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25 Canadian Artists Longlisted for $50K Sobey Art Award

Today, 25 artists and collectives from across Canada were longlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award.

Each year, 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.

The winner of the prize receives $50,000, with four remaining finalists each receiving $10,000, and each longlisted artist receiving $500.

Here are the longlisted artists—five for each of five regions across Canada, with regions marking where an artist was either born or currently resides:


Jordan Bennett (Stephenville Crossing, Newfoundland)
Ursula Johnson (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Lisa Lipton (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
William Robinson (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Jerry Ropson (Sackville, New Brunswick)


Olivia Boudreau (Montreal, Quebec)
Jessica Eaton (Montreal, Quebec)
Jon Rafman (Montreal, Quebec)
Karen Tam (Montreal, Quebec)
Hajra Waheed (Montreal, Quebec)


Kelly Jazvac (London, Ontario)
Annie MacDonell (Toronto, Ontario)
Meryl McMaster (Ottawa, Ontario)
Derek Sullivan (Toronto and Forest Mills, Ontario)
Charles Stankievech (Toronto, Ontario)

Prairies and the North

Brenda Draney (Edmonton, Alberta)
Mark Clintberg (Calgary, Alberta)
Zachari Logan (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan)
Mia Feuer (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Eric Moschopedis and Mia Rushton (Calgary, Alberta)

West Coast and Yukon

Raymond Boisjoly (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Allison Hrabluik (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Mark Soo (Vancouver, BC, and Berlin, Germany)
Jeremy Shaw (Vancouver, BC, and Berlin, Germany)
Krista Belle Stewart (Douglas Lake, BC, and Brooklyn, New York)

Many of these artists have been longlisted—and at times, shortlisted—for the Sobey Art Award. Previous finalists on the 2016 list include Raymond Boisjoly, Jon Rafman, Lisa Lipton, Mark Clintberg and Derek Sullivan.

But while many aspects of the list may be familiar, this is a year of change for the Sobey Art Award, as 2016 marks the first year of it joining forces with the National Gallery of Canada. (Previously, the award was based out of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, while also partnering with other institutions across Canada for award ceremonies and exhibitions.)

The 2016 curatorial panel, chaired by the National Gallery of Canada’s senior curator of contemporary art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois, is composed of one representative from each of the five regions—and, for the first time, one international juror.

Jury members this year included Pan Wendt, curator at Charlottetown’s Confederation Centre Art Gallery; Marie-Justine Snider, curator of the collection at Montreal’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec; Barbara Fischer, executive director and chief curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto; Naomi Potter, director and curator of Calgary’s Esker Foundation; Jonathan Middleton, director and curator of Vancouver’s Or Gallery; and Nicolaus Schafhausen, artistic director at Vienna’s Kunsthalle Wien. (It’s worth noting Schafhausen does have a Canadian connection—he is also strategic director of Fogo Island Arts in Newfoundland.)

The 2016 shortlist of the Sobey Art Award will be announced June 1. Work by the short-listed artists will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada from October 6, 2016, to February 5, 2017. The winner of the 2016 Sobey Art Award will be announced at the gallery during a gala event in November 2016.

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Michele says:

Why is the age of 40 the chosen cutoff? What makes it the magic number?

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