The following information is excerpted from a press release issued by the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Three distinguished individuals in the field of visual arts in British Columbia will receive the most prestigious awards in the province: the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, the VIVA Awards and the Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize. This year, Carole Itter is awarded the fifteenth Audain Prize, supported by the Audain Foundation. Lyse Lemieux is the recipient of the 2017 VIVA Award, granted annually by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Foundation will also present the second biannual Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize to Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
To mark this annual celebration, a free and open-to-the-public ceremony honouring the recipients will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 in The Great Hall of the BC Law Courts building in downtown Vancouver.
“The Vancouver Art Gallery is immensely honoured once again to present the Province’s most esteemed arts awards. These awards illuminate the rich and accomplished array of artists in British Columbia,” said the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Director Kathleen S. Bartels. “We congratulate this year’s recipients for their extraordinary contribution and their tireless dedication to the field of visual arts. These awards pay tribute to the outstanding work of British Columbian artists and curators, and would not be possible without the generous support of the Audain Foundation and the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation. We are immensely grateful for their continued dedication to the history, beauty and depth of our region.”
About the recipients
An interdisciplinary artist, writer, performer and filmmaker and this year’s Audain Prize recipient, Carole Itter is best known for large-scale assemblages/installations incorporating discarded and received domestic and industrial items which are strongly influenced by the people and places where she has lived and frequently reflect social and political issues. Her work has been exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Western Front, Or Gallery, and Grunt Gallery, among other venues. Along with Daphne Marlatt, she compiled and edited Opening Doors (1979), an archive of oral history about Vancouver’s East End as part of the Sound Heritage Series for the British Columbia Provincial Archives. Itter’s work is included in the collections of The Canada Council Art Bank, the Vancouver Public Library and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
VIVA Award honouree Lyse Lemieux is a Vancouver-based artist whose 39-year art practice has focused primarily on drawing. Her work is almost always referenced to the human body—its strengths and its frailties. Oscillating between representation and abstraction, her mixed-media work has primarily been about the bodily form— whether outlined by black line, filled in with ink wash, fabric or collage, mounted on paper, wood or other supports. For over three decades, she has exhibited her work extensively in public galleries, nationally and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include: A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do (Richmond Art Gallery, 2016), Black is the Size of My New Skirt (Republic Gallery, 2015), Shaped Drawings: Something Wrong About the Mouth (Republic Gallery, 2014), Lyse Lemieux: New Work (Republic Gallery, 2012). She is also presently featured in Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures, on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery until April 17, 2017.
Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize recipient Grant Arnold is the Audain Curator of British Columbia Art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where he has contributed to the Gallery’s exhibition and collecting activities since 2005. He was previously senior curator at the Art Gallery of Windsor and extension coordinator at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon. Over the past thirty years, he has organized more than sixty exhibitions of historical, modern and contemporary art, with photography always holding an especial interest. Arnold has contributed essays and articles to exhibition catalogues and journals. He has taught in the Critical and Curatorial Studies program at the University of British Columbia and lectured on historical and contemporary art at a variety of conferences and institutions.