Announcing Michael Khalil as AWE’s second emerging artist in residence

Art Windsor-Essex
3 min readJun 8, 2022

Art Windsor-Essex is excited to announce our second emerging artist in residence: Michael Khalil! Michael was selected as one of three artists who will complete a residency in 2022. From June 1 through August 31, 2022, Michael will create new works of art, engage with the public through community engagement projects and present an offsite solo exhibition.

Born in Windsor and raised by the Palestinian traditions of their family, Michael Khalil is an emerging multimedia artist who conveys themes of family, nature, gender, and sexuality through his work. Michael, with no formal training, has been a practicing photographer and artist since childhood and has developed the skill to capture meaningful moments that represent their own internal struggles. With a peaking interest in the complexity of people and their lives, Michael pursued a double bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Criminology hoping to better understand why humans do what they do. During his studies, Michael continued to take photos to better understand the lives of the people closest to him, and he hopes to use the skills he’s learned to reach a wider audience and continue to find special moments to freeze in time.

Artist Statement

My goal is to document real-life situations as they take place. Simply, I want to capture moments that different viewers can connect with. When I take photos, I want the audience to be able to put themselves in my place. To understand the images from their own perspective while experiencing moments they did not participate in. With a background in sociology and psychology, understanding why humans do what we do has helped me develop a firm grasp on what I attempt to depict in my art. Every aspect of life can be connected back to the sociological and creating art around the mundane can form a better understanding of the complex lives that we all lead.

I take inspiration from artists like Ryan McGinley, who photographed the day-to-day lives of young adults depicting images of drugs, sex, love, and friendship. Connecting with other artists from different walks of life has allowed me to broaden my perspective and shape the philosophies I use in my art. Artists like Felix Gonzalez-Torres and George Platt Lynes were unafraid to depict the beauty, hardships, and loss during their lifetimes. Some of the art I create, I create for joy. However, some pieces such as “Traditions of Palestine” I create with the intention of depicting how under the worst circumstances humans can adapt to keep their traditions alive. In “Traditions of Palestine” I captured my parents, who are Palestinian refugees, reconnecting with their culture in the western world.

About the Residency

Three emerging artists from Windsor-Essex are set to complete a 3-month residency at Art Windsor-Essex over the course of 2022. The AWE Emerging Artist Residency is a paid opportunity for early-career artists in Windsor-Essex who want to learn, grow, develop, and show their art while engaging with the public in a series of community programs. In addition to creating new works of art in AWE’s Education Studio, the artists will create digital content and install an off-site window solo exhibition at the Dry Goods Gallery, at 1012 Drouillard Road, in Ford City.

This program is generously sponsored by the Windsor Essex Community Foundation.

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Art Windsor-Essex

Art Windsor-Essex (AWE) is a non-profit public art gallery that uses the power of art to open hearts and minds to new ideas. Change happens here.