Artists in Residence

Put simply, IISD-ELA is an artist’s dream. It is a series of 58 pristine lakes in Canada’s boreal forest in northwestern Ontario that have been set aside for a unique approach to scientific research.

Photos reveal a space of great peace and tranquility, vast expanses of untouched lakes bordered by dense forests, and a busy community of scientists working together toward common goals. Being there and experiencing it for yourself reveals so much more.

That is why, in 2019, we invited nine artists to visit the world’s freshwater laboratory, be inspired, and create art.

Below you can discover more about them, follow their journey, and see what their time at IISD Experimental Lakes Area inspired.

Heather Hinam

Heather is a Manitoba-based naturalist, artist, photographer, and educator dedicated to helping people reconnect with nature. She visited IISD-ELA from June 9th to 14th, 2019 as an Artist-in-Residence.

Ben Evans James

Ben is a filmmaker and film curator based between Germany and Canada. We were thrilled to invite him out as our only Artist-in-Residence of the year in September 2021.

Yvonne Drebert and Zach Melnick (Inspired Planet)

Inspired Planet Productions, located on the beautiful Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula in Ontario, Canada, is run by Producer Yvonne Drebert and Director/Cinematographer Zach Melnick. We were thrilled to invite Yvonne and Zach out to the site in August 2022.

aAron Munson

aAron Munson is a Canadian filmmaker, cinematographer and multimedia artist. We were thrilled to welcome him out to the world's freshwater laboratory in August 2022 as an Artist-in-Residence.

Todd Stewart

Originally from Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Todd is a self-taught printmaker and published illustrator. He currently lives in Montreal where he co-manages the Temple, a small silkscreen studio. Todd visited IISD-ELA as an Artist-in-Residence from September 22 to October 4, 2019.

Sean Landsman

Sean specializes in underwater and research documentary photography with a focus on freshwater systems and conservation issues. He brought his photography skills to IISD-ELA as an Artist-in-Residence from August 25th to 30th, 2019.

Lesley Nakonechny

Lesley Nakonechny is a Winnipeg-based graphic designer and artist whose art practice focuses on themes of nature, prairie plants, and science. Lesley visited IISD-ELA as an Artist-in-Residence from August 11th to 16th, 2019.

Matt Foster

Matt is a singer, songwriter and musician who has toured in 11 different countries over his 15-year career. He visited IISD-ELA from July 21st to 26th, 2019 as an Artist-in-Residence.

Walk&Talk Theatre Company

Walk&Talk Theatre Company is an award-winning company creating original, multidisciplinary work that engages the heart and brain through music, movement, and writing. They visited IISD-ELA as Artists-in-Residence from September 15th to 20th, 2019.