The artist-in-residency program at the Chester Art Centre is made possible by the Donald Curley fund, established in memory of the International Chester artist upon his death in 2009. Funded by contributions of friends and family, as well as the proceeds from the Donald Curley lecture series, please check back here for lecture details and to make donations or purchase tickets for upcoming lectures.


The residency exists to support artists as they stretch and grow their artistic scope with a required project including community engagement. Please check back regularly or sign up for our newsletter for information on upcoming residencies.

Meet our past Artist's in Residence.

Claire Stewart

October - November, 2018

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Marley Johnson

October - November, 2019

Carley Mullally & Carson Tarnasky

May - June, 2021


Carley Mullally

Repairing objects, Myself


Carson Tarnasky

Structures and Elements for Play

Curtis Botham &
Elise Campbell

April - June, 2021


Curtis Botham
The Fisheries Waterfront


Elise Campbell
Fibre Art Macro Mushroom Study

Claire is an emerging artist and designer, a graduate of McGill with a Certificate in Graphic Applications for Desktop Publishing from Concordia University and a fascination with ceramics. She began her studies in clay at the Visual Arts Centre of Montreal in 2014, then moved to Nova Scotia two years ago to continue her studies at the Lunenburg School of the Arts.

Marley is an emerging artist and a graduate student at Concordia University. He completed his BFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and studied at Cooper Union Visual Arts In New York. He began his studies in visual arts at Western University in London Ontario and then transferred to NSCAD in 2015. Marley has completed two residencies starting at the Lunenburg School of Art followed by the OUGallery in British Columbia.

Carley is a textile artist from Pictou County, Nova Scotia and currently based  out of Halifax/Kjipuktuk. She completed her BFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and went on to receive her MA from the Royal College of Art in London, England in 2018. Her work focuses on the versatility of textile processes such as rope-making, knotting, and netting, and how they can be translated for a wider audience. While teaching various workshops as well as classes at NSCAD University, Carley continues to work on collaborative research projects while simultaneously continuing her own art practice. She hopes to continue pushing the boundaries of textiles applications, continuing to collaborate with designers, makers and engineers, and to encourage non-textile artists to use these structures in innovative ways.

Carson Tarnasky holds a bachelor's degree in Design from the University of Alberta and has worked in various sculptural mediums. After completing the year-long sculpture studio practicum at the Banff Centre, he attended a month-long stone carving workshop in Italy, creating a sculpture for public display in the municipality of Gramollazo. Having lived, and working in Lunenburg for three years now, he wishes to work with the community and teach various sculptural workshops.

Curtis Botham is a large-scale charcoal artist who graduated from NSCAD University in 2017. He has won numerous grants and awards, including NSTT scholarships, the Canada Games Young Artist of Excellence Award, and numerous grants from Arts Nova Scotia and the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. His artwork has been displayed in galleries around Nova Scotia. His previous artwork dealt with heavy industry in Pictou County, where he explored the origins, impacts, and labour involved in the products that make up our lives. While in Chester, he’ll apply the same approach when depicting the local aquaculture industry and community.

Elise Campbell is a felting textile artist and educator who works with wool, silk, and other fibres to create sculptural and wearable art. Originally from the Pacific side of Canada, she now lives on the Atlantic Coast and draws much of her inspiration from the movement of the sea, the creatures that dwell within it and the flora, fauna and fungi of the forest. The versatility and sustainability of wool is what draws Elise to fibre as a creative medium.

Elise is the owner and operator of Full of Wool, a small fibre art company based in Stillwater Lake, NS. She specialises in silk dyeing, one-of-a-kind wearable art and garments, seasonal decor and inclusive felting workshops. She is a PAINTS artist and her pieces have been awarded Distinguished Artist, Best Emerging Artist, People’s Choice Award, and have been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

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