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Tactile Artist Co-Learning Program 2023

Image Description: Two illustrated hands, one with Swan-neck fingers, and one without, reach from both sides to touch the grunt gallery logo. Text below reads: Tactile Co-Learning Program.

Submissions due: October 31st, 2023, Midnight or 11:59 PM PDT

Accessibility information: This information can be listened to in English by visiting soundcloud or downloading an MP3 from our Google Drive. 

ASL questions are available in our google drive.

You can apply by email in writing or in a recording (video or audio) or in a separate text file, or by using Google Forms. Email

This program is limited to artists living in the Greater Vancouver Regional District and Lower Mainland. We appreciate the interest of artists living outside of this area, but we still lack the funds to support artists outside of our local area. If you still want to be in contact with us, feel free to email us, but only local applications will be considered.

What is the tactile artist co-learning program?

Our co-learning program is an opportunity to support up to two guest artists, makers, explorers or knowledge keepers to continue within their own on-going practices exploring, while also providing a space for sharing and learning together with the grunt gallery team.

The Details

This is our second year working on our tactile learning program. It was previously called the Tactile Residency, but have shifted away from that language because we do not provide dedicated working space for artists with our current set up and wanted to be clear about that! Artists must have an ongoing tactile practice and space for making, but artists may use the fee from this program to help them secure their own making space during the program if they choose.

The purpose of the tactile co-learning program is a dynamic opportunity that provides paid time for participants to explore their own tactile practice while also working with grunt gallery to deepen our understanding of non-visual and touch interactivity within contemporary arts. Artist are invited to create something in response to grunt gallery for our archives.

In the past, artist editions produced have included a glossary of tactile marks by a Blind illustrator, and an improvised drum performance in the empty gallery.

Artists will be paid a fee to either pursue their own ongoing projects, or to begin a project related to the gallery during their co-learning program. This is not an exhibition opportunity but a knowledge sharing and supporting program where artists will receive a fee to continue their own explorations and development within an on-going tactile practice, while being in conversation with grunt gallery about what it means to have tactile work and to navigate non-visually in a primarily visual space.

The co-learning program offers the opportunity for artists to be paid to work on a tactile project (either new or on-going) and either have their process documented on-site at grunt gallery or have an archivist visit their studio to document their work. Artists will be asked to consider what it would mean to have their practice in a gallery, the barriers they face as a tactile artist, as well as give feedback on some of grunt’s practices to provide tactile participation in their shows.

Artists are expected to commit to up to 8 hours of co-learning sessions with grunt staff where they will share and chat about barriers and challenges facing tactile and non-visual artists, and brainstorm ways to better support their practices within formal gallery spaces. An opportunity to meet with grunt gallery’s program director, curator and/or exhibition manager will be made available where the artist can discuss their practice, and receive feedback on how they can present their work when applying for exhibitions and other programs within contemporary gallery spaces. Artists are asked to visit at least one exhibition at grunt gallery, and respond to the space either in conversation or in making. Any travel costs and access supports for this will be paid for by grunt gallery.

The program is designed to be spacious and allow participants to shape the program. 

grunt gallery offers the tactile artist co-learning program as an opportunity for their staff and our community to explore how tactility can exist and play-out within predominantly visual spaces where touching and interacting with work is discouraged, forbidden, or not considered. Time is built into the residency to allow for artists to share and participate in grunt staff and committee meetings, and members of the AEPE department at grunt will be available to support throughout the program as needed.

In our second year of this program, we are hoping to invite expressions of interest in the program from community members working on Coast Salish land, within the colonially named Metro Vancouver and Lower Mainland area. This residency is limited to creative people who self-identify as Non-Visual, Blind, DeafBlind, Partially Sighted or Low Vision individuals. We recognize that wellness, ability, and identity is a spectrum, and we ask you to share how you position yourself within your communities, and how your practice is engaged with a non-visual, and tactile discourse.

grunt gallery hosts and makes work on the unceded and stolen ancestral territories of the Hun’qumi’num (hǝn̓q̓ǝmin̓ǝm̓) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) speaking peoples, as uninvited guests on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Waututh lands. We will prioritize applications from Host Nation creators when reviewing with our jury. We will also encourage and prioritize experiences by Black, and/or Indigenous, and/or racialized individuals. Please let us know when you apply if you are a part of MST families and nations, or if you identify as a racialized individual!

