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Artists in Residence Salon

Inspired by the concept of 17th century French salons, VACS Founder Keiko Honda began inviting local residents and out-of-town guests to her Artists in Residence (AIR) Salon since 2010 at her home in Dunbar-Southlands. It is a space created to connect and learn from each other through dialogue. Through various presentations by artists, musicians, business owners, story tellers, and other speakers, a series of meaningful dialogue began to emerge, allowing people to connect with each other and to this unique city we live in that is Vancouver.


"I try to create safe spaces to allow people to take creative risks and explore their strengths and vulnerabilities. I invite artists in the community to speak at the AIR Salons, but I reserve lots of time for group discussion and group storytelling, which stimulates a stronger creative flow between artists and audiences. At the AIR Salons, the presenters and the audience are crossing the line, exchanging roles, eliciting art from the audience and appreciation from the presenters. The audience do some of the work of creative interpretation – to become, in a sense, co-creators." - Founder, Keiko Honda, Ph.D.


“We are all artists.”

                       - Founder, Keiko Honda, Ph.D.

Post-VACS Salon list est. 2014

Spring 2014

63)  The 63rd salon was given by Yukiko Onley on January 17, 2014 entitled, “Fabulous Faces.” A painter-turned-photographer from Osaka, Japan, but living in Vancouver since 1976, Yukiko explored the intuitive and spontaneous approaches to her photography; specifically, her passion for photographing theatre and dance productions.


64)  The 64th salon was given by Olivia Fermi on February 15, 2014 entitled, “Then and Now: Women Respond to the Manhattan Project.” As the granddaughter of Enrico Fermi, one of the men involved in the Manhattan Project, Olivia discussed how women responded to World War II during and after the war; eventually becoming community leaders and visionaries. Her talk focused on her grandmother, Laura Fermi, a social and environmental leader, and Marian Naranjo, and Indigenous thought leader whose people lived on the land now occupied by the Los Alamos National Lab.


65)  The 65th salon was given by Georgia Youngs on March 1, 2014. At her salon, Georgia divulged the ups and downs in her “love affair with art”; detailing the twists and turns that brought her to the recent successes in her work.


66)  The 66th salon was given by Brock Tully on March 15, 2014 entitled, “On Kindness.” Brock presented his journey of going on three large-scale bikes trips — totalling 50,000 km — around North America to advocate for a kinder world, including anti-discrimination within the community, anti-bullying, and reducing domestic violence.


67)  The 67th salon was given by Yayoi Hirano on April 12, 2014 entitled, “My Journey as a Japanese female Mime-Dance Artist.” Yayoi is a talented Japanese mime-dance artist and Noh mask maker who founded the Yayoi Theatre Movement. Through the art of mime, Yayoi probed the connections between eastern and western elements, as well as the inner and outer world at her salon.


68)  At the 68th salon, “Art as Triggers for Experiences,” Timothy J. Sullivan presented his artwork and talked about his journey on April 26, 2014. A contemporary abstract expressionist who creates artwork both large and small, Timothy encouraged others to be bold and experimental in their artistic pursuits.

Summer 2014

69)   The 69th salon was given by Kagan Goh on May 9, 2014. Kagan is a spoken word artist that performed his piece, “Surviving Samsara” at the salon; ‘samsara’ being defined as the “cycle of rebirth,” or “perpetual wandering” by the Buddhist Dictionary. While also sharing personal stories about his life and struggles with mental illness, he performed alongside Butoh dancer Salome Nieto and cellist composer Nicholas Epperson.


70)  The 70th salon was given by Patrick McGuire on May 24, 2014 entitled, “An Evening with Patrick McGuire (a.k.a., ‘Mr. Renaissance’).” A writer, artist and world traveler who is an explorer of both the outer world and his own inner being, Patrick shared some of his visual art and readings from his early creative nonfiction travel writing.


71)  On June 16, 2014, the 71st salon was given in honor of Bloomsday — a celebration of Irish writer James Joyce’s Ulysses — and directed by Daniel Conrad. Readings of Ulysses, Ireland, and drinks were abound in the celebratory night.


72)  On July 1, 2014, Salome Nieto performed “Camino al Tepeyac” at the 72nd salon. This dance connects to Salome’s Mexican roots and is an investigation into the themes of devotion, ritual, and myth by looking at the convergence of traditional and post-conquest Aztec / Mexican religious beliefs.


73)  The 73rd salon was given by Ernesto Ponce on August 9, 2014 entitled, “My Journey.” In this salon, Ernesto shared his life’s journey of being a world-class Mexican tennis champion reawakening a lineage of self-healing within his family.


