John Elizabeth Stintzi
Studio Resident (2021-2022)
Statement of Work
John Elizabeth Stintzi (they/them/theirs) is a multi-disciplinary artist whose primary mediums are writing, photography, and illustration. Having grown up on a cattle farm near the United States/Canada border, their creativity blossomed in part through necessity—being so remote from friends or anything that could be construed as "entertainment." JES's creativity blossomed through the act of inventing worlds, characters, and stories with their brothers—particularly while playing Lego or the plethora of video-game weapons their father carved for them for holiday gifts over the years—and attempting to learn any craft their mother was willing to teach them. One of the first forms of actual creation JES remembers falling in love with was photography, both through cheap disposable film cameras and in digital, after eventually convincing their parents to buy them an early, brick-esque digital camera. Their journey into illustration started when they bought a "How to Draw Manga" book at the book fair in their tiny K-8 school when they were in fifth or sixth grade in rural Ontario, even though they had no any idea what manga was.
Beyond their visual practices, JES is most notably an award winning novelist and poet. In 2019 they received the Bronwen Wallace Award from the Writers' Trust of Canada—the country's most prestigious emerging writer award—and in 2021 their newest novel 'My Volcano' (out spring 2022) was named the inaugural recipient of the Sator New Works Award for trans or non-binary writers from Two Dollar Radio. Their first two books—their poetry collection 'Junebat' (2020) and the novel 'Vanishing Monuments' (2020)—were finalists for the League of Canadian Poets' Raymond Souster Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award respectively. Their writing has been published widely in literary magazines in both the United States and Canada.
JES's work is often interested in questions of reality, validity, memory, and mental health, often seeking out ways to be extremely vulnerable while also being exceptionally imaginative. Despite the darkness of much of JES's work, it often also contains a buoying playfulness. They are currently at work on several new books, including writing and illustrating a science fiction graphic novel, and a collection of poetry about growing up on the farm. Visually, they are diving deeper into photography (particularly film), slowly compiling a collection of unusual self-portraits for a currently untitled series.