Heavy, Heavy (Hoop Dreams): Installation by Esmaa Mohamoud; 60 solid concrete basketballs, 30lbs each; 10x10ft; 2016; photo courtesy of the artist

TFVA Prize Winners 2019

TFVA is an independent, non-profit organization which provides an educational program for its members and gives financial support to the visual arts in the Greater Toronto Area. Since its inception in 1998, TFVA has awarded more than $850,000.

Founders Achievement Award: $10,000 to Dr Katharine Lochnan honouring her long and distinguished career. Dr Lochnan created the “Prints and Drawings” department of the Art Gallery of Ontario and became its curator in 1976. She also established the Martin Gelber Prints and Drawings Centre, one of only two open to the public in North America. She is widely known for the exhibitions she curated including the very well received and travelled “Whistler, Turner, Monet” and “Mystical Landscapes”. While retired from the AGO, she continues her academic pursuits.

Artist Prize Award: $15,000 to Esmaa Mohamoud. Esmaa works primarily in sculpture and installation. Her practice is focused on cultural constructs of Blackness and how Black bodies are navigated through contemporary spaces.

Artist Prize Finalist: $5,000 to Tau Lewis. Tau is a self-taught sculptor. Her practice is rooted in personal and collective healing through labour and myth-making. Tau uses found and repurposed materials to build portraits that investigate black identity and agency, memory and recovery, and African diaspora.

Artist Prize Finalist: $5,000 to Michèle Pearson Clarke. Michèle works in photography, film, video and installation to explore personal and political connections to longing and loss. She was recently appointed Photo Laureate for the City of Toronto.

Project Support
$8,000 to The Bentway and the co-directors Ilana Altman and David Carey for New Monuments for New Cities as part of the Bentway contribution to the High Line Network Joint Art Initiative for the reuse of city infrastructure. Five artists from Toronto, Susan Blight, Coco Guzman, Life of a Craphead, An Te Liu and Quentin VerCetty will join another twenty artists from New York City, Chicago, Austin and Houston Texas and see their work shown in each of the five cities in the months to come.

$3,000 to the Barbara Edwards Contemporary Gallery and Mark Cheetham for Ecologies of Landscape. This exhibition allowed nine artists to present their conception of the land and challenge the viewer to experience landscape in new and different ways.

$5,000 to Trinity Square Video and Mitchell Akiyama for Everyonce. It is intended to bring people together to discuss the ways sound affects one’s life and to propose alternative modes of engaging with sonic practices.

$8,000 to Public Studio, the collective practice of Elle Flanders and Tamira Sawatzky for Unsettled, an artist book project about their 57 day journey along the Bruce Trail.

Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts also awarded The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) $12,500 to celebrate their new home in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood.

Finally, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts gave a commission of $6,000 to K&F Video Productions and Maggie Butterfield Dickinson and Irina Fertman for a graphic history of the organization which can be found on its website.

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