The grunt gallery 2023 tactile program will involve a selection process following an application. The selection will be made from the current grunt gallery AEPE department, grunt accessibility committee, and 1-2 community assessors. 


Selected artists will receive a fee of $2000, with an expectation of about 10-15hrs/week of artistic labour over 6 weeks (including initial discovery phase and project introduction — 2 hours maximum), with any hiring of interveners/interpreters/translators, time spent in additional meetings, and any workshop, community gathering, and research costs covered by grunt. Artists will work offsite although space may be available at grunt gallery depending on the artist’s practice. It is expected that most of the artist work will be done offsite (or in their home spaces). Selected artists will coordinate with grunt’s Events and Accessibility Manager, Keimi Nakashima-Ochoa, and on occasion grunt’s Accessibility and Exhibitions Manager, Kay Slater. Invitations to additional staff and committee meetings are optional and up to the artist to decide their capacity.


Call Opens for artists: September 11th 2023

Deadline for submissions October 31st, 2023

Jury/Assessment Panel: Week of November 7th, 2023

Notice of selections: November 16th, 2023

Submissions can be submitted in text, voice, or ASL. When submitting voice recordings, please indicate the language used in the recording. ASL questions are available in our google drive.

If a google form format works for you, please click here to visit the google form with the following questions:

  1. Name:
  2. Email or Phone:
  3. This residency is limited to artists, makers, and knowledge keepers who are Non-Visual, Blind, DeafBlind, Partially Sighted, Low Vision or otherwise on a non-visual spectrum. Tell us how you self-identify.
  4. Are you a member of MST (Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil Waututh) host nations and families?
  5. Are you a person of racialized experience?
  6. Do you identify as Trans, Queer, Deaf/deaf/hard of hearing, neurodiverse, mad, or otherwise excellent? Tell us about your intersectional identity (if you want)!
  7. Which city or territory do you live in within the colonially defined province of BC?
  8. Tell us about yourself. (250 word limit)
  9. How does tactility and non-visual interaction show up in your practice and work? Why do you explore tactility and non-visual interactivity? (250 word limit)
  10. What would you like to explore in the residency if you were to participate? (250 word limit)
  11. Please attach your CV (1 page )
  12. Please attach support materials (maximum of 10 images, 5 minutes of video or audio, and 7 pages of written materials at 14 pt or higher). If support materials are supplied in languages besides English, please indicate the language in the file name or in your application comments.

If Google Forms are not accessible, these questions are available in plain text file, Word Doc, OCR PDF, and can be copied from here into an email.


grunt has wide double-entrances (now with a power door) and a wheelchair accessible washroom. Please note, the washroom door on site is very heavy . Here is a video walkthrough of the space which includes visual description. For full access details or to discuss needs and inclusion, please email:

If you would like to have a meeting to discuss your application or for any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us.

If you require a translator, intervenor, or other access support, please let us know. Service dogs with certification are welcome in the space. Please note that non-certified support animals are not able to be supported in the space for the sake of staff and visitors and their access needs. Please contact us with any questions.

How can I support this initiative?

If you are not eligible for this residency but still wish to support it, we ask that you share this with your networks, directly invite people that you think would be interested, and if possible, donate to grunt gallery to help us sustain these programs.

Share our invitation on social media, and be sure to write image descriptions in your media captions should they be erased when shared.

Written support can also be sent to for us to use in grants, and to help us better our programming and calls for submissions in the future.

Financial support can be provided by donating, or by contacting to become a funding partner for our Accessible Exhibitions, Public Programming and Events initiatives.

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