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News / November 18, 2015

Guelph Artist Wins $25K RBC Canadian Painting Competition

Guelph-based artist Patrick Cruz has won the $25,000 top prize in the 17th RBC Canadian Painting Competition.

Guelph-based artist Patrick Cruz has won the 17th RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Cruz was awarded the $25,000 top prize in the annual competition for his work Time allergy, which will become part of the RBC Corporate Art Collection.

Currently completing an MFA at the University of Guelph, Cruz holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. His work draws on ideas of cultural hybridity and globalization.

“My experience migrating from the Philippines to Canada informs my studio practice, prompting me to question notions of diaspora, displacement and the adoption of a new cultural identity,” Cruz notes in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition catalogue. “Through my conflicting colour palette, garish application of paint, repetitive mark making and maximalist compositions, my work aspires to mimic the destabilizing force of modernity to reveal its symptoms and effects.”

Honourable mentions were given to Hangama Amiri of Halifax for her work Island of Dreams, and Claire Scherzinger of Toronto for My Contribution To The Many Paintings Of Pots And Plants. Each honourable mention will receive $15,000 while the remaining finalists will each receive $2,500. Their works will also join the RBC Corporate Art Collection.

The prizes were announced tonight during a gala at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, where all 15 finalists in the competition will have their work exhibited until November 29.

The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is product of a partnership between RBC and the Canadian Art Foundation, which publishes Canadian Art.

Awarded annually since 1999 (when it was the Canadian Emerging Artist Prize), the competition has spotlighted the work of more than 200 emerging artists on a national level, and provided past finalists with mentorship and insight from jurors and other art-industry experts. Past winners include Rebecca Brewer, Dil Hildebrand, Jeremy Hof and Colleen Heslin.

The 2015 jury panel includes Hugues Charbonneau, director of Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal; Melanie Colosimo, director of Anna Leonowens Gallery, NSCAD University, Halifax; John Zeppetelli, director and chief curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal; Iga Janik, curator of Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge; Georgiana Uhlyarik, associate curator of Canadian art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Jinny Yu, artist and associate professor in the Department of Visual Arts, University of Ottawa, Ottawa; Eli Bornowsky, artist and RBC Canadian Painting Competition Finalist (2007, 2008), Vancouver; Garry Neill Kennedy, artist, Vancouver; and Lisa Kehler, director of Lisa Kehler Art and Projects, Winnipeg.