Artist in Residence

Following a successful pilot in 2022, the City's Artist In Residence program partnered with STEP Public Art to support the development of new temporary public artworks through two Public Art Residencies – CreateSpace and RECLAIM.

Ovvian Castrillo Hill was selected as the CreateSpace Public Art Resident, which provides emerging or mid-career Black, Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) and racialized artists with the skills, relationships and practical experiences needed to build and advance community-engaged public art practices. Over the next several months, Ovvian will work to bring a unique temporary public art piece to our community.

John Lambert was selected as the RECLAIM Public Art Resident, which supports mid-career artists in their pursuit of public art practices focusing on the use of upcycling art or construction materials in the creation of new work for exhibition. John will lead a small cohort of youth and young adults through completing a 3-dimensional temporary art installation featuring reclaimed and upcycled materials. 

Artist in Residence Biographies

Ovvian Castrillo Hill 

Ovvian Castrillo Hill trained as a designer and honed as a design/art writer and consultant when she began sculpting in 2003 under the tutelage of her dad, Eduardo.

Employing familiar materials, she repurposes metals and alters finishes – making for her a distinct Ovvian Castrillo proficiency in her art while undeniably rooted in her sensei’s influence. Each sculpture is personal to her, with a story prodded by emotions culled from her continued evolution as a daughter, a mother, a wife and a woman—and as a Filipino living in Canada.

Ovvian’s work can be found in Metro Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the USA and Canada.

In Canada, Ovvian Castrillo Hill has been participating and curating the EX SITU Art Exhibit held at the Peace Gallary North, at the North Peace Cultural Center in Fort St. John, BC, since 2019.

She has also entered and was awarded in numerous art competitions, including a public art design and an award trophy design for the City of Fort St. John, as well as an art competition in South Korea.

It is also in Canada that she has embarked on making filmmaking projects – having received 2 grants to create a documentary series for TELUS STORYHIVE.

John Lambert

John Lambert is of Cree, Carrier and Métis descent and a third-generation First Nations Carver, living in Fort St. John, BC, with his amazing children. Over the years, John has been awarded commission projects to represent Indigenous Carvers for North Eastern BC, with his work featured in the head offices of the First Nations Health Authority in Vancouver and Prince George, among many other projects. 

Through the years, John’s life has been greatly impacted by addictions, both in his immediate family as well as his community.  As a result, he has become heavily involved in the recovery process – as the Founder and Chairman of the Non-Profit “Project Thunderbird,” which specializes in the mentorship of at-risk youth. Currently, John runs the Indigenous Carving Program at the Fort St. John Association for Community Living, working with a unique and vibrant group of individuals. 

He has been commissioned to work on public art carvings, such as the mother bear and baby cub in the Fish Creek Community Forest, which honours the memory of Amanda Black, who tragically passed due to domestic violence. It is my passion for recovery and healing that has brought me to participate in the RECLAIM project, which unites young artists and the environment together through community, connection and creativity

Previous Artist in Residence Projects

  • Pop up Art Galleries in partnership with Peace Studio North
  • Pop up Chalk Art and public engagement at the Pomeroy Sport Centre (Artist: Richard Bell)
  • Community Mural and public engagement for Music in the Park (Artist: Indigo Hamer)
  • Community Builder Engagement Sessions for the Community Arts and Culture Framework (Artists: Richard Bell, Indigo Hamer)
  • Community Doodle Board at various community events (Artist: Richard Bell)
  • Youth / young adult skateboard and electric guitar design classes (Artist: Richard Bell)

Previous Artist in Residence Biographies

Richard Bell

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Richard relocated to Fort St. John in 2020 with his wife for her career. Richard studied illustration and graphic design at the Alberta University of the Arts in the early 2000s. He has spent the past 15 years working on a wide range of projects, from event pageantry with Hockey Canada for national tournaments, to game and character design for many video games.

More recently, Richard’s focus has shifted to portraiture, street art aesthetics and finding ways to use his artwork to interact with the local community. Richard’s passion for community connection and resiliency through the arts is integrated into everything he does.

For more of Richard’s work, or to enquire about commissions, you can visit his website at

Indigo Hamer

Indigo is a Montreal-based multimedia artist working with inks, paints and digital mediums. He began drawing at a young age as a way of bringing to life the characters and worlds that exist in his mind.

Indigo learned most of what he knows from books, online courses, and workshops, but attended the Illustration Program at Dawson College from 2020 - 2022. 

During this time, Indigo also kept himself occupied with several professional projects. He has worked for Montreal companies such as Plateau Astro and JLR Maps and, more recently, through the Artist in Residence - Pilot Program with the City of Fort St. John. 

Indigo’s work displays the explorative and energetic perspective of a young artist.