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News / October 1, 2014

Tiziana La Melia Wins RBC Canadian Painting Competition

Vancouver artist wins with work referencing abstraction and figuration. Ufuk Gueray of Winnipeg and Nicolas Lachance of Montreal named honourable mentions.

Tiziana La Melia of Vancouver has been chosen as the national winner of the 16th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. The prize win was based on the strength of her painting entitled Hanging on to the part. In honour of her win, La Melia will receive a $25,000 purchase prize for her work.

In addition, two honourable mentions were given: one to Ufuk Gueray of Winnipeg for his work Market and one to Nicolas Lachance of Montreal for his work index no.3 The book of Empathy. Gueray and Lachance were each awarded a purchase prize of $15,000 for their work.

All three works will become part of the RBC corporate art collection.

In reviewing La Melia’s work, the jury was moved by the fact that Hanging on to the part combined abstraction and figuration to portray both mythological female archetypes and personal narratives. It concluded that the Emily Carr University and University of Guelph MFA grad’s work comes from a tradition of painting, yet offers a platform to consider theatre, poetry and popular culture as well, giving her painting an edge over those by the other 14 finalists.

The award win was announced this evening at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, where works by the winner, honourable mentions and finalists will be on view until October 8. From October 24 to 27, they will also be on view at Art Toronto, Canada’s largest contemporary and modern art fair.

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

“RBC is extremely proud to champion the work of emerging Canadian visual artists and to encourage the next step in their careers through this competition,” noted RBC curator Robin Anthony. “The jury was incredibly impressed by the calibre of work from the finalists this year, and we look forward to following their careers in the future with great anticipation.”

“With a mandate to create greater visibility and appreciation for Canada’s extraordinary artistic talent—both at home and abroad—the Canadian Art Foundation is thrilled to partner with RBC on this initiative,” said Jill Birch, CEO of the Canadian Art Foundation and publisher of Canadian Art. “This year’s winners will no doubt continue to do us proud in the years ahead.”

Since 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition has provided over 200 artists with an opportunity to exhibit their work on a national scale. In addition to the purchase prize awarded the winners, all finalists also receive invaluable exposure to and insight from jurors, mentors and industry insiders. Past winners and honourable mentions of the competition include Dil Hildebrand, Chris Millar, Kristine Moran and Melanie Authier.

The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who are in the early stages of their career. More than 600 artists submitted works for this year’s competition, from which 15 finalists were chosen from across the country. To view works from all 15 finalists, check out our recent slideshow about them.

The jury panel this year included Esker Foundation director Naomi Potter; SFU Galleries director Melanie O’Brian; gallery owner Catriona Jeffries; Art Gallery of Hamilton curator of contemporary art Melissa Bennett; artist Robert Houle; LE Gallery owner Wil Kucey; artist Anthony Burnham; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal curator Mark Lanctôt; and Studio 21 owner Deborah Carver.