The Sobey Art Award, Canada’s pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian art, was created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation. It is an annual prize given to an artist age 40 and under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. A total of $100,000 in prize money is awarded annually; $50,000 to the winner; $10,000 to the other four finalists; and $500 to each of the remaining longlisted artists. Since its inception, the Sobey Art Award and accompanying exhibition have been organized and administered by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

This year it will feature, along with Myre’s multidisciplinary works, the art of Evan Lee, representing the West Coast and the Yukon; Neil Farber and Michael Dumontier showcasing the Prairies and the North; Ontario’s Chris Curreri; and Sackville, NB artist Graeme Patterson (for more on this artist, read Virgil Hammock’s review in Vie des Arts No. 234/Spring 2014). In the words of the organizers, the five selected artists "present a spectrum of practices that emerge from personal experience, ultimately addressing specific social and cultural concerns."

Nadia Myre (b. 1974) is a visual artist from Quebec and an Algonquin member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg. For over a decade, her multi-disciplinary practice has been inspired by participant involvement, as well as recurring themes of identity, language, longing and loss. Her work is at the moment on display at Galerie Art Mûr, as part of Storytelling: The Contemporary Native Art Biennial, 2nd Edition.

An exhibition showing the work of the shortlisted artists will take place the Winnipeg Art Gallery, opening on November 1st. The winner will be announced at a Gala event on November 19th. externe)

Nadia Myre
For those who cannot speak…, 2013
Digital print
175 x 2380 cm externe)

Evan Lee (b. 1975)
Forest Fire, Kwoiek, BC, after found BCFS Aerial Photo, 2010
Found photograph, unique manipulated pigment print on reverse of Kodak photographic paper
73.5 x 97.75 cm
Courtesy of the artist/Monte Clark Gallery

Michael Dumontier (b. 1974)
15 Signs, 2013
Acrylic on hardboard
63 x 53 cm

Chris Curreri (b. 1978)
Untitled (Clay Portfolio), 2013
Gelatin silver print
19.70 x 14.60 cm, from a portfolio of 21 images

Graeme Patterson
The Mountain (part of Secret Citadel), 2013
Mixed media sculpture/video installation
244 x 304 x 182cm
Photo credit: Graeme Patterson