Four local contenders vye for Canada's largest art prize for young artists
Four Concordia artists have a shot at winning the largest prize in Canada for young artists.
The Sobey Art Award is given annually to a Canadian aged 40 or under who has exhibited their work in a public of commercial art gallery in the previous 18 months. This year’s overall winner will receive $100,000, up from $50,000 in previous years.
Adam Basanta (MA 13), Julie Favreau (MFA 12), Jerry Ropson (MFA 09) and Elif Saydam (BFA 09) made the 2018 longlist, along with 21 other artists from across the country.
Since 2002, 40 Concordia students, visiting artists and alumni have been longlisted for the award. Of those, five have gone on to win the prize: Nadia Myre (MFA 03), Abbas Akhavan (BFA 04), Raphaëlle de Groot, Daniel Barrow and Michel de Broin.
The shortlist will be announced May 29. The selected artists will be exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada from October 3, 2018, to February 10, 2019. The winner of the 2018 Sobey Art Award will be announced during a gala event at the gallery November 14.
The artists on the longlist will receive $2,000 in prize money. Those selected for the short list will be awarded $25,000.
From immersive sound art to iconoclastic representations of flags, each of this year’s nominees from Concordia brings a unique perspective to contemporary art making.
In 2016, Basanta’s artwork Curtain (white) had visitors surrounded by white noise as they made their way to a “curtain” made of dozens of earbuds. The installation measured three metres in length.
Basanta’s upcoming composition work includes a commissioned piece for Montreal’s Quator Bozzini String Quartet as part of the Composer’s Kitchen Residency. The work will be performed in both Montreal and Utrecht, Netherlands.
Montreal-based artist Julie Favreau works in a variety of media, including installation, photography and performance. Her projects emphasize themes of eroticism and desire.
Favreau, who studied in the Department of Studio Arts, is currently headlining two international solo exhibitions. From Her Character is showing at La BF15 in Lyon, France, and Will Deliquesce will open April 27 at House of Egorn in Berlin, Germany.
Newfoundland-born artist Jerry Ropson was also nominated for the Sobey Art Award in 2016. He works in a variety of media, creating installations that emphasize storytelling and personal experience.
In 2017, his exhibition, the distance between our outreached arms (deadflag), was featured at Concordia’s FOFA Gallery. Ropson, who also earned his degree from the Department of Studio Arts, is a professor of painting and drawing at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.
Elif Saydam is a Turkish-Canadian artist whose multimedia practice includes installation and painting. In September 2017, Saydam’s exhibition, NO R.E.M., was featured at the Ashley Gallery in Berlin, Germany.
She is a graduate of Concordia’s Fibres and Material Practices program.
Find out more about Concordia’s Faculty of Fine Arts.