Clara Couzino from Concordia University has won the national BMO 1st Art! prize of $15,000. Her composition of painted objects, shelves and string built to resemble a sheet of lined paper won judges over to make her the top winner of this national student art prize.
“I always wanted to create a piece integrating text, and I have often struggled to integrate it in an organic way,” Couzino says of her winning artwork Objectifier l’écriture. “This piece is both a text and an artwork but it’s also a kind of playful game.” The artwork fits with Couzino’s practice of using materials from everyday life as well.
“I’m really inspired by objects that are part of daily life,” says Couzino. “Those objects are the ‘letters’ that are forming the ‘words.’ In my practice, I’m always starting from that point, modifying those daily objects into different forms and different meanings.” Couzino plans to use the prize money to continue expanding and developing her art practice.
The 12 regional winners, who each receive $7,500, are as follows:
Max Keene, University of Alberta (Alberta)
Phoebe Huang, Simon Fraser University (British Columbia)
Jimmie Kilpatrick, Brandon University (Manitoba)
Sylvan Hamburger, Mount Allison University (New Brunswick)
Emma Burry, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland (Newfoundland and Labrador)
Rodney MacMullin, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University (Nova Scotia)
Greg Morgan, Nunavut Arctic College (Nunavut)
Josi Smit, OCAD University (Ontario)
Paul Atwood, Holland College (Prince Edward Island)
Sarah Madgin, Université du Québec à Montréal (Quebec)
Amber Agarand, University of Regina (Saskatchewan)
Christopher Dufour, Yukon School of Visual Arts (Yukon)
The national and regional winners were chosen from a pool of 267 post-secondary and undergraduate-level students nominated by instructors of post-secondary arts programs across Canada. Jurors for this years prize included Hugues Charbonneau, director, Galerie Hugues Charbonneau, Montreal; Adriana Kuiper, artist and associate professor, Mount Allison University, Sackville; Naomi Potter, director/curator, Esker Foundation, Calgary; and Sarah Robayo Sheridan, curator, Art Museum at the University of Toronto.
The winning pieces will be on display at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery in Toronto from November 15 to December 8, 2018.