Shortlist Announced for the Prestigious 2016 Sobey Art Award

The winner of the $38,000 cash prize will be announced in November.

Harja Waheed. Photo credit: Nick Bostick.

The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada have announced today the five artists shortlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award.

Each representing one of Canada’s five regions, the finalists are: Jeremy Shaw (Vancouver, BC, and Berlin, Germany), Brenda Draney (Edmonton, Alberta), Charles Stankievech (Toronto), Harja Waheed (Montréal), and William Robinson (Halifax, Nova Scotia).

The Sobey Art Award esteems emerging Canadian artists under the age of 40 who have exhibited in the 18 months preceding their application. The prize encompasses a total award of $100,000 CAD ($76,000), of which $50,000 CAD ($38,000) is awarded to the winner, $10,000 CAD ($7,600) to each of the other four finalists, and $500 ($381) to those who didn’t make it past the long-list.

“The work being produced in Canada these days is outstanding,” Josée Drouin-Brisebois, jury chair and senior curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada, said in a statement. “This year’s long-list featured a surprising number of multidisciplinary and conceptual artists, as well as artists working in traditional mediums in new and innovative ways,” he added.

The director of Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna Nicholas Schafhausen, who’s also in the jury, said of the finalists: “In their work, these artists link the questioning of their own artistic production with a reflection of social contexts. The true challenge that artists face today, given the multiplicity and complexity of art production in the digital age, is how to be different, not for the sake of difference itself, but to be pertinent.”

A group exhibition of the five finalists will take place at the National Gallery of Canada from 6 October, 2016, and the winner will be announced in November during a gala event.

Jeremy Shaw. Photo credit: Jenifer Osborne.

Jeremy Shaw. Photo: Jenifer Osborne.

Jeremy Shaw works across a variety of media including film, video, and photography to explore the cultural and scientific mapping of transcendental experience.

Brenda Draney. Photo credit: Courtesy of the artist.

Brenda Draney. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Brenda Draney is known for her paintings based on the relationships formed between places.

Charles Stankievech.

Charles Stankievech.

Charles Stankievech is a multidisciplinary artist known for his critical examinations of the history, specificity, and geopolitics of space.

Harja Waheed. Photo credit: Nick Bostick.

Hajra Waheed. Photo: Nick Bostick.

Hajra Waheed’s mixed media practice consists of ongoing bodies of work that continue to amass a growing personal archive. She currently has an exhibition at BALTIC in the UK.

William Robinson. Photo credit: Meghan Tansey Whitton.

William Robinson. Photo: Meghan Tansey Whitton.

William Robinson’s multimedia work explores how sound and music can extricate the social and historical narratives resting dormant within particular sites and built environments.


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