Koerner Artist in Residence program paints a path to success

Fine Art (Visual Art) students in the Faculty of Arts and Science had an opportunity to learn from and be inspired by professional artist and this year’s Koerner Artist in Residence Zachari Logan, a Canadian artist working mainly with large-scale drawing, ceramics, and installation. His work is found in many collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

His residencies include Vienna's Museums Quartier MQ21 AiR Program, the International Studio and Curatorial Program in Brooklyn (ISCP), Wave Hill Botanical Gardens Winter Workspace Program in the Bronx, NY, the Liberty-ARC residency program in rural Tennessee, among many others.

The unique opportunity was made possible thanks to a significant gift from The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation. The foundation recently made a generous donation to ensure that the popular Koerner Artist in Residence Program will be funded in perpetuity and continue to develop Canada’s next generation of artists.

"This has been a highly successful residency for the past 20 years, offering close mentorship and teaching to undergraduate visual arts students from some of Canada’s most talented artists,” said Michael Koerner, LLD’13. “Sonja and I are truly pleased that, through the endowment, arts students will continue to benefit from a strong education and an enriched artistic life at Queens.”

The program provides students with unique access to mentorship from a top emerging Canadian artist each year. The residency involves a mix of classroom activities, studio time, one-to-one critiques, and opportunities to build relationships with students, faculty members, and community artists.

“These artists are role models for the students and offer the students different career options they can explore post degree,” says Gordon E. Smith, Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science and Interim Director, Bachelor of Fine Art (Visual Art) Program. “This generous gift from The Michael and Sonja Koerner Foundation secures the residency in perpetuity and will continue to be a highlight of the academic year. It enriches the student experience and is a distinguishing feature of studio art at Queen’s. The residency is a key part of the recruitment of future students.”

Dr. Smith adds selecting diverse artists is important to the students and says they look at gender, race, sexual identity and where the artists are located before making their choice. “This is important with the current focus on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigeneity at Queen’s and it also resonates with the students.”

The residency, as with many other programs on campus, faced a variety of challenge as the result of the ongoing pandemic. Despite some early reservations, the program went ahead and was possibly one of the most successful ever.

“As someone with a fairly monastic practice, it was quite wonderful to open my studio up to both the students and faculty of Queen’s,” says Logan, who is currently situated in Regina, Saskatchewan. “As the residency had to be augmented due to COVID-19, everything was administered online. This offered both challenges and opportunities and overall was in my estimation a huge success. I certainly gained a huge sense of energy and revitalization in my own physical space. I hope the students gained the fresh eyes of someone new to their work with a perspective that might assist or affect further research and intellectual exploration.”

Logan also talks about the funding for the Koerner Artist in Residence Program and how important it is, not just to Queen’s and the Fine Art (Visual Art) program but to Kingston as well. “This residency brings in and connects artists from across the country to Queen’s and the Agnes Etherington in a way that would not be possible without the generous support of The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation.”

Learn more about Zachari Logan on his website.