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News in Brief: Curatorial Hires At Belkin and Banff, Salt Spring Prize Finalists, John B. Aird Controversy

Our editors’ weekly roundup of Canadian art news.

Lorna Brown has been appointed associate director-curator at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia. The position is a three-year term, beginning July 2015. Brown was the director-curator of Artspeak Gallery for half a decade until 2004, and a founding member of the art and architecture collective Other Sights for Artists’ Projects.

Peta Rake has been appointed curator of the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre. Rake was announced as acting curator in September 2014, after the departure of Jesse McKee. Rake was awarded the 2014 Curator Award from ISCP in New York, and previously worked at the California College of the Arts (San Francisco) and Institute of Modern Art (Brisbane). She will co-curate the 2017 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art with the Art Gallery of Alberta

Fifty-two artists are finalists for the inaugural Salt Spring Island National Art Prize, it was announced Tuesday. SSNAP, organized by the Salt Spring Arts Council, will award $25,000 worth of awards, with a $10,000 cash prize and the Salt Spring Island Artists Residency in 2016 going to the winning artist. All finalists will be included in an exhibition opening at Mahon Hall in Salt Spring Island on September 25 and winners will be announced October 24. A jury consisting of curator Vicky Chainey Gagnon (St. John’s), artist/teacher Holger Kalberg (Winnipeg) and artist Ian Thomas (Salt Spring Island) selected the 52 finalists from a pool of 800 applicants.

John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto has become the latest art institution connected to a government building to receive complaints from politicians. Laurie Scott, the Progressive Conservatives’ critic on women’s issues, issued a statement criticizing Rosalie H. Maheux’s Sacred Circle VI, a collage work that pulls from sexually explicit source material. The furor recalls criticism of Rehab Nazzal’s work at the Karsh-Masson Gallery in Ottawa’s City Hall last year.

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