Sobey Award Finalists 2010: Tough to Call
The big news on the Canadian art scene this week is the June 15 announcement in Halifax of the five national finalists for the
This raises an important, though perhaps under-acknowledged, point about the Sobey Award’s judging process. In the past couple of years, organizers seem to have upped the curatorial ante by engaging some of the country’s best-informed exhibition makers, resulting in not only a comprehensive overview but also a definitive perspective on emerging Canadian art practices. That behind-the-scenes expertise has pushed the Sobey into new terrain, giving the award a newfound critical edge and making it an increasingly reliable gauge—from the previously announced 25-artist long list to this fall's big winner—of the best in new Canadian art. This year’s team is no exception, with senior curators Philip Monk from the Art Gallery of York University and Grant Arnold from the Vancouver Art Gallery joining newer curatorial voices Jen Budney of the Mendel Art Gallery, Lesley Johnstone of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and David Diviney of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
As the saying goes, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating,” and to that end an exhibition of works by this year’s finalists opens on October 8 at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Until then, take a look at these image portfolios for each of this year’s Sobey contenders.