Fall 2014

75)  Debra Sparrow presented “Weaving Together a History” on August 23, 2014, for the 75th salon. A Musqueam artist engaging in many different mediums, Debra is most renowned for her Salish weaving designs. In her salon, she examined and discussed how she maintained her integrity and sense of contentment throughout her life and artistic career.


76)  The 76th salon was given by Etsuko Inoue on September 13, 2014. Born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan, Etsu specializes in Japanese calligraphy and Japanese watercolor painting. With her salon, Etsu effectuated her goal to unfurl the beauty and spirituality of the two art forms throughout Canada.


77)  The 77th salon was given by Pia Massie on October 4, 2014. In the screening of Pia’s documentary, “Just Beyond Hope,” the film’s montage of letters, post cards and newspaper clippings brought the grim realities of Canadian and American Japanese internment camps to life.


78)  The 78th salon was given by Daniela Elza on October 18, 2014. Daniela, a poet, was joined by dancer and choreographer Su-Lin Tseng to demonstrate how poetry entwines with philosophy and dance.


79)  On November 1, 2014, both Kagan Goh and Salome Nieto made a striking return at the 79th salon! Kagan’s second salon screened two films, “Goh Poh Seng: A Poet In Newfoundland” and “Who Let In the Sky?”, with the former film featuring a dance performance by Salome. The films paid tribute to Kagan’s father, Goh Poh Seng: a playwright, poet, and novelist who had struggled with Parkinson’s disease at the end of his life.


80)  The 80th salon was given by Dr. Jan W. Walls on November 15, 2014 entitled, “Poetry and Humor in Chinese Culture.” A professor of Chinese language, culture, and communication for many years, Dr. Walls revealed the satirical and humorous side underlining the wisdom of ancient Chinese poetry.


81)  In the 81st salon, Kagan Goh gave a special screening of “Surviving Samsara,” which features pataSola Butoh dancer Salome Nieto, cellist composer Nicholas Epperson, and singer-songwriter Fraser Mackenzie. The salon doubled as the Misfit Lit Magazine Launch of Kagan’s work, focusing on the samsara, or “cycle of rebirth.”


82)  Shakuhachi master Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos returned with multi-instrumentalist composer Greg Valou for the 82nd salon, “Spice Melange: A Musical Caravan.” The flow of Alcvin’s shakuhachi, merged with Greg’s rare and obscure instruments  created an inimitable atmosphere of spectacular musical fusion.

Spring 2015

83)  The 83rd salon was given by Oliver Hockenhull on January 16, 2015. In his second salon, spoke about his new documentary film “Citizen Planet: Cybernetics in the Anthropocene,” a film probing how technological governance will impact the future of society. To spark discussion, Oliver exhibited archive clips from various films paired with excerpts of modern and historical texts.


84)  The 84th salon was given by Synn Kune Loh and Jason Robinson on January 31, 2015 entitled, “Birth of Consciousness.” For his sixth salon, Synn Kune Loh presented with Jason Robinson, the founder of sustainability TV. Coincidentally, Synn Kune and Jason met at a salon in the previous year! Together, they presented on how synchronicity brought them together to go forward into new areas.


85)  The 85th salon was given by Barbara Jackson & Earle Peach on February 14, 2015. Barbara and Earle have been singing together for over 20 years, representing a wide range of folk traditions from the 14th to the 21st century and accompanied by the guitar/bango. At their salon, they celebrated Valentine’s Day with musical reflections and expressions of love in all its different forms.


86)  The 86th salon was given by Stuart Ward on March 14, 2015 entitled, “Devine Lights.” Stuart is an artist specializing in digital media and the founder of Hfour Studios. He presented on his interest in the interactions between nature and technology and neural activity when experiencing art.


87)  The 87th salon was given by Mary Bennett on April 11, 2015. Mary is a prominent 'community connector' in Kitsilano, holding various art events to connect local artists; all the while being a prolific artist herself. Her art weaves together mediums like poetry, sculpture, and painting, drawing inspiration from everywhere from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver to the cave art of ancient Europe. She shared the field of Community Art with the audience, as well as an interactive art-making experience, wherein the audience contributed words to a labyrinth painting.


88)  The 88th salon was given by Kevin Spenst on April 17, 2015 entitled, “Conversations with a Poet.” Kevin presented on his debut collection of poetry, “Jabbering with Bing Bong,” a coming-of-age story encompassing religion, mental health, urban energies, and poetic form.

Summer 2015

89)  The 89th salon was given by Lewis Evans on May 22, 2015 entitled, “Creative Magic.” Lewis gave an illustration of his life and the creative world, focusing on its twists and turns.


90)  The 90th salon was given by Ari Lazor on May 29, 2015 entitled, “Sacred Geometry, and the Harmonies of our Once and Future World.” Ari is devoted to exploring the natural forms of the world by using the geometer, the straightedge, and the compass to replicate nature’s beauty in artworks. He presented on the basics of sacred geometry, described how they inspired him, and shared his latest body of work.


91)  The 91st salon was given by guitar virtuoso, Keston Barker, on June 13, 2015. In his second salon, Keston returned to share his latest jazz-fusion shredding compositions, along with his journey as a guitarist who has won the Vancouver Guitar Show Shred competition four times.


92)  The 92nd salon was given by Paul Dincer on July 5, 2015. Paul is the owner of Koko Monk chocolates, one of Vancouver’s newer chocolatier shops. He used theories involving literature, philosophy, and avant-garde art to explain his approach to his innovative chocolate making, something he sees as an intellectual and artistic endeavor as well as a culinary one.


93)  The 93rd salon was given by Robert Naish on July 17, 2015 entitled, “Metropolis.” Robert is an autodidact artist who uses big canvases and the discarded items of the city to speak to one of the largest social movements of our time, urbanization. His canvas “Metropolis,” is a vision of Vancouver which he presented at the salon.


94)  The 94th salon was given by Vi-An Diep on August 14, 2015 entitled, “Vin An Music.” Vin-An came to the salon to share his life’s journey and demonstrate his talent with the Chinese long-plucked zither. He also came to share stories from his life about how he discovered community and self-empowerment through his music.


95)  The 95th salon was given by Nick Herman on September 4, 2015. Nick — a musician of innumerable genres who went from classical guitar to flamenco, from the jazz scene to the Indonesian Gamelan — performed his eclectic sound blending instruments, recorded sound, software and synthesizers.

Fall 2015

96)  The 96th salon was given by Lorenzo de Franccesco on October 3, 2015. A socially-conscious sculptor who not only addresses social issues, but offers possible solutions as well, Lorenzo investigated the intersection between creativity, spirituality, art.


97)  The 97th salon was given by Deborah E. Chaney on October 17, 2015. Deborah, a mixed-media artist of contemporary abstract art, presented on the parallels between creating an abstract painting and the creation of our lives to empower other creative journeys.


98)  The 98th salon was given by Inthirani Arul on November 21, 2015. With her newest book, “Self-Esteem Survival Guide for Living on Planet Earth,” Inthirani presented on how her counseling experiences supporting adults with special needs influenced her journey as an author.

Spring 2016

99)  The 99th salon was given by Alcvin Ryuzen Ramos on December 5, 2015 entitled, “Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage.” In his third salon, Alcvin presented on the Shakuhachi Roots Pilgrimage, a journey meant to deepen one’s relationship with Japanese music, Japan, nature, and oneself. His presentation also highlighted the symbiotic relationship between the east and the west.


100) On January 23, 2016, salon founder and host, Keiko Honda, gave the 100th salon was “My Story: The Space and Culture to Create Towards “I AM.” In honour of this milestone, Keiko shared her own life journey, recounting how she came to be interested in the arts and how the idea of the salons came about. The salon was well attended by many previous salon attendees and presenters.


101)  The 101st salon was given by Gerard Satamian on February 16, 2016. Gerard came to the salon to give a vocal concert for salon-goers, boasting his superb talent as a baritone singer. He presented a wide assortment of songs for attendees, including the well-beloved arias and sonatas.


102) For the 102nd salon on February 20th, 2016, street musician/multimedia artist/eco-teacher Iven Simonetti exemplified his charity work in hospices and retirement homes through his own improvised melodies.


103) For the 103rd salon on March 25th, 2016, gifted public speaker Magdaleno Rose-Avila spoke out about human rights and environmental justice. This captivating night encompassed more than Magdaleno’s vision, as he shared his extensive history of fighting for social justice. Through sharing his journey, Magdaleno inspires others to “do the impossible!”


104) On April 9th, 2016, Russian-born Canadian artist Mikhail Pertsev presented “East and West – Politics, History and Art: Two Generations of Artists in Two Eras” for the 104th salon. Mikhail investigated the impact of different political regimes on one’s creativity on an intergenerational scale, to determine how it gives rise to new generations of artists.


2016 Summer

105) On April 23rd, 2016, Venus Soberanes — a visual artist, Expressive Arts Therapist, jeweler, experimental filmmaker, life coach, published author and shamanic dreamer — presented “An Exploration into Consciousness.” In this salon, Venus examined how consciousness led to her many successes, such as having her jewelry being sold in various gift shops including the Frida Kahlo Museum; or having her films screen in international film festivals; or her visual art exhibiting in galleries across the globe.


106) On May 4th, 2016, classically trained vocalist Jane Perrett spoke and sang at the 106th salon, “Bel Canto Singing: Why this technique is most desired by the human ear&rd