VIVA Awards

About the Awards

Funded by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts, the VIVA Awards are created to nurture the advancement of the visual arts in British Columbia and their appreciation by the public. Providing $12,000 annually since 1988, these awards celebrate exemplary achievement by British Columba artists in mid-career, chosen for outstanding accomplishment and commitment by an independent jury.

VIVA Award Winners  1988-2017
2017 Lyse Lemieux  |  2016 Raymond Boisjoly | Kelly Lycan  |  2015 Elizabeth Zvonar  |  2014 Skeena Reece | Mina Totino  |  2013 Elizabeth McIntosh  |  2012 Beau Dick | Ron Tran  |  2011 Reece Terris | Althea Thauberger  |  2010 Germaine Koh | Marina Roy  |  2009 Kathy Slade | Mark Soo  |  2008 Tim Lee | Kevin Schmidt  |  2007 Luanne Martineau | Isabelle Pauwels  |  2006 Damian Moppett | Marianne Nicolson  |  2005 Hadley+Maxwell | SteVen Shearer  |  2004 Rebecca Bellmore | Ron Terada  |  2003 Geoffrey Farmer | Kelly Wood  |  2002 Award of Honour: Jeff Wall  |  2001 Dana Claxton | Brian Jungen  |  2000 Haruko Okano | Jerry Pethick  |  1999 Myfanwy MacLeod | Judy Radul  |  1998 Cornelia Wyngaarden | Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun  |  1997 Award of Honour: Joan Lowndes | Ian Wallace  |  1996 Lorna Brown | Phillipe Raphanel  |  1995 Kati Campbell | Alan Storey  |  1994 Mike MacDonald | Chick Rice  |  1993 Elspeth Pratt | Henry Tsang  |  1992 Award of Honour: Alvin Balkind  |  1991 Persimmon Blackbridge | Gary Pearson  |  1990 Terry Ewasiuk | David Ostrem  |  1989 Carol Itter | Neil Wedman  |  1988 Stan Douglas | Carel Moiseiwitsch

EVENTS



APR 19
WED, 7pm
The Great Hall
Law Courts Building
800 Smithe Street
Directions »
The Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts + VIVA Award + The Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize
The Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts
The Audain Foundation, the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Vancouver Art Gallery cordially invite you to attend the 2017 awards ceremony to congratulate the recipients of the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts + VIVA Award + the Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize. Congratulations to award recipients Carole Itter, Lyse Lemieux and Grant Arnold!

Presentations followed by reception. Free entrance.

2017

VIVA Awards
Installation view of Lyse Lemieux, Ovals for Richmond, 2016, in A Girls Gotta Do What A Girls Gotta Do, Richmond Art Gallery, 2016, Photo: Dennis Ha

Lyse Lemieux


2017 VIVA Award

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. Lemieux first studied art at the University of Ottawa and later graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1976. 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.

2016

Raymond Boisjoly
Raymond Boisjoly, Station to Station, 2014, screen resolution LightJet prints mounted on dibond

Raymond Boisjoly


2016 VIVA Award

Born in Langley, British Columbia, in 1981, Raymond Boisjoly is an Indigenous artist of Haida and Québécois descent who lives and works in Vancouver. In 2008 he received his Master of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia, having completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) in 2006. His work investigates technology, Aboriginal identity, the relationship between text and image as well as the limits of the visible.


Kelly Lycan
Kelly Lycan, Underglow, 291, From the Faraway Nearby, 2014, mixed media

Kelly Lycan


2016 VIVA Award

Kelly Lycan is an installation and photo-based artist in Vancouver, British Columbia. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1992), and her Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles (1998). Lycan’s primary interests are the way objects are placed and displayed in the world and the cycle of value and exchange they go through. Re-purposing and re-contextualizing ordinary things is a consistent part of her practice. Lycan investigates the distinctions between experience and reproduction translating this through sculpture and photography while referencing collections and methods of display found in museums, institutional gift shops, cheap retail stores, or high-end department stores. Lycan reinterprets and reassembles various high and low objects through strategies of exhibition, blurring the distinction between content and style, production and mass-consumption, and originals verses copies. Her work has been exhibited in exhibitions across Canada, the United States and Europe.

2015

Elizabeth Zvonar
Elizabeth Zvonar, Two Faces, Part Human And Mostly Supernatura, 2007, digital lightjet print of a handcut collage, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Acquisition Fund

Elizabeth Zvonar


2015