Imagine it: By the fall, people inside a real museum could be watching this year’s work Sobi Art Prize The finalists.
The competition is considered one of the best Canadian awards in contemporary art, including past winners Annie Potoguk (2006), Kapwani Kiwanga (2018) and Stephanie Kumilang (2019). The shortlist for the 2021 Prize was announced earlier today by the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada, the latter of which will open an exhibition in October showcasing the nominees’ work.
Artists represent five regions across the country. They are:
Gaby Dao (West Coast and Yukon)
COVID-19 restrictions halted plans for a similar shortlist fair last year. Instead, the organizers redirected the money toward the prize portfolio, and donated $25,000 for each artist on the 25-person longlist The Pandemic Hub that inspired further developments for the 2021 edition.
This year, the total amount of prize money will increase from $240,000 to $400,000, with $100,000 being presented as the best prize. The artists on the shortlist receive $25,000 each. Longlist candidates were awarded $10,000-$8,000 more than before the pandemic. Another notable adjustment: For the first time in its 20-year history, the privately-funded award has opened nominations for all ages, abandoning its previous focus on artists under the age of 40.
When these changes revealed in FebruaryDr Sacha Suda, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada and Chair of the Sobey Art Prize Jury, spoke about how COVID-19 has pushed the award to evolve. A particular concern: the impact of the lockdown on artists’ finances. “It has been a very difficult time for artists across the country,” Soda said in an official announcement. “The ongoing pandemic has been a huge challenge, and we want Canadian artists to know we’re listening.”
The 2021 Sobey Art Prize is decided by an eight-person jury of Canadian and international curators. The winner will be announced in November.
“During this challenging year, the Sobey Art Award has helped to maintain my optimism about the art form,” Suda said in a statement announcing the shortlist. “I am eternally grateful to the jury and the Sobey Art Foundation for their continued commitment to the visual arts of Canada. And most of all, what an extraordinary privilege it is to support these brave emerging artistic voices. I cannot wait to welcome the audience to the Sobey Art Award exhibition at the National Gallery. In the fall – and to meet these artists in person at the award ceremony held at the exhibition. ”
Barring further restrictions, this exhibit is scheduled to run at the National Gallery in Ottawa from October 8 to February. 20, 2022.
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