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Ursula Johnson.

Ursula Johnson Wins 2017 Sobey Art Award

The Sobey Art Award, Canada’s largest contemporary art prize honoring artists under forty, has named Halifax-based Ursula Johnson as this year’s winner. She will receive $40,000. The announcement was made during a gala event held Wednesday evening at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.

Ursula Johnson was singled out for her strong voice, her generosity, and collaborative spirit. Through her work, she redefines traditional materials and re-imagines colonized histories,” the selection committee said in a statement.

Five artists representing different regions across Canada—Raymond​ ​Boisjoly​ (West Coast and the Yukon); Jacynthe​ ​Carrier​ (Québec); Ursula​ ​Johnson​ (Atlantic); Divya​ ​Mehra​ (Prairies and the North); and Bridget​ ​Moser​ (Ontario)—were short-listed for the award. The four finalists will receive $8,000 each, and their work will be exhibited alongside Johnson’s at the Art Museum of the University of Toronto from October 24 to December 9. ​

Johnson, who was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, said, “This gift of being the winner of the Sobey Art Award means that I will now have the tremendous opportunity to work on a larger scale and expand the reach of my work to a broader community while exploring more diversity in materials and content as well as beginning to create a network of collaborators internationally!”

This was the second edition of the award to be administered by the National Gallery of Canada, which became the organizing institution for the Sobey Art Award in 2016. Previous winners include​ ​David Altmejd,​ ​Daniel​ ​Barrow,​ ​Michel​ ​de​ ​Broin,​ ​Raphaëlle​ ​de​ ​Groot,​ ​Jean-Pierre​ ​Gauthier,​​ ​Nadia​ ​Myre,​ ​Annie​ ​Pootoogook,​ ​and Jeremy​ ​Shaw.

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