Victoria artist Sandra Meigs is among the eight winners of the 2015 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, announced March 24 by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Meigs pulls from philosophical texts, theory, popular culture, music and poetry, combining complex narratives with comic elements. She says that, through her paintings, she wants the viewer to feel "richly engaged, jubilant, and most of all, transported to an imaginary universe".
Born in Baltimore in 1953, Meigs studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (BFA 1975) and Dalhousie University (MA 1980). She has lived and worked in Canada since 1973 and has taught at the University of Victoria for over 20 years. Meigs is represented by Susan Hobbs Gallery.
Each year, the awards honour up to seven artists for their artistic achievements, and one person for his or her outstanding contribution to contemporary visual and/or media arts. The award-winners receive a medallion and a cash prize of $25,000 each.
The 2015 winners are:
- Louise Déry, curator, Montreal (Outstanding Contribution Award)
- Robert Houle, visual artist, Toronto
- Micah Lexier, visual artist, Toronto
- Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, media artist, Montreal
- Paul McClure, jewellery artist, Toronto (Saidye Bronfman Award)
- Sandra Meigs, painter, Victoria
- Rober Racine, visual artist, writer and composer, Montreal
- Reva Stone, new media artist, Winnipeg
“This year’s winners are profoundly shaping Canada’s cultural identity,” said Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council. “We applaud their innovative and powerful work, which invites us to question the state of our world and our own personal destinies in ways that we never would have imagined.”
Winners are selected by independent peer juries. In 2015, the jury consisted of artists Lucie-Clair Chan, Pierre Dorion, Lee-Ann Martin, Susan McEachern, David Rokeby and Gerald Saul. The jury for the Saidye Bronfman Award consisted of artists Gloria Hickey, Greg Payce and Susan Warner Keene.
The Canada Council has commissioned short films on each of the winners, directed by award-winning Canadian filmmakers. The films are available on the Canada Council and the Independent Media Arts Alliance websites and at film festivals throughout the year. Travelers on Air Canada will also be able to view them on the company’s in-flight entertainment system starting in May 2015.
From April 9 to August 30, works by this year’s winners will be featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will welcome this year’s recipients to Rideau Hall on April 8, 2015, for a special ceremony.
The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts were created in 1999 by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada. Over the past 15 years, the awards have celebrated Canada’s vibrant arts community and recognized remarkable careers in the visual and media arts. The Awards are funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts.