Skip to content

May we suggest

News / April 17, 2018

25 Artists Longlisted for the Sobey Art Award

The list represents a wide range of artists—some well-known, and some not—that everybody should be paying attention to.
Jeneen Frei Njootli. Photo: Stan Grafton Njootli Jr. Jeneen Frei Njootli. Photo: Stan Grafton Njootli Jr.

$100,000 to the overall winner. $25,000 to each of the four shortlisted artists. And $2,000 to each of the remaining 20 longlisted artists.

The stakes in the Sobey Art Award have been raised significantly for its 2018 edition—doubled, in fact. And now we know who is in the running for them.

This morning, the following longlist of 25 artists—five from each region—was released. It contains many first-time Sobey longlisters, with all artists having been selected from more than 100 open nominations.

West Coast and Yukon
Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed
Arvo Leo
Jeneen Frei Njootli
Krista Belle Stewart
Howie Tsui

Prairies and the North
Joi T. Arcand
Hannah Doerksen
Przemek Pyszczek
Elif Saydam
Couzyn Van Heuvelen

Sameer Farooq
Maggie Groat
Kapwani Kiwanga
Life of a Craphead
Nep Sidhu

Adam Basanta
Sophie Bélair-Clément
Julie Favreau
Yann Pocreau
Jon Rafman

Jordan Bennett
Lisa Lipton
Jerry Ropson
Lou Sheppard
D’Arcy Wilson

“I am thrilled that we received more nominations this year than ever before, and I’d like to recognize the role of the nominators in introducing us to artists and practices that we are not yet familiar with,” said National Gallery of Canada senior curator of contemporary art, and Sobey jury chair, Josée Drouin-Brisebois in a release. “This year’s longlist represents artists, some which are new and others who have been selected before, that everyone should be paying attention to.”

The decision was made by jurors including Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous art history and community engagement Heather Igloliorte; Musée d’art de Joliette chief curator Jean-François Bélisle; Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada director of programs November Paynter; independent curator Kristy Trinier; Simon Fraser University Galleries director Melanie O’Brian; and Salzburger Kunstverein director Séamus Kealy.

The Sobey Art Award’s shortlist will be announced May 29, and the winner will be revealed on November 14 at the National Gallery of Canada, which will also host a related exhibition.

The Sobey Art Award is awarded to a visual artist age 40 and under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. Past award recipients include Jeremy Shaw, Brian Jungen, Annie Pootoogook, Duane Linklater and Nadia Myre, among others.

Leah Sandals

Leah Sandals is a writer and editor based in Toronto. Her arts journalism has appeared in the Toronto Star, National Post and Globe and Mail, among other publications, and her creative work has been published in Prism, Room and Freefall. She can be reached via