Imagine young emerging artists from across Canada coming together in the midst of a pandemic to create an empowering and creative project...

That's all it took to ignite the creativity of documentary producer Josette Gauthier, who is behind the UNLOCKED project.
See their artwork

The UNLOCKED project is a virtual exhibition resulting from a major competition held across Canada in 2021. The goal of the initiative is to highlight the talent of young Canadian artists (ages 9 to 25) and to encourage them in their artistic endeavours. We, at DeSerres, are proud to help UNLOCKED in its efforts to promote the talent of young Canadian artists. It is with great pleasure that we present to you today, on our creative space, the three DeSerres prize winners, carefully selected by a jury of respected Canadian artists.

Happy reading!



Joliz Dela Peña, known as JDP 2009, is a 23-year-old multidisciplinary and self-taught artist from the Philippines who now lives in Montréal. Joliz explores all sorts of mediums such as painting and alternative photography, and her work is heavily focused on the discomfort of social constructs among people of colour. Her family and childhood memories are also central to her artwork. As part of UNLOCKED 2021, she presents her most recent series of cyanotype prints, 'Dito sa San Jacinto, Doon sa Santo Tomas', which takes us directly into the artist's childhood via photos taken by her mother at the time.

Instagram : @zi1oj



Selina is an 18-year-old artist studying photography at Ryerson University in Toronto. The photographer is currently exploring different artistic styles through her studies. It was really during the pandemic that she discovered an interest in self-portraits, which she sets in small spaces with objects from her personal environment. Selina's photo series for UNLOCKED 2021 features her in various everyday scenes during the pandemic, beautifully capturing the somewhat repetitive nature of life during lockdown.

Instagram : @chea.captures



The third winner of UNLOCKED 2021 is one of its youngest participants. At only 9 years old, Bianca Bobbera stood out for her originality and great sensitivity. The young artist was born in Italy and then spent a few years in Amsterdam before officially settling in Montréal. The three pieces Bianca submitted to UNLOCKED 2021 reflect the many lives that have been lost since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The doodles on her artwork capture words, which have probably been on the minds of many during these times. This young artist has a bright creative future ahead of her.


Congratulations to our three winners of UNLOCKED 2021 – First Edition. Despite the division, fear and uncertainty 2021 has caused, it is heartwarming to see these young artists from across Canada giving us hope and bringing us joy and comfort through their creations.

For more information on the project or to view the exhibition, visit www.unlockedproject.ca

Their artworks

Our DeSerres experts


Our Artists to Discover

Go Back To Creative Space