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Shortlist Announced for Canada’s 2016 Sobey Art Award

The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada announced today the five artists who have been shortlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award. Established in 2002, the contemporary art prize recognizes emerging artists under forty. Each nominee represents one of Canada’s five regions and the shortlisted artists include Jeremy Shaw (the West Coast and the Yukon), Brenda Draney (the Prairies and the North), Charles Stankievech (Ontario), Hajra Waheed (Québec), and William Robinson (the Atlantic Provinces). A prize of $76,426 will be divvied up amongst the artists. The winner—who will be announced in November—will receive over $38,000. The four short-listed artists will be given over $7,000 each, and the long-listed artists will each get nearly $400.

The National Gallery of Canada’s senior curator of contemporary art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois, chaired the jury. The other members include the artistic director of Vienna’s Kunsthalle, Nicolas Schafhausen; director and curator of the Or Gallery, Jonathan Middleton; director and curator of the Esker Foundation, Naomi Potter; executive director and chief curator of the University of Toronto’s Art Museum Barbara Fischer; curator of the collection at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Marie-Justine Snider; and curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Prince Edward Island, Pan Wendt. The nominees were selected from a pool of twenty-five artists that were announced earlier this year.

“The jury chose five artistic approaches whose work is characteristic of the frequently transdisciplinary practice of the upcoming generation of artists. In their work, these artists all link the questioning of their own artistic production with the reflection of social contexts,” Schafhausen said.

Previous winners of the award include David Altmejd, Nadia Myre, and Abbas Akhavan, among others.