Naked State art residency
International Call
Bare Oaks, Canada

Facilitator: Teresa Ascencao

Program Dates:  August 15 – 25, 2019

Deadline: Open until filled (two spots still available)

Naked State is a 10-day residency to create artworks that explore the nude human body in context of nature, culture and art. For the duration of the residency, the artists and residency Facilitator live as *naturists (in the nude) within the naturist community of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park to create works that explore questions such as: What is nudity? Does stripping away clothing rid us of class, gender, and personal expression?; Do the connections between our bodies and the land change when nude? Is nudity always sexual? What is the role of the nude in historical and contemporary art?; Is an animal with fur naked? Is it possible to be civil in the nude?; Is there a natural state for human being? Residents work individually or collaboratively to create artworks that explore these questions through media of their choice, such as photography, video, installation, drawing, painting, performance art, movement, sound art, written word, media art, etc. Naked State welcomes people in all walks of life into a creative journey of criticality thinking and self-discovery. Indigenous, people with disabilities, people of colour and diverse gender identifications are encouraged to apply. 

This programmed residency is limited to 14 professional artists, who are encouraged to socialize and integrate with the Bare Oaks community at campfires, swimming, around the various park amenities, and through the creation of artworks. Artists work in a dedicated large shared workspace (the Outback common room, yurt or marquee), or may arrange to work in various public locations within the naturist community. The residency includes programming, facilitation, closing event, full use of park amenities and accommodation. This consists; facilitation by multimedia artist Teresa Ascencao, a public seminar on naturism by *Stéphane Deschênesresident artist introductory talks, individual and facilitated group critiques, scheduled studio visits of artists’ studios, and plenty of studio time. There will be a closing event for artists to present works created during the residency, or works in progress. Artists individually chose to open their studio or formally present in exhibition format. The Bare Oaks naturist community is present at most Naked State events. At times, artists, curators and public visitors have also attended, and adhere to the park’s mandatory nudity policy. 

Residency cost starts at $800. Meals can be purchased separately at the onsite restaurant. Alternately, artists can prepare their own food in the small shared kitchen and over barbecues. Artists are responsible for their own transportation to Toronto and art materials, including projectors and speakers. For details on what to bring, please visit

*Naturism is the practice of complete nudity in a social setting. Though nudity is the most obvious aspect of naturism, it is simply a tool to reach closer to a natural state. The purpose of naturism is to promote wholesomeness and stability of the human body, mind, and spirit. It also promotes wellbeing through complete contact of the body with the natural elements. For a full description of naturism, visit


Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park is a year-round naturist park near Toronto in Canada, where individuals and families experience traditional naturist values in a rustic, and yet modern, park setting. It is nestled among the natural wilderness of the Ontario Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine. Its varied landscape includes open spaces, forests, ponds, streams and a small lakeAmenities include a storerestaurant, sun deck, TV and sports lounge, outdoor poolwhirlpool, saunas, exercise room, laundromat, and a small common kitchen with microwave and fridge. Wireless Internet can be purchased at the front desk (one hour free, every 24 hours). There is some wheel chair accessibility. Artists stay in a shared cozy cabin or tent camping. Bare Oaks is located in East Gwillimbury, under an hour north-east of Toronto. For more information visit, watch some videos, or take the virtual tour of the park’s 50 acres at the bottom of this page. The tour starts at the Outback, the shared work space dedicated to Naked State artists. 

This year’s jury for Naked State consists: Teresa Ascencao, Multimedia Artist, Facilitator of Naked State and Art Director of Arts Unfold, who lives in Toronto, Stéphane Deschênes, Naturist, Researcher and Professor at the University of Toronto; and Emilia Wilson, a genderqueer, disabled, interdisciplinary artist living in London, Ontario.

Teresa Ascencao is a multimedia artist whose work toys with social constructs of body language, costume, socially inscribed objects and spaces, and inner corporeal experiences. Her current work explores personal struggles with clothing. Ascencao graduated with distinction from the University of Toronto’s Honours Fine Art Studio program, and received her MFA from OCAD University specializing in Media Art and Sex-Positive Feminism. Her award-winning work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally. Ascencao, who also practices naturism, lives and works in Toronto and teaches at OCADU. In addition to the Naked State art residency, she is also the Facilitator of the Luminous Bodies art residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto Island) and Once Upon Water on Pico island (Azores). Ascencao’s work can be viewed at

Stéphane Deschênes is a husband, father, spiritual humanist and a proud naturist. He is a board member of International Naturist Federation, and the owner and manager of Bare Oaks Family Park. As an Associate at University of Toronto, Deschênes is a researcher on topics of naturism and teaches a course called Public Nudity: History, Law and Science. Deschênes is the producer and host of The Naturist Living Show, found at

Emilia Wilson is a genderqueer, disabled, interdisciplinary artist living and working out of London, Ontario, Canada. Emilia studied Fine Art at Fanshawe College’s School of Design, where their productions were later incorporated into the school’s permanent collection. In the summer of 2018, Emilia participated in the Naked State Artist Residency where they explored the concepts of gender and sexuality in a textile-free environment, and presented their live performance: Queering the CanvasIn the early fall of 2018, Emilia opened Grassroot Goods Gallery, incorporating the work of local artists and craftspeople, and later curated their first art exhibit – Crones & Conjurers.

Naked State is produced by Arts Unfold, which works with partnering communities to subsidize its projects. Naked State fees have been reduced by 40% for residency artists. Artists are encouraged to apply for further financial support through their federal, provincial and municipal arts councils, and other sources such as the ones listed here by international region..

Submit your Application via email to Teresa Ascencao at as follows: write “Naked State / First_&_Last_name” in the subject line; include a short proposal describing the work you intend to explore during the residency; a short statement describing your practice and past work, a short bio; 5 jpeg images (each under 1MB) that best represent the work you propose, a link to your website (or link to your work on the web); and your CV.