Naked State art residency
International Call
Bare Oaks, Canada

Facilitator: Teresa Ascencao

Program Dates:  Aug 7-17, 2018
Submission Deadline: December 15, 2017


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, dance, sound art, 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 offers facilitation by multimedia artist Teresa Ascencao, a seminar on naturism with *Stéphane Deschênes, a creative workshop, guest visits by artists and members of the Bare Oaks naturist community, and plenty of studio time. Critiques of residents’ works occur on a regular basis, individually with the Facilitator and through facilitated group discussions. Artists are encouraged to socialize and integrate with the Bare Oaks community at campfires, swimming, sharing meals, and through the creation of artworks. The Bare Oaks community will be invited to the introductory resident artist talks, guest seminar with Stéphane, and scheduled studio visits with artists (who wish to participate). The closing event will be open to members of Bare Oaks and the public.


*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 modern 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. The Outback common room (and possibly a marquis tent and yurt) will be dedicated as a large shared studio space for the duration of the residency. There is some wheel chair accessibility. 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 at the bottom of this page.


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


Residency Details: Naked State art residency is limited to 16 professional artists and includes full dedicated access to a large shared workspace, full use of amenities, programming, facilitation, and closing event. Work spaces are in the Outback common room, and possibly also a Marquis Tent and Yurt. Alternately, artists may arrange to work in various public locations within the naturist community. There will be a closing event to present artworks created during the residency, or works in progress. Residency cost with taxes starts at $820. 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. 

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.

This year’s jury for Naked State consists of Sidi Chen (Chinese-Canadian Visual Artist living in Abbotsford, BC), Natalie Wardle (Visual Artist living in Manchester, UK), Stéphane Deschênes (Naturist, Researcher and Professor, University of Toronto), and Teresa Ascencao (Multimedia Artist, Facilitator of Naked State and Art Director of Arts Unfold. living in Toronto, CA). 


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. 


Virtual Tour of Bare Oaks, comprising of 50 acres follows below. In the virtual tour, you can navigate through grass and trails, and expand to full screen. The tour starts at the Outback, the building dedicated to Naked State artists.