Calgary-born, Toronto-based artist Kayla Polan is a multidisciplinary artist working across traditional and new media. She is a current MFA Candidate at the University of Waterloo. She received her BFA, major in Drawing & Painting, from the Ontario College of Art & Design University. Her practice melds feminism and popular culture to investigate contemporary ideas about consumer culture, domesticity, and queer identity through the use of painting, sculpture, video and performance. 

For inquiries:
Instagram: @kaylapolan


Kayla Polan (b. 1994, Calgary) 

2018-2020          Masters of Fine Art Candidate, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
2012-2016          Bachelor of Fine Art, Distinction, Major Drawing & Painting, OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada 
2014-2015          Florence Off-Campus Studies Program, OCAD University, Florence, Italy 

2019          Keith and Win Shantz International Research Scholarship, Keith and Win Shantz & University of Waterloo
2018          Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship (CGS-M), University of Waterloo  
2018          President's Graduate Scholarship (PGS), University of Waterloo
2018          Untapped Emerging Artist Award, The Artist Project
2017          Emerging Artist Award, Spark Box Studio 
2016          Anne Adler Kagan Award, OCAD University 
2014          Aboveground Art Supplies Scholarship, OCAD University 
2014          Sandy McQueen Memorial Scholarship, OCAD University 
2013          Melville P. White Scholarship, OCAD University 

2018          Le Petit Dejeuner, The Artery Gallery, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON 
2018          Mental Health, The White House Studio Project, Curated by Lauren Fournier, Toronto, ON 
2018          LA Summer Artist Residency Open Studio, OTIS College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California, USA 
2018          Odourant, Screening & Residency Open Studio, Struts and Faucet Media Arts Centre, Sackville, NB 
2018          Hart House Review Launch, Screening of Bruise/Heal, Hart House, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
2018          Romance For Two: Key To My Heart or Unlockable Shackles?, Akin Vitrine Gallery, Solo Show, Toronto, ON
2017          X, Y & Zed, Featured Exhibition of Nuit Blanche, Glory Hole Gallery, Toronto, ON
2017          Fermenting Feminism, Critical Distance Centre for Curators, Curated by Lauren Fournier, Toronto, ON 
2017          YYZ Lab Residency Open House, YYZ Artist's Outlet, Toronto, ON
2017          Works For Change, Screening & Exhibition of "This Art Works" by the Madeleine Co., Featured Artist in Episode 1, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON 
2017          Vacancy, Bunker 2 Contemporary Art Container, Featured Exhibition for Nuit Rose Festival, Toronto, ON 
2017          Embodied Resistance, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016          Political Candy, The Pendulum Project, Studio 223A, Toronto, ON
2016          Feminist Art Conference Residency Open Studio, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto ON
2016          GradEx, 101st Annual Graduate Exhibition, OCAD University, Toronto, ON 
2016          Festival of the Body, Annual Figure Exhibition, OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON 
2016          Love Me Do, Yellow House Gallery, Toronto, ON
2015          40, i nuovo 20 (Forties Are the New Twenties), OCAD University Great Hall, Toronto, ON
2015          Nuit Rose, A Festival of Queer Art & Performance, The 519, Toronto, ON 
2015          Prospettiva, OCAD University Studio, Florence, Italy 
2015          B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Beamer), Florence, Italy 
2015          Art Clash, California State University International Program, Florence, Italy 

2018          Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, California, United States 
2018          Struts and Faucet Gallery and Media Arts Centre, Sackville, NB
2017          Emerging Artist Award Residency, Spark Box Studio, Picton, ON
2016-17    YYZ LAB Artist Residency, YYZ Artist Outlet, Toronto, ON
2016          Feminist Art Conference Residency, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, ON
2016          Nomadic Residency with Ryan Gander, OCAD University, Toronto, ON

2018          The Artist Project, Better Living Centre Exhibition Place, Toronto, ON
2017          2/e Edition Art Book Fair, Represented by Bunker 2, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON
2016          GAL's Third Annual Auction, Girls Art League Art, Xpace Cultural Centre, Toronto, ON
2016          Art Attack! Annual Auction, Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, ON 

