2022 has been a busy summer for everyone and our prize-winners are no exception. We were delighted to learn of the work of some of our earlier prize-winners as well as those more recently awarded. We are grateful to all TFVA members whose discovery of the artists’ recent work allows all to learn more.
Here is your end of summer update:
AA Bronson – Founders Achievement 2002
The National Gallery of Canada’s summer show in Ottawa features the work of a trio of artists known as General Idea, in the most comprehensive show of their work ever produced. (In 2002 AA Bronson, the only living member of this group, received the TFVA Founders Achievement award.) General Idea’s practice critiqued the social, cultural, political and artistic environment of the time. Their work, which pushed the boundaries of art-making, continues to inspire today’s artists, activists, cultural commentators, and social-media influencers. The show runs until November 20.
Michèle Pearson-Clarke – Artist Prize Finalist 2019
Until September 5, the Hamilton Art Gallery hosts Michèle Pearson-Clarke’s first solo exhibition entitled Muscle Memory. Working primarily in photography and video, Clarke examines black and queer experiences of longing and loss, while situating such grief as a site of possibility for social engagement and political connection.
Sean Martindale – Artist Prize 2012
Sean Martindale is participating in a group exhibition of eco-art (August 7 to September 25) at the No.9 Gardens in the Rideau Lakes Region. The artworks populate the “lush forest trails, golden wildflower fields, and tranquil wetlands surrounding the gardens”. Launched in 2018, the gardens were created to develop partnerships with the indigenous communities in the area. Exhibition works will be available for visitor viewing during operation hours, and there are guided tours during the weekends.
Shellie Zhang – Artist Prize Finalist 2021
For its 2021–22 season, Mercer Union’s SPACE billboard commission invited artist, Shellie Zhang, for a year-long series titled, A day passes like a year. She is known for her highly composed still life works that assemble objects of pop iconography, cultural construction, and diasporic memory. Zhang’s Ode to Summer features objects sourced from local markets and bargain stores, all offering gestures of reclamation, humour, and dissidence. The commission runs until September 17.
In July, Shellie Zang participated in Stories and Storefronts. Focusing on the changing neighbourhood of East Danforth and its diasporas, this exhibition explored the brick-and-mortar stores of the Danforth as records of movement of cultural communities across Toronto. The curators invited artists with immigrant backgrounds, including Shellie Zhang, to animate immigrant-owned business shop windows and storefronts in the community through sculptural and sound installations. Shellie designed a custom neon entitled Bigger and Better Than Ever in the shape of a fruit basket in honour of immigrant-owned fruit shops along the Danforth. Galvanized by 1934 protests on the Danforth against shopkeepers selling their fruit and wares on sidewalks, the light lasts into the night like a beacon in acknowledgement and memorial of fruit stores past, present, and future.
Diane Borsato – Artist Prize Finalist 2008
Sameer Farooq – Artist Prize Finalist 2022
ArtworxTO, the celebration of public art in Toronto, has featured many of our prizewinners, including a Live@5 talk on July 13, Setting the Table, which featured Diane Borsato and Sameer Farooq as panelists in conversation with moderator Chef Kareema and host Rebecca Carbin.
Esmaa Mohamoud – Artist Prize 2019
Esmaa Mohamoud participated in the first global survey exhibition dedicated to the use of clothing as a medium of visual art, Garmenting: Costume as Contemporary Art. The group show examined work by thirty-five international contemporary artists from established names to emerging voices. Esmaa was one of two Canadian artists in the show in NYC, at the Museum of Arts and Design.
Camille Turner – Artist Prize Finalist 2018
Congratulations to Camille Turner who was awarded the Toronto Biennial of Art 2022 Artist Prize for her commissioned work, Nave(2022). In this powerful immersive multimedia installation, Turner explores the entanglement of colonial Canada in the transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans through links between the nave of a church, the hold of the ship, the tomb, and the womb of the world.
This summer, TVO re-aired a video featuring Camille Turner as Miss Canadiana, as part of the TVO Arts series.
Edward Burtynsky – Founders Achievement 2008
In a recent Border Crossings article, The Art of Nature: Edward Burtynsky’s “Natural Order”, Edward Burtynsky discusses the images he captured for his book, Natural Order, which were all taken around his home in Grey County where he sheltered in place during the early days of the pandemic. His reflections are compelling.
Jennifer Rose Sciarrino – Artist Prize 2013
Jennifer Sciarrino participated in the now completed group show, Signals, at the Someday Gallery in New York City. Using organic shapes and materials with industrial and geometric forms, each artist explored issues related to climate change and the interconnectedness of all things, living and inert.
Erika DeFreitas – Artist Prize Finalist 2016
From June 29 through August 6, 2022, Erika DeFreitas participated in a group show entitled, a soft landing at the artist-run centre, Gallery TPW. The exhibition looked at the impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic on mental health and personhood, proposing the gallery as a place where sorrow, heartache, and distress may be embraced and processed.