Artists in Residence – art ecosystem collective

To celebrate the first summer in our new space, UNIT/PITT is pleased to welcome the art ecosystem collective as our The Garden, the Gallery artists-in-residence. Residents will be provided free access to UNIT/PITT’s gallery and garden space from July – September, 2024, culminating in an exhibition in October, 2024.

Although art ecosystem is a wide-ranging collective with fluctuating membership, the UNIT/PITT iteration will be led by karmella benedito de barros, Lexi Mellish Mingo, Maymoona Gaid, nina joon and Sevin Shabankareh. Throughout the residency, the collective will embed themselves in both the gallery and garden spaces, using a range of mixed-medium practices including film, photography, soundscape, poetry, music, and cyanotyping to translate the multi-sensory garden experience into artistic expression, experimentation, and horticultural research. Their time in residence will be examining a non-hierarchical relationship-building between plants and participants, honouring the unceded territories on which we reside.


Founded in 2021, art ecosystem is a QTBIPOC youth led artistic community care project based on the unceded traditional territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

Hosting workshops and gatherings while engaging in creative collaborations throughout the local community is at the root of art ecosystem’s current work. The collective functions as a web of connections that has grown through sharing and creating art together, nurturing relationships to the land and place while prioritizing accessibility and visibility of QTBIPOC, disabled artists and radical creatives in community online and offline. Currently, art ecosystem focuses on curating gatherings, workshops and creative collaborations within the arts while members grow their own creative and organizational practices.

karmella benedito de barros is a tired 2S afro-brazilian & mistawasis nêhiyawak plant lover, youth worker, community weaver, sporadic artist and collaborative organizer. they are a co-founder of the art ecosystem collective and member of the indigenous brilliance collective. born and raised in diaspora as an uninvited guest on stolen & unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories, karmella’s practice is informed by the land, displacement and a desire to heal through perennial creative dialogue ~ cultivating a sense of connection and belonging.

Lexi Mellish Mingo (she/they) is an artist and community worker on unceded and unsurrendered MST territories. Their work strives to generate liberatory joy through art, community care, celebration, and unbound expression. They are a songwriter, musician (@apoca.lilex), visual artist, and future filmmaker. Lexi follows the work of art-based movement leaders before her, weaving artistry into their work as a youth programmer, community member, friend, and family member.

“The Role of the Artist is to make the revolution Irrisistable”

-Toni Cayde Bambara

Maymoona Gaid is a Yemeni and Fijian artist born and based out of the unceded traditional territories of the xwməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations; also known as Vancouver BC. In her practice she likes to explore the interchanges between different cultures and uses  her observations to tell stories through visual, culinary, agricultural and comedic mediums. Maymoona would describe her perfect day to consist of sandwiches on the beach, collecting rocks for her ever growing rock collection after a day of nature swimming. All in good company of course. 

Sevin Shabankareh is a multi disciplinary artist based in Vancouver B.C. – the unceded traditional land of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səlílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. In her creative practices, Sevin (pronounced: sev-een) is currently devoted to themes of trans/formation, repetition, deconstruction, and reconstruction. She navigates her artistic explorations and documentations in a multi-disciplinary fashion, with the idea of cross-pollination in mind.

Her visions are encapsulated over the span of several mediums, fluctuating between photography, sound art, performance art, and installation. Her artistic explorations are not informed by an institutional academic background, and she aims to carry out her envisioning and creation while challenging traditional structures and streams of creative production.

art ecosystem website:

art ecosystem linktree: