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News / October 22, 2020

News Roundup: Hamilton-Born Kapwani Kiwanga Wins France’s Top Art Prize

The Prix Marcel Duchamp is worth 35,000 euros. Plus: Toronto Biennial announces artists, UOttawa Art and Gender professor who used racial slur returns to class, and more
Artist Kapwani Kiwanga. Artist Kapwani Kiwanga.
Artist Kapwani Kiwanga. Artist Kapwani Kiwanga.

Kapwani Kiwanga wins the Prix Marcel Duchamp, France’s top art prize. The Hamilton-born, Paris-based artist receives the prestigious 35,000-euro award with her installation Flowers for Africa, currently on view at the Centre Pompidou. Kiwanga has previously won the Sobey Art Award and the Frieze Artist Award, among others. Her public art piece Counter-Illumination is on view at the BC Hydro Dal Grauer Substation in Vancouver now until March 2021.

In other award wins: Haida artists Jaalen Edenshaw and Nathan Wilson; Kwakwaka’wakw artists Cole Speck and Lou-ann Neil; Haisla artist Nathan Wilson; and Nuxalk/Nuu-chah-nulth artist Kelly Robinson have won the BC Achievement Fulmer Award in First Nations Art. The Canada Council’s York Wilson Endowment Award of up to $30,000 has gone to the Textile Museum of Canada, which will use the money to acquire six works by Anishinaabekwe artist Bev Koski; the council’s $10,000 John Hobday Award in Arts Management goes to J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth, a Nuu-chah-nulth Indigenous arts educator at the Royal Ontario Museum. The Black Speculative Arts Movement Canada has won a Waterfront Toronto Artist Residency Program, and is beginning a 16-month residency there.

The Toronto Biennial of Art has announced its preliminary artists, partners and sponsors for 2021.“Participants contributing to exhibitions, programs, and residencies include Nadia Belerique, Judy Chicago, Sebastian De Line, Jorge González, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Brian Jungen, Waqas Khan, Vanessa Kwan, Ange Loft, Mata Aho Collective, Eric-Paul Riege, Camille Turner, and Syrus Marcus Ware,” says a release. “The curatorial team, Tairone Bastien, Clare Butcher, Candice Hopkins, Myung-Sun Kim, and Katie Lawson are coming together to work collectively across projects. Additional contributors, partners, and sponsors will be announced in the coming months.”

A University of Ottawa professor is back to teaching after being suspended September 23 for using the N-word during an Art and Gender class. Since professor Verushka Lieutenant-Duval returned to instructing ART 3317 on October 16, thousands of people have signed a petition calling for greater disciplinary action as well as a ban on the use of the N-word on the UOttawa campus. The student union has also issued a comprehensive statement noting with concern that at least 34 other professors distributed an open letter defending Lieutenant-Duval, and that the Association of Part-Time Professors of the University of Ottawa also shared, via social media, a commentary defending her. Media coverage of this issue began with an October 2 report in student newspaper the Fulcrum and has since gone national with recent reportage by the CBC, the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen.

Calgary’s public art program continues to be in flux. The city has put out a call for an outside group to run the oftcontentious program, with applications being received until November 19. Related: a public art sculpture in Calgary that, in 2014, generated enough reflective heat to burn a hole in a viewer’s jacket may be back on display next year; the CBC reports that the 2,200-kilogram stainless steel sculpture Wishing Well, created by Living Lenses of San Francisco, was put into storage soon after that burning event, and that it will only be reinstalled after extensive safety testing at its new prospective site.

Some staffing updates. Arjun Lal is the new programming and outreach coordinator at Eyelevel in Halifax. Jessica Hannigan is the new gallery assistant at Hamilton Artists Inc.