Image: Installation View of Open Invitations, exhibition at the Art Gallery at Evergreen. Photo by Rachel Topham Photography.
Part of our Emerging Creators Incubator
Milan Franco Orosco
August 05 – 15, 2021
Open Invitations is a showcase of work by six emerging multidisciplinary artists participating in the Evergreen Cultural Centre’s (ECC) Emerging Creators Incubator, featuring James Albers, Natalie Chan, Jake Kimble, Erin Lum, Milan Franco Orosco and Carmen Wong.
The Emerging Creators Incubator program is designed to support emerging artists from all artistic disciplines living on the Coast Salish territories colonially known as the Tri-Cities and Lower Mainland. From May to July 2022, the artists received mentorship from guest mentors Rydel Cerezo, kimmortal, collaborators Luciana Freire D’Anunciação and Guadalupe Martinez and ECC staff, who fostered the development of the participants’ work. Upholding the ECC’s commitment to supporting emerging artists, our studios and facilities were offered to the participating artists for a month-long residency. The program concludes with this showcase.
The works created for Open Invitations are the outcome of conversations and creative exploration as the artists came together to learn from each other and pursue new ideas and materials relevant to their artistic practices. Working across visual, literary and performing arts, the participants playfully explore the intersections of identity, cultural inheritance and the vulnerable exchange of lived experience.
This youth-led program is conceived and facilitated by Valentina Acevedo Montilla, Youth Engagement and Performing Arts Assistant, and Anna Luth, Curatorial Assistant.
James Albers is an emerging artist, curator, writer, organizer, performer, and drag artist based on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories. They recently graduated from the department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver with a double major in Visual Arts and Art History. During their final year, they were the Assistant Director of the Hatch Art Gallery, UBC’s only student run art space. Conceptually, their practice often adopts collaborative and community oriented approaches as they see this as a productive way to subvert singular and limited perspectives within artistic spaces and worlds. James is interested in exploring the queer potentials of revisionist histories and chooses to believe in the magic of fiction. Recently, James has been thinking through the truth that a perfect lie may hold.
Natalie Chan is a Vancouver-based Chinese contemporary artist and tattooist; she completed her BFA at Simon Fraser University. Her art practice untangles her relationship with her self, the people, and the land, negotiating with reality by re-weaving the same ties to find new perspectives that can offer tangible possibilities of healing, reconciliation, and growth – it seeks to understand how these ties continually shape our lives and inform our identity. Her work, grown from trauma and second-generation immigrant experience, exposes her own vulnerability, an offering to become a transformative space where perceived weakness can turn into a rallying strength. She invites visitors in to shift the focus from her individual perspective to an expression of a desire to relate with the surrounding community, to imagine a vision of brighter futures together.
Jake Kimble is a multimedia two-spirt artist from Hay River in the Northwest Territories and who belongs to the Deninu K’ue First Nation on Treaty 8 territory and currently works on the stolen territory of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw ( ̱ Squamish) and səlil̓ w̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. Kimble most recently attained a BFA in Photography from Emily Carr University of Art + Design where he pursued his interest in the act of healing by using a funny bone to excavate trauma. By playing dress-up with themes of existentialism, narcissism, and the strange, Kimble sends an invitation to the viewer to truly look at the absurdities that exist within the everyday. Using humour as an access point has become an integral part of Kimble’s practice as it gives both the artist and the viewer permission to exhale and even chuckle in spaces where laughter is often lost.
Erin Lum is a Chinese Canadian dancer, writer, and filmmaker. Her instinctual love for movement has presented her with countless opportunities to explore the ways creative practices can intertwine. Erin curated Story Bloom, an ongoing collection of interviews with Canadian dance artists that highlight powerful topics in the multi-faceted dance world. In 2020, Erin was a F-O-R-M Commissioned Artist with her collaborator Corinne Langmuir. Her first short Zì Jǐ was presented at F-O-R-M’s 2020 festival and was later projected onto the National Arts Centre building in Ottawa as part of the Kipnes Lantern Outdoor Film Festival. Her second dance film, Something To Forget Me By, is currently in post-production. Erin is studying Communications at Simon Fraser University and works as the Associate Producer of F-O-R-M. She is excited to continue exploring her multidisciplinary artistry through the Emerging Artist Incubator!
Milan Franco Orosco
Milan Franco Orosco (he/they/siya) is a multidisciplinary artist living on the stolen and occupied lands of the Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh nations. Through a medium of ethnographic storytelling, Milan’s art practice explores memory, systems change, and diasporic intimacy. Drawing from complexities of the Filipinx immigrant experience, they have an active determination to bridge anti-colonial and anti-capitalist teachings to counter western hegemony amongst the Filipinx community. Through trauma-informed care, they believe that multidisciplinary art forms can invoke multi-generational community healing. Under the guidance of Benita & Zuleyma Prado, Milan is a studio assistant at THOTFUL Studios- a studio space for queer + trans Black, Indigenous, + POC Artists.
Carmen Wong is a multidisciplinary artist born in 1998 on the ancestral, unceded territory of the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations also known as Maple Ridge. She is currently working on the ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm(Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations also known as Vancouver. She studied Visual Arts and received a BFA from Simon Fraser University in 2020. Her works mainly consist of installations while experimenting with various mediums such as sculpture and painting as well as exploring a multitude of materials. Carmen is largely influenced by the many stories she comes across from folklore and fairy tales as well as taking inspiration from the environment around her to create her own narratives. She explores these stories by telling them in her own way through her artwork.