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The visual arts in British Columbia will be celebrated as three distinguished artists receive the most prestigious awards in this province: the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts and the VIVA Awards. This year, Fred Herzog is awarded the 12th Audain Prize, funded by the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Skeena Reece and Mina Totino are each the recipient of the VIVA Award granted annually by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation.
To mark this annual celebration with the visual arts community, a ceremony honouring the artists will be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 15 in The Great Hall of the BC Law Courts building in downtown Vancouver (details below).
“We are extremely honoured to present this year’s Audain Prize and VIVA Awards. These awards exemplify the high standards set by artists of our region,” said the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Director Kathleen S. Bartels. “All three artists have shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery – Fred Herzog’s first major exhibition was organized by the Gallery in 2007, Skeena Reece was an integral part of the Beat Nation exhibition in 2012, and Mina Totino has been included in many exhibitions at the Gallery since 1985. We congratulate all of them and celebrate the career achievements of these outstanding British Columbia artists.”
Established in 2004, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts has become one of Canada’s most esteemed honours. The Audain Prize, supported by the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts, grants $30,000 annually to a senior British Columbia artist selected by an independent jury. Previous winners of the Audain Prize include Takao Tanabe and Gathie Falk (2013), Marian Penner Bancroft (2012), Rodney Graham (2011), Robert Davidson (2010), Liz Magor (2009), Jeff Wall (2008), Gordon Smith (2007), Eric Metcalfe (2006), E.J. Hughes (2005) and Ann Kipling (2004).
The 2014 Audain Prize honouree, Fred Herzog, has been active in Vancouver's art scene for almost fifty years. Born in Germany in 1930, he immigrated to Canada in 1952. Herzog began making colour photographs of Vancouver using Kodachrome slide film in 1953, and has continued to document this city and other locations he has encountered in his extensive travels ever since. Herzog was employed as a medical photographer, first at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, then with the Department of Biomedical Communications at the University of British Columbia. He also taught photography at Simon Fraser University (1967-1969) and at the University of British Columbia (1969-1974). His students included Theodore Wan and Christos Dikeakos, who would later become widely recognized for their photographic work. His activities as an artist and teacher play an important role in discussions of photography in Vancouver to this day. A major retrospective of his work was presented at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2007. His work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and Vancouver Art Gallery.
Skeena Reece and Mina Totino are the winners of this year’s VIVA Awards, presented by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts. These awards were established to recognize BC artists who demonstrate exceptional creative ability and commitment.
Skeena Reece is a Tsimshian/Gitksan and Cree artist based on the West Coast of British Columbia. Her multidisciplinary practice includes performance art, spoken word, humor, “sacred clowning”, writing, singing, songwriting and video art. In her performances she addresses subjects such as race, political landscapes and culture, often in provocative ways. She studied media arts at Emily Carr institute of Art and Design. In 2010, she performed at the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia. She is part of the highly acclaimed exhibition Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery across Canada, a project initiated by Grunt Gallery.
Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Vancouver artist Mina Totino graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 1982. She received great acclaim when her work was included in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Young Romantics exhibition in 1985. She has pursued an extended investigation of the possibilities held out in the matter and material of painting since that time. Her work has been exhibited widely, appearing in solo and group exhibitions at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver; Vancouver Art Gallery; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Oboro Gallery, Montreal; Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver; Diaz Contemporary, Toronto; Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton; Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor; Galerie Likofabrik, Berlin and the Latvian Center for Contemporary Art, Riga.
The Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts and the VIVA Awards will be presented by the Vancouver Art gallery, with special guest the Honourable Judith Guichon, OBC, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, at The Great Hall of the B.C. Law Courts at 800 Smithe Street on April 15th at 7:00 pm. Free and open to the public. For event information, please phone (604) 662-4747(604) 662-4747.
Report courtesy Vancouver Art Gallery
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