machines. As luck would have it, some of his crude attempts at Karakuri were discovered by a Japanese Producer Shuichiro Ban, and in June of 2017, was invited to Nagoya, Japan, to be in the hour-long Tokyo TV program, “Who Wants to Come to Japan?” There he met and studied briefly with one of Japan’s Cultural Treasures, Tamaya Shobei IX, who is considered one of a few remaining leading Karakuri experts and restorers. That experience galvanized Justin’s commitment to continue studying and creating his own automata, as well as assembling the traditional designs he was exposed to during this once in a lifetime experience. He wishes to share his knowledge of automata, and karakuri, and to combine the Japanese esthetics with his creations, but retain the playfulness of automata. Justin lives in Vancouver, has a small woodshop, a kitchen workshop, a living room workbench, and two feline creative supervisors.

Kate Metten


Kate Metten situates herself within the intersection of painting and ceramics. Her first solo show Untitled opened in January at Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver. Recent group shows include The Form Will Find Its Way: Contemporary Ceramic Sculptural Abstraction, NCECA (2019), Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Leaning Out of Windows (LOoW) Process Design, Art and Physics Collaborations through Aesthetic Transformation, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2018); and 88 Artists from 88 Years, Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2017). Winner of the Thelma Ruck Keen Memorial Award for Ceramics when graduating with her BFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2017, she recently completed a formal apprenticeship with ceramicist Gailan Ngan with funding from the BC Arts Council early career development program. She will undertake an artist’s residency at the Burrard Arts Foundation in 2019.

Kim Werker


Kim Werker believes that acts of creativity can be fun even when they’re scary, and that the first attempt at making any new kind of thing is utterly perfect especially when it’s a disaster. She is the author of half a dozen crochet books and Make It Mighty Ugly, a guide to vanquishing creative demons, and she speaks and leads workshops on embracing the ugly side of creativity as an essential element to making meaningful projects. An instructor with both Craftsy/Bluprint and CreativeLive, she lives in Vancouver, BC, where she works as a writer and editor, and hosts an online community of creative adventurers.

Benny Zenga


Benny Zenga is a filmmaker who builds and embodies the movies he makes. Since building his first High Up Hut out of sticks, the artist’s self-described structures of solitude have grown to a human scale. Often found atop abandoned poles, Zenga’s High Up Huts represent his desire to savour a clear mind.

High Up Hut #3, installed on Two Rivers Gallery’s Sculpture Court, is a hybrid design inspired by High Up Hut #1 (Belcarra) and High Up Hut #2 (Vancouver). Unlike its predecessors, this hut is not located on a vacant pole, but rather on the high-up location of the Sculpture Court. Utilizing forgotten posts and pillars, these ‘graffiti living’ spaces are a refuge for the everyday adventurer and a lighthouse for the public, invoking them to look up.

Logan Mohr

Logan Mohr is a Material Matters Researcher and Studio Technician at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver. He graduated from Emily Carr with a Bachelor of Industrial Design Degree in the Spring of 2016. As an emergent scholar, he is able to apply his own knowledge and research creation practice to student and faculty-led projects. His technology creation projects inspire and enable others to learn and discover. Logan gives form to our relationships with the spaces and individuals around us through Computer Aided Design, parametric interfaces and additive material production technologies.

Keith Doyle


Keith Doyle is an Assistant Professor Industrial Design, Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media, and Faculty of Graduate Studies at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. He is a Lead/co-lead Investigator on a few University material research initiatives including, design-led applied research partnerships enabled by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, National Research Council Canada, and Research Creation activities funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. He is a Serial Collaborator and Maker. Doyle is an alumni researcher of GRAND NCE and founding faculty member and Director of the Material Matters Research Centre. He maintains an active design and material practice presenting scholarly works and exhibitions locally and abroad. Material Matters’ mandate is to explore sustainable yet innovative material practice through material practice, material research, co-operative partnerships, social forums and workshops for knowledge transfer.


Material Matters / Two Rivers Gallery New Craft Symposium