2018          Mental Health, Artist Talk & Panel Discussion, Artists Health Alliance, Toronto, ON 
2018          Feminism, A Label Slapped on Consumer Goods, Lecture & Artist Talk, Struts & Faucet Media Arts Centre, Sackville, NB
2017          Tools, Toys, and Tricks of The Trade: Redefining the Domestic Sphere, Artist Talk & Panel Discussion, Feminist Art Conference, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2016          We Are What We Fear: On WW2 Germany & the Systematic Oppression of Identity, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2014          Research as Practice, Artist Talk, OCAD University, Toronto, ON 

2019          Teaching Assistant, Course Title: Installation Art, Department of Fine Arts, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON
2018-19     4th Year Student Mentor, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON 
2018-19     Gallery Assistant, Ivan Jurakic, University of Waterloo Art Gallery, Waterloo, ON
2018          Teaching Assistant, Course Title: Figure & Anatomy, Department of Fine Arts, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON  
2017          Class Assistant, Project Lead on Yorkville Village Arts Festival, Faculty of Arts, OCAD University, Toronto, ON
2017          In-House Graphic Designer, Blitz Print Lab, Toronto, ON
2016-18    Gallery Programming Committee Member, Lakeshore Arts, Toronto, ON
2016          Artist Assistant, Rebecca Belmore, Nuit Blanche, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
2016-18    Artist Assistant, Jennie Suddick, MFA, Toronto, ON
2016          Museum Attendant, Crazy Dames Exhibition, Gardiner Museum, Toronto, ON
2016          Events and Community Outreach, Feminist Art Conference, Toronto, ON 

2018          White House Studio Project. "Mental Health." Lauren Fournier. Toronto, Ontario. July 2018. Print
2018          Hart House Review, Canadian Literary Journal. Hart House, University of Toronto. 8 April 2018. Print.
2017          Canadian Art. Fermenting Feminism is a Must-See Show. September 2017. Web. 
2017          CBC Arts. “Artist Asks the Important Questions” 13 September 2017. Web.
2017          Unframed NY, “Interview with Kayla Polan”, 2017
2017          Format Magazine, “20 Contemporary Painters With Gallery-Worthy Portfolios”, 2017
2017          CBC Arts, “This Art Works! ‘Doctors Against Intolerance’ and Normalizing BDSM with Sculptures”, 2017
2017          The Drake Blog, “Studio Visit With Akin Artist Kayla Polan", 2017
2017          Discount Magazine, Issue II, Food Edition, 2017
2017          Milkweed Zine, Issue III, Privacy and Visibility Issue, 2017
2017          Dirty Laundry, “50 Shades of Kayla Polan”, 2017
2016          Off the Wall Artists, “Off the Wall With Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016          The Pendulum Project, “A Conversation with Kayla Polan,” 2016
2016          OCAD University, Seek Forward, Drawing & Painting Fourth Year Catalogue, 2016

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Kayla's work "Odourant" and "Who Wants to be a Mental Health Millionaire?" featured on Bump TV presented by Ed Video on Mondays at 3:20pm and 11:00pm.

Kayla exhibited her recent work, "Who Wants to be a Mental Health Millionaire" at The White House Studio Project's Mental Health show in June 2018, curated by Lauren Fournier. This exhibition is organized as per the White House Studio Project's In Space program, a five month thematic exhibition and panel series. 

Kayla spoke in a roundtable discussion on the topic of mental health at the Artists Health Alliance, as part of the White House Studio Project's In Space program.

Kayla is participated in the LA Summer Artist Residency at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA in June 2018. OTIS held an Open Studio to exhibit the works of the residents.

Kayla's work was featured in the 2018 Hart House Review. Kayla's video performance Bruise/Heal was screened the launch party at the Hart House, University of Toronto.

Kayla finished a five-week residency in April/May 2018 at Struts and Faucet Media Arts Centre in Sackville, NB. Kayla did a lecture & artist talk entitled "Feminism, A Label Slapped on Consumer Goods," and a screening of her new video performance work "Odourant."

Kayla exhibited her new sculpture work Romance for Two: Key to My Heart or Unlockable Shackles? at the Akin Vitrine Gallery in March 2018.

Kayla exhibited her work at The Artist Project in February 2018 as part of the Untapped Emerging Artist Competition. 

Using Format