For Artists

To See Community Artist Calls for Submissions

Project Overview

Waterlution is currently looking for eight participatory, community-based art project proposals from local emerging, mid-career or established artists or artist collectives. Projects must prioritize community dialogue about the Great Lakes and evoke what the Great Lake in their community means to its people. Participation from the public and the artist in co-creating a community-based, Great Lakes-themed artwork—under the direction of the artist—is a mandatory requirement of this commission.

Each artist or artist collective will receive support from Waterlution to facilitate a community maker workshop in their focus community, and to direct the participants to create a personal contribution for inclusion in the final artwork. Each participant contribution is to be utilized by the artist in creating the final artwork for installation in a public space within each focus community.

Curatorial Intent

The projects will emphasize collaboration and the collective magnitude of the Great Lakes. Community participation will focus on ideas that showcase the grandeur of the Great Lakes as well as connection of its people, their history and diverse cultures. Notions of empowerment and sustainability, with the goal of creating a platform for continued enriched dialogue and ownership are foundational to the work. Participation from the public in co-creating a community-based, Great Lakes-themed artwork—under the direction of the artist—is mandatory. Projects will strive to facilitate the public through emblematic, supportive, and participatory means.

Artist Eligibility:

This call is open to professional artists and artist collectives residing within one of the identified communities of Hamilton, Kingston, Providence Bay (Manitoulin Island), Mississauga, Owen Sound, Aamjiwnaang First Nation (Sarnia), Thunder Bay & Toronto. We encourage and invite artists from diverse backgrounds and from all career levels.

Selection Committee


Paola Poletto

Paola Poletto’s work shifts between DIY (do it yourself) and institutional-based practices. With both, she’s interested in the representations of collaborative productions where visual constructions are rigorous narratives, exercising multiple points of view. She is Manager of Adult Learning and Residency Programs at the Art Gallery of Ontario where, for the past four years, she has led the Gallery School adult studio programs, public programs ranging from discursive to performance, as well as the artist-in-residence program. Paola has also held positions at the City of Mississauga’s Culture Division as Supervisor of Events (2008-12); and at Design Exchange (DX), as Senior Director of Programs (2000-8), focusing on sustainability, social responsibility and innovation.


Dr. Gail Krantzberg

Dr. Krantzberg is Professor leading the Engineering and Public Policy Program at McMaster University. Gail completed her M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Toronto in environmental science. She worked for the Ontario Ministry of Environment as Senior Policy Advisor on Great Lakes and was the Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the International Joint Commission. She has authored 6 books and over 190 scientific and policy articles on ecosystem quality and sustainability. She is an avid photographer and gardener when not at work.


Cree Stevens

Cree is an Ahnishinaabeqwe (Ojibwe woman) artist who is also of Cree and European descent. She feels closest to her Northwestern Ontario roots which is reflected in some of the materials she uses in her multi-disciplinary work such as birch bark, copper, beads, bone, quills, and leather. Her primary focus is to convey Indigenous issues and culture by creating artwork that features the political, social, global, cultural, traditional, environmental, and personal aspects of her people. In this way, she pays respect to and honours her ancestors. Her work can be seen at


Christopher McLeod

Christopher is the Project Lead for Great Art for Great Lakes. His artistic practice focuses on water issues utilizing socially engaged, dialogical, and interactive strategies. Self described as a Performance Sculpture Artist; his interactive apparatuses have been featured at Nuit Blanche, McMaster Museum of Art, Earls Court Gallery, as well as in Water Canada Magazine. He received his Ba in studio art from McMaster University and his Masters of Applied Art from Emily Carr University. His ongoing projects can be seen at

Community Artist Calls for Submission

Digital Art

Arists in Residence Julia Krolik and Owen Fernley will create a digital artwork titled Community Flow.

Community Flow is a digital online art piece that showcases the creations of eight community maker projects from the Great Art for Great Lakes initiative. During all maker workshops each community member’s contribution will be photographed and directly incorporated into Community Flow. This online art piece is created using a custom algorithm. Each of the eight communities will be represented by a uniquely coloured circle, which will be mapped onto an image of the Great Lakes.

Each coloured circle, matching their community of origin, will cluster around that community location along the Great Lakes. The circles will leave their community of origin and travel throughout the Great Lakes system following actual current flow paths derived from scientific data. The circles will mix with each other as they slowly work their way through this system before exiting via the St. Lawrence River to the east. As each circle leaves the screen on the right hand side, the community member contribution photograph associated with each circle will appear below the Great Lakes map. In this way, each community member contribution will cycle through the Great Lakes as a data point, and appear as a photograph at the end of its journey.