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News in Brief: Halifax’s First Monument to Women Unveiled, Art Historian Wins Major Lit Prize, Canadian Photography Institute Launches $10K Fellowship, Or Gallery Director Departs

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

The Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada launched its inaugural Research Fellowship Program this week. The fellowships, open to anyone interested in the history and criticism of photography, will consist of full-time residencies of up to three months at the National Gallery in Ottawa, where successful candidates will be able to put the gallery’s resources—including staff expertise, storage vaults, exhibition spaces, conservation laboratories and library resources—to full use in pursuit of their research interests. Awards are available in amounts of up to $10,000, and applications are due by March 31, 2017.

Art historian Ross King has won the RBC Taylor Prize, worth $25,000, for literary non-fiction. Saskatchewan-born King, who has spent the last two decades in England, has been a finalist for the prize three times before, and has twice been winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. This year’s jury called his winning book, Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies, “essential reading for all who want to understand the intersection of politics, nationalism and culture in France during the First World War.”

The Canada Council for the Arts announced the winners of the 2017 John Hobday Awards in Arts Management this week. The Art Gallery of Ontario’s Paola Poletto received the Professional Development and Renewal Award, and Nanaimo-based Holly Bright of the Crimson Coast Dance Society received the Mentorship Award. Each award is worth $10,000 and will be presented at public events later this year.

In Halifax this week, 101-year-old Peggy McAlpine, who worked as a volunteer during the Second World War, led the unveiling of the design for a monument to commemorate volunteer work done by women. The Volunteers/Le Bénévole consists of three bronze figures, all designed by New Brunswick artist Marlene Hilton Moore: Young Girl with Wagon, African Nova Scotian Woman and Woman with Knitting. The monument’s creation is being funded by a program called A Woman on the Waterfront, launched by the Halifax Women’s History Society two years ago. The program chairwoman, Janet Guildford, told reporters, “This is an important day for the society, for Halifax and for Canada. We are helping end the invisibility of women in public art.”

An eight-foot-wide landscape by Peter Doig titled Cobourg 3 + 1 More led sales at an auction of contemporary art at Christie’s in London this week, reaching £12.7 million (CAD $20.8 million). It was first purchased in 1994, when it was made, by a Dusseldorf-based insurance company, who paid around £10,000. Numerous artist records were broken at the sale, causing Francis Outred, Christie’s chairman and head of Postwar and Contemporary art to announce, “The market is back, for sure.”

Jonathan Middleton is leaving Vancouver’s Or Gallery after more than nine years as director and curator. Under Middleton’s tenure, the gallery launched the Or Bookstore and satellite space Or Gallery Berlin, and hosted numerous exhibitions, residencies, publications, film and video projects, talks and events such as the International Chilliwack Biennial. Middleton’s departure will take effect later this spring, and a replacement has not yet been announced.

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