2020 Sobey Art Award Call for Nominations Opens Today


2020 Sobey Art Award Call for Nominations Opens Today

OTTAWA, January 29, 2020 – The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada announced today the call for nominations is now open for the 2020 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s prestigious contemporary art prize. The award honors Canada’s most accomplished and impactful artists who are aged 40 years or younger. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 6, 2020.

Established in 2002, the Sobey Art Award offers unprecedented opportunities for Canadian contemporary artists, and enhances their profiles nationally and internationally. From a total of $240,000 CAD prize money, $100,000 is awarded to the winner, $25,000 is given to each of the four shortlisted artists, and $2,000 is awarded to each of the remaining twenty longlisted artists. Three artists from the longlist are selected each year by the Sobey Art Award Jury to participate in the Sobey Art Award Residencies Program (SAARP), which covers travel costs and living expenses to facilities in Berlin, London and Brooklyn. The work of the five finalists, representing as many regions in Canada selected from the longlist of 25 nominees, will be featured in a special exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada this fall. Past winners include some of Canada’s most celebrated talents including Brian Jungen, the late Annie Pootoogook, David Altmejd, Jeremy Shaw and last year’s winner Stephanie Comilang.

“It is encouraging to see the work of so many Sobey Art Award finalists and winners in exhibitions around the world,” said Rob Sobey, Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation. “Extending beyond mere financial support, the award is instrumental in enabling these artists to focus on their art and initiates creative opportunities for them to interact with other artists across the country. The award enhances their profile on the world stage by providing invaluable visibility within the global art community and the public at large.”

“Seven Sobey Art Award nominees – Jeneen Frei Njootli, Joi T. Arcand, Jordan Bennett, Catherine Blackburn, Ursula Johnson, Caroline Monnet and Joseph Tisiga – are currently exhibiting their work in the exhibition Àbadakone,” said Dr. Sasha Suda, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada. A tribute to how the Sobey Art Award compels rich and necessary dialogue and recognizes the talent and accomplishments of artists living in Canada.”

The 2020 Sobey Art Award’s longlist of nominees will be announced April 15, followed by the release of the shortlist on May 27. Those selected for the Sobey Art Award Residencies Program will be announced on September 16, 2020.

The exhibition of works by the five shortlisted artists will be presented at the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, from October 1, 2020 to February 14, 2021. The winner of the 2020 Sobey Art Award will be announced at a gala hosted at the National Gallery of Canada in November 2020.

About the Jury Members
The 2020 international jury panel, chaired by National Gallery of Canada’s Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois, is composed of directors and curators from five designated regions in Canada (the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and the North, and the West Coast and Yukon) and one international juror.

About the Sobey Art Award process
The National Gallery of Canada will accept nominations for the 2020 Sobey Art Award from recognized agents, institutions and established artists. The jury will oversee the selection process. From the complete list of nominated artists, the jurors will create a longlist of 25 artists – five artists from each of five designated regions in Canada. The panel will then choose one representative from each region to be included on the national shortlist and in the 2020 Sobey Art Award exhibition. The jury will also select the winner of the $100,000 top prize.

About the Sobey Art Award
Since its launch, the Sobey Art Award has profiled more than 250 Canadian artists through its longlist process. For recipients, the Sobey Art Award has become a mark of distinction that has steered the artists toward national and international recognition. Past award recipients include Brian Jungen, Jean-Pierre Gauthier, the late Annie Pootoogook, Michel de Broin, Tim Lee, David Altmejd, Daniel Barrow, Daniel Young and Christian Giroux, Raphaëlle de Groot, Duane Linklater, Nadia Myre, Abbas Akhavan, Jeremy Shaw, Ursula Johnson, Kapwani Kiwanga and Stefanie Comilang.

About the Sobey Art Foundation
The Sobey Art Foundation was established in 1981 with a mandate to carry on the work of entrepreneur and business leader, the late Frank H. Sobey, to collect and preserve representative examples of 19th- and 20th-century Canadian art. In one of the finest private collections of its kind, the Sobey Art Foundation has assembled outstanding examples from Canadian Masters such as Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson and J. E. H. MacDonald. The collection is on view in the former home of Frank Sobey and his wife Irene in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians.



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For all media enquiries, please contact:

Sobey Art Foundation
Bernard Doucet
T + 1.902.752 8371 ext. 2301
C + 1.902.921.1755

National Gallery of Canada
Geneviève Ménard
Media Relations Manager
T + 1.613.990.1654