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News / February 24, 2014

Chris Cran Wins Calgary Artist Award

Chris Cran, <em>RCA, king!</em>, 2012. Courtesy TrépanierBaer Gallery and Clint Roenisch. Chris Cran, RCA, king!, 2012. Courtesy TrépanierBaer Gallery and Clint Roenisch.

On February 20 at the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions in Calgary, Chris Cran won the Doug & Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award.

Since the 1980s, Cran has received acclaim for paintings that integrate aspects of pop culture while also provoking questions about the nature of perception and of art. One of his characteristic motifs is the use of brightly coloured screenprinted faces that evoke techniques of graphic design and abstraction as well as ones of fine art and figuration.

A major survey of Cran’s work is currently in development by National Gallery of Canada curator Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Art Gallery of Alberta curator Catherine Crowston and Southern Alberta Art Gallery curator Ryan Doherty. It is due to launch in 2016. His work was also included in the 2012 Canadian Biennial and the 2013 Alberta Biennial.

The Doug and Lois Mitchell Outstanding Calgary Artist Award was established to honour artists who are lauded for their work in the national and/or international arenas and choose to make Calgary their home. In addition to a $5,000 cash prize, Cran receives a residency at the Banff Centre.

Other winners at the Mayor’s Lunch for Arts Champions included video artist and activist Sharon Stevens, who won the William MacLachlan Community Beacon Award, and Colombian-born painter Roberto Rozo, who won the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society New Canadian Artist Award.

A release stated that all of these awards are decided by a jury of peers.

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