Tonight, at a ceremony in Toronto, the Hnatyshyn Foundation and TD Bank Group announced the first-ever recipient of the new Award for Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art. The winner for 2014 is Jon Davies, who is currently associate curator at Oakville Galleries.
The Award for Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art is presented to a Canadian curator under the age of 35 whose body of work has achieved a public presence and peer recognition. The winner receives a $10,000 grant to help pursue his or her professional development.
Davies, who was born in Montreal and is based in Toronto, has organized or co-organized such exhibitions as “People Like Us: The Gossip of Colin Campbell” in 2008, which toured to multiple galleries, and “Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever” in 2010 at the Power Plant. (Davies was assistant curator at the Power Plant before heading to Oakville Galleries.)
Davies has also been a contributor to Canadian Art, and his writing has also appeared in C Magazine, the Journal of Curatorial Studies, and Fillip, among other publications. He has organized artists’ film and video screenings with Pleasure Dome, and he currently sits on the board of Gallery TPW.
The award decision was made by a jury including Jean-François Bélisle, executive director of Arsenal Gallery, Montreal and Toronto; Paul Butler, multi-disciplinary artist and contemporary art curator at the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Reesa Greenberg, art historian and museum consultant, Ottawa; and Pamela Meredith, senior curator, TD Bank Group, Toronto.
In a statement, the jury noted “Davies’ personal approach is a bridge between artist and audience. He routinely demonstrates that his curatorial vision is one rooted not simply in rigorous curatorial exercises (at which he excels), but also in creating opportunities for lasting engagement between audiences, art and ideas.”
The Hnatyshyn Foundation already administrates an annual $15,000 Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art (for established curators) and the annual $25,000 Prize for Outstanding Achievement by a Canadian Artist. Both these awards are due to be awarded, as usual, in the fall.