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News / August 5, 2013

Updated: Emerging Artist Prizes Illuminate Rising Talents

A viewer takes a peek at <em>The Ephemeral Mind</em>, a mixed media installation by BMO 1st Art! winner Erika Dueck A viewer takes a peek at The Ephemeral Mind, a mixed media installation by BMO 1st Art! winner Erika Dueck

Emerging artists are being recognized this summer with a couple of award announcements.

On July 26, Erika Dueck was named the $10,000 national winner of the 2013 BMO 1st Art! competition. Dueck, who recently graduated from the University of Manitoba, was one of 250 graduating students nominated by deans and instructors of undergraduate programs across Canada. One of Dueck’s intricate paper-and-cardboard sculptures conveying a universe of shelves, drawers and documents is also currently on view at “Fresh Paint / New Construction,” an exhibition of recent student and graduate work at Art Mûr in Montreal.

Eleven regional winners, who each receive $5,000, were also selected for the BMO prize: Tiffany Wollman of Alberta College of Art and Design; Sam Knopp of Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Hillary Smith of the University of Manitoba; Carson Isenor of Mount Allison University; Whitney French of the Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Alexis Bulman of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design; Silas Qulaut of Nunavut Arctic College; Eshan Rafi of York University; Valerie LeClair of Holland College; Laura Rokas-Bérubé of Concordia University; Charles Brendan Schick of the University of Regina; and Derian Blake of the Yukon School of Visual Arts.

On July 22, the Hnatyshyn Foundation announced that Andréanne Godin, Kim Kielhofner and Marlène Renaud-B. are the winners of this year’s Charles Pachter Prize for Emerging Artists. All three live in Montreal and were selected by Montreal-based curator Nicole Gingras, who won the foundation’s curatorial excellence award last year. Each receives $5,000.

In February, Godin opened a show at Galerie B312 that highlighted mining activity in her hometown of Val d’Or through drawing and sculptural installations. She recently received her MFA in fibre arts from Concordia University. Kielhofner works primarily in video and graduated from London’s Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design with her MA in 2010. Renaud-B. is currently undertaking her MFA at Concordia University and strives to create porous structures through the use of performance, video, installation, sculpture and sound.

Update (August 6, 2013): Recently, the RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award, which focuses on ceramics and is decided by public vote, announced its 2013 nominees: Robin DuPont of British Columbia, Michael Flaherty of Newfoundland and Labrador, Monica Mercedes Martinez of Manitoba, Amélie Proulx of Quebec and Linda Sormin of Ontario. An exhibition of works by these artists will run September 3 to October 15 at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, with voting being open during that time on a related website. The nominees were chosen by Alberta College of Art and Design instructor Katrina Chaytor, former Sheridan Institute head of ceramics Bruce Cochrane, St. John’s crafts curator Gloria Hickey, Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec curator Jean-Pierre Labiau and University of Manitoba ceramics professor Grace Nickel. The winner, who receives $10,000, will be announced on the evening of October 15.

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