Salt Spring Island textile artist Jane Kidd is among the eight winners of the 2016 Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.
The awards, funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, carry a $25,000 cash prize and recognize outstanding career achievement. They include categories for artistic achievement in visual and media arts, fine craft (Saidye Bronfman Award), and outstanding contribution.
Kidd was born in Victoria and taught at the Alberta College of Art + Design from 1979 to 2010. Her extensive travels have enabled her to pursue interests in historic and multicultural textile production. She currently lives on Salt Spring island and maintains an active studio practice.
According to Jennifer Salahub, a historian at the Alberta College of Art and Design, “Kidd emphatically demonstrates that issues central to much visual art practice today – including gender, identity, post-colonialism, economic justice and ethics – are relevant to contemporary tapestry, and by extension to all fine craft.”
In 2007, the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts (originally created in 1977) joined the prestigious family of Governor General's Awards. This ensures that Canada’s outstanding craft artists receive national recognition each year alongside their peers in the visual and media arts.
The 2016 winners are:
- Edward Burtynsky, photographer, Toronto
- Marnie Fleming, curator, Toronto (Outstanding Contribution Award)
- Philip Hoffman, filmmaker, Mount Forest, Ont.
- Jane Kidd, textile artist, Salt Spring Island, BC (Saidye Bronfman Award)
- Wanda Koop, visual artist, Winnipeg
- Suzy Lake, visual artist, Toronto
- Mark Lewis, media artist, London, U.K.
- William (Bill) Vazan, visual artist, Montreal
“These artists have achieved an exceptional level of mastery of their art forms, to the point where they influence the way we Canadians understand our world and its challenges,” Simon Brault, director and CEO of the Canada Council said in a press release. “They participate with passion and creativity in some of the most pressing debates of our times, including discussions on sustainable development, the environment, identity and gender.”
The awards ceremony and a presentation of the medallions by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada will take place at Rideau Hall on March 23, 2016.