Call for Entry: Prefix Prize 2022


Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce that entries are now open for the second annual Prefix Prize, which is awarded to a professional photographic artist of any nationality. Presented by Prefix ICA with the support of presentation partners, the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival and Underline Studio, and founding partner, Partners in Art, the second annual prize will be launched in May 2022. The prize consists of three components: a cash prize of $2,000.00 CA, a publication, and an exhibition – all in the month of May on the occasion of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. The Prefix Prize, which has a reach of 1,128,000, will be awarded to artists at any stage of their careers who have yet to receive the recognition that they deserve.

The prize winner will be selected by an esteemed jury of photographic art professionals, including representatives from Prefix ICA, Contact and Underline, along with additional experts drawn from the broader arts community. For the second annual prize in May 2022, the jury includes Claire Dawson, co-founder and creative director, Underline Studio; José Roca, artistic director, Flora Ars y Natura and the 23rd Biennale of Sydney; Tara Smith, programs director, Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival; and Scott McLeod, founding director, Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, among others.

Entrants for the Prefix Prize must be professional photographic artists who have completed their basic education or training and who have produced an independent body of artwork. To be considered for the prize, entrants must submit up to ten images representing their work, along with a completed entry form consisting of an artist’s statement or other text about the work, a biography and an images list. The number of entries is limited in order to guarantee that the jury spends a significant amount of time in their assessment of each entry and to ensure that the entrant has a strong chance of winning. Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. At their discretion, the jury may also choose to award up to two honourable mentions.

Entry forms, including guidelines, FAQs and other essential information, are available for downloading at Entries are subject to a fee of $35.00 CA. The deadline for the submission of entries is December 20, 2021.

Prefix Prize Welcomes Founding Partner
Prefix ICA wishes to express its gratitude to Partners in Art (PIA). A non-profit organization that funds and promotes contemporary art and arts education, PIA is a driving force behind many exciting projects in the city of Toronto and beyond. With the financial support provided by PIA as the founding partner for the Prefix Prize, Prefix ICA successfully launched the inaugural prize, while also providing a $30 rebate to the entrants to the inaugural prize and continuing to offer a reduced entry fee for the second annual prize.

About the jurors
Claire Dawson is co-founder, with Fidel Peña, of Underline Studio, a strategic branding and design agency in Toronto, where she currently serves as a creative director. She has lectured on the subject of design; curated panels for Canada’s largest design conference, Design Thinkers; and served as a judge for many creative awards competitions in North America. Her work has been widely recognized by the most distinguished national and international competitions, among them Communication Arts, Graphis, the National Magazine Awards, the New York Society of Publication Designers and the New York Type Directors Club. Currently, she is president of the board of directors of the Advertising and Design Club of Canada.

José Roca is a curator of contemporary art. Currently the artistic director of Flora Ars y Natura (Bogotá), he was the adjunct curator of Latin American Art for the Tate (London) from 2012–15, and, for a decade, he managed the arts programme at Banco de la República (Bogotá). A co-curator of the 1st San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial (Puerto Rico), the 27th Bienal de São Paulo (Brazil) and the Encuentro Internacional Medellín (Colombia) in 2007, he was the artistic director of Philagrafika (Philadelphia, USA) in 2010 and, in 2011, the chief curator of the 8th Bienal do Mercosul (Porto Alegre, Brazil). He served on the awards jury for the 52nd Venice Biennale. Currently, he is the artistic director of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, which takes place from March 12th to June 13th, 2022.

Tara Smith is programs director of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival (Toronto), where she has developed an exciting program of events, talks and workshops, including Portfolio Reviews, the Photobook Fair and the Women and Photobooks symposium. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Toronto. Her recent curatorial projects include XYZ-SOB-ABC by Carmen Winant and Lassen (This Is an Emergency) by Małgorzata Stankiewicz.

Scott McLeod is the founding director of Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art (Toronto). In the past twenty-five years, he has curated more than sixty-five exhibitions and has authored more than sixty catalogue essays and other texts for publishers including Casino Luxembourg, the Warwick Arts Centre, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and YYZ Books. He has lectured in numerous public institutions, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and has served as a juror and nominator for an array of international awards and grants, including the Prix Pictet, the National Magazine Awards and the Scotiabank Photography Award, among others. A member of AICA Canada and IKT International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art, he lives and works in Toronto.

About Prefix ICA
Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art is a registered charitable organization, based in Toronto, that fosters the appreciation and understanding of contemporary photographic, media and digital arts through exhibitions, publications, public programmes and related activities.

Image credits:
Wordmark: Designed by the award-wining team at Underline Studio, Toronto
Thumbnail: Installation view of Chris Myhr, winner of the Prefix Prize 2021. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid. Courtesy Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art, Toronto

For more information, please contact Prefix ICA at