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Familiar names in Sobey Art Award longlist

Four of the five Sobey Art Award Atlantic longlisted finalists have been previously nominated: Ursula Johnson, Graeme Patterson, Lisa Lipton and Eleanor King. Melanie Colosimo is also on the list.
Sobey Art Award longlisted artist Ursula Johnson of Eskasoni works on L’nuwelti’k, 2014, a co-operative-based durational performance with black-ash splints for Making Otherwise: Craft and Material Fluency in Contemporary Art. (Justin Wonnacott, Courtesy of Carleton University Art Gallery)

Four of the five Atlantic artists on the 2017 Sobey Art Award longlist have been up for the prestigious $50,000 top prize before.

They are: Eleanor King, nominated in 2012, 2014 and 2015; Graeme Patterson, the Atlantic finalist in 2009 and 2014; Lisa Lipton, nominated in 2015 and 2016; and Ursula Johnson, a three-time longlisted finalist who also recently won one of the 150 $10,000 REVEAL Indigenous Art Award for Indigenous Canadian artists from the Hnatyshyn Foundation.

Melanie Colosimo, a Halifax-based interdisciplinary artist who creates large-scale sculptural drawings, is a first-time Sobey Art Award nominee and also director of NSCAD University’s Anna Leonowens Gallery, where she developed the Art Bar + Projects.

The Sobey Art Award, presented by the Sobey Art Foundation and organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is presented annually to a Canadian artist aged 40 and under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated.

The five shortlisted finalists will be announced June 6. They exhibit at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto from Oct. 24 to Dec. 9, with the winner being announced at a gala Oct. 25 at the Hart House Great Hall at the University of Toronto, said a news release.  

Lipton, whose Hoop Dreams was a 2015 Nocturne hit in Halifax, is a multidisciplinary visual artist, musician and director with a bachelor of fine arts from NSCAD University and a master of fine arts from the University of Windsor. Johnson is a Mi'kmaq performance and installation artist and 2006 NSCAD University graduate. She has been in over 30 group shows, with five solo exhibits and works in performance art, sculpture, basketry, music and printmaking.

Saskatoon-born Patterson, a 2002 NSCAD graduate living in Sackville, N.B., is known for his large installations of animation, video, sculptural models, robotics, sound, music, interactive elements and performance that have been a hit at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. He has exhibited internationally and had solo exhibits at the National Gallery of Canada, MASS MoCA, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Galerie UQAM and the BMO Project Room (Toronto). In 2012, he won the Canada Council for the Arts Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award (media arts).

Nova Scotia artist and NSCAD University graduate King is based in New York City and is a Fulbright fellow with an MFA from the School of Art+Design at Purchase College, State University of New York. She has had solo exhibitions at A.I.R. Gallery (New York City), Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge) and Diaz Contemporary (Toronto).

The other 2017 Sobey Art Award  finalists are: Quebec, Annie Baillargeon, Dan Brault, Jacynthe Carrier, NSCAD University graduate Kim Waldron, and Ludovic Boney; Ontario, Bridget Moser, Erika DeFreitas, Jean-Paul Kelly, Nadia Belerique and Sameer Farooq; Prairies and the North, Amy Malbeuf, Divya Mehra, Erica Eyres, Kara Uzelman and The Ephemerals; West Coast and Yukon, Babak Golkar, James Nizam, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Raymond Boisjoly and Rebecca Brewer.

The 2017 curatorial panel, chaired by the National Gallery of Canada's senior Curator of contemporary art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois, has five regional representatives and one international juror: Sarah Fillmore, chief curator, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (Atlantic); Claude Bélanger, general and artistic director, Manif d’art de Québec (Quebec); Sarah Robayo Sheridan, curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto (Ontario); Jenifer Papararo, executive director at the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (Prairies and the North); Reid Shier, director and curator of the Presentation House Gallery (West Coast and Yukon);  and Adam Budak, chief curator of collections and exhibitions at the National Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic.

The Sobey Art Foundation distributes a total of $100,000, including $50,000 to the winner and $10,000 to each of the other shortlisted artists.

To learn more about the artists and see their work, go online.


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