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News / November 7, 2013

Erin Shirreff Wins $50,000 Aimia | AGO Photo Prize

Canadian artist Erin Shirreff, based in New York, was named winner of the $50,000 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize this evening.

Shirreff’s win was decided by public vote. This year, more than 25,000 people cast votes in the 10-week prize process. Shirreff succeeded against runners-up LaToya Ruby Frazier of the United States, Edgardo Aragón of Mexico, and Chino Otsuka of Japan and the United Kingdom.

Shirreff is known for works that blur the lines between photography and sculpture. One of her video works on view at the AGO, titled Lake, shows a photograph of the Kelowna area (where Shirreff grew up) changing under different lighting conditions. One of her sculptures installed for nearly a year in a public park in New York, titled Sculpture for Snow, appeared substantial from one angle and insubstantial from another.

All four artists—the winner and the three runners-up—receive six-to-eight-week residencies across Canada to commence in early 2014. Each of the runners-up also receives a $5,000 stipend dedicated to the research, creation and production of new work.

Born in 1975 in Kelowna, Shirreff obtained her BFA at the University of Victoria in 1998 and her MFA from Yale University in 2005. Next week, on November 14, her work opens at Artpace in San Antonio as part of the centre’s international artist-in-residence program. This past year, she has also had solo exhibitions at White Cube in London, the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver and Lisa Cooley in New York. Her work is in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

An Aimia | AGO Photography Prize exhibition, which includes work by the winner and runners-up, continues until until January 5, 2014, at the AGO.

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