Kay leading a workshop about String at ArtStarts 2017


Kay Slater is a hard-of-hearing*, queer, multidisciplinary artist. An illustrator, preparator, sometime musician and creative problem solver, their artistic practice explores value as it relates to materials and expectations.

“My artistic practice explores value as it relates to materials and expectations. I like to explore concepts of worth using different, unconventional materials and am constantly working to embrace mistakes. I build workshops that help participants embrace (and delight in) the making process which ultimately reduces the pressure people feel about creating a finished product.”

Kay’s illustrations are playful and simple. Kay loves nothing better than the act of drawing and to creatively problem solve using illustration.

Working with local and international artists, Kay works as a preparator in multiple spaces across the city. Benefiting from a rich network which spans multiple galleries, Kay enjoys finding ways to share resources and to foster artistic relationships.

Locally, Kay enjoys creating and maintaining safe, inclusive and accessible spaces where people can explore, learn, experience and create!

In 2016, Kay was invited to help facilitate the hosting of Queer ASL at Gallery Gachet and ArtStarts. Over two years, they delighted in hosting a queer and trans friendly environment for the classes whose students leave as new allies to the Deaf and queer communities. This relationship grew into something greater and now Kay both donates their time as host and to Deaf-queer Life Drawing/Art Making sessions around the city, providing a safe space for exploration and art making to a community that is underserved and hungry for inclusion.

In 2017, Kay began prototyping and hosting a free process-based art workshop series for children under the age of 12 at ArtStarts where kids were invited to explore and develop critical thinking skills in an open environment using the Reggio Emilia approach. That program has developed into the ArtStarts Explores program and welcomes families to sharing in a low-barrier, zero-cost weekly art making experience. Kay is committed to expanding art making opportunities in the city where both verbal and non-verbal communication is used and where no one is ever turned away.

Kay subscribes to the philosophy of the New Sincerity which strives to “be more awesome”.

Positive keywords that best describe Kay are: Gregarious, friendly, passionate, creative, resourceful and energetic.

Interests: access, tea, technology, comics, design, art, sex & body positivity, games, green innovation, open source, language, books, culture, and a commitment to truth and reconciliation as an uninvited guest on the Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam and Tsleil-Wahuth nations.

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