Five BC artists were among the eight winners of the inaugural Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP), which recognizes the best of contemporary work from across Canada. The awards focus on artists who show significant impact and depth of meaning, push boundaries and create meaningful dialogue, and bring context to cultural issues both local and global.
SSNAP consists of four awards: the Joan McConnell Award for Best in Show, the Juror's Choice Awards, the ASA Award for best Salt Spring artist, and the Rosemarie Behncke People’s Choice Awards.
SSNAP selected 52 finalists to take part in a month-long exhibition at Mahon Hall, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. The exhibition, which included hosted weekly artist talks, saw over 2,000 visitors, including local schools, art organizations, and members of the public. Every piece of art exhibited received votes from the public, with over 1,200 votes cast in the People’s Choice Award.
On a national level the show incorporated all types of art, all mediums, all styles, and all characteristics. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the arrival of a new Canadian art prize bodes well for the contemporary art scene in Canada.
The winners of the Salt Spring National Art Prize Awards are as follows:
The “Joan McConnell Award” for Best in Show:
38-year old Winnipeg, Manitoba artist, Corrie Peters, won for her 3D sculpture work, “Building (All the rooming houses on my street have had their front door removed),” laser cut paper and sewing thread. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize and $5,000 artist residency on Salt Spring Island, BC.
ASA Award (Alliance of Salt Spring Artists)
$1,000 for best Salt Spring artist chosen by the Jury:
Susan Huber, “Wild Horse Wind Farm.” 2D Image.
Juror’s Choice Awards
Three awards of $1,000 selected by each juror:
- Quebec City, Quebec artist, Annie Baillargeon, “Les Cannibals.” (2D photographie/peinture) Juror Vicky Chainey Gagnon;
- Vancouver, BC artist, Jessi McNeil, “Lunch Break in Les Tuileries.” (2D collage on paper) Juror Holger Kalberg;
- Vancouver, BC, artist, M.E. Sparks, “We’d Like to Help.” (2D oil and acrylic on canvas) Juror Ian Thomas.
Rosemarie Behncke People’s Choice Awards
- 1st Prize ($3,000): Salt Spring, BC artist, Nicola Wheston, “Tailgate Party.” (2D oil on canvas);
- 2nd Prize ($2,000): Yellowknife, NT artist, Patricia Slighte, “Changes.” (2D ink on paper);
- 3rd Prize ($1,000): Vancouver, BC artist, Eric Button, “The Death of Mr. Wolf.” (2D ink on paper).
To view the selected works, artist bios and statements, please visit http://saltspringartprize.ca/2015-winners/.