CURRENT ISSUE | SUMMER 2017: KINSHIP
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News in Brief: Accusations of Art Fraud, Art Gallery of Grande Prairie’s New Director, John Hartman Award Recipient

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

After a flurry of outrage on social media, Vice has published a story on the stylistic similarities between the work of Vancouver artist Andy Dixon and Kansas artist John Holcomb. After Dixon left the gallery of Rebecca Hossack, based in London and New York, just over a year ago, Hossack began representing Holcomb. After seeing images of Holcomb’s work online, a number of Dixon’s colleagues and collectors argued that Holcomb’s work hews too closely to Dixon’s work for mere coincidence. In a social-media post, Vancouver artist Graeme Thomas Berglund described Holcomb’s pieces as “near forgeries.” The galleries involved have not commented, and Dixon has obtained legal representation.

Canadians are partaking in the “Hands Off Our Revolution” project, described by Artnet News as a movement launched in response to the global surge of right-wing populism, which “will stage exhibitions and events addressing those issues in collaboration with institutions all over the world.” Antonia Hirsch, who lived and worked in Vancouver for a number of years before relocating to Berlin, and Montreal-born curator Chantal Pontbriand are among the 200 artists, curators and writers included on the initiative’s website.

The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie has hired Jeff Erbach as executive director. Erbach, the former manager of Community and Cultural Development for the City of Regina, takes over from Aaron Griffith Baker, who left the gallery last summer after almost two years in the role. Before working in the arts at the regional level, Erbach worked in theatre and film, directing films including The Nature of Nicholas (2002) and Soft Like Me (1996). He studied film at Confederation College in Thunder Bay.

The MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie announced on Friday that Toronto-based artist Erika DeFreitas is the 2016 recipient of the John Hartman Award. The annual award, which includes a prize of $4,000, is granted to an emerging artist to support the production of new work. The prize, donated by artist John Hartman, has previously been awarded to artists including Tanya Cunnington, Duane Linklater, Julia Vandepolder and Matt Macintosh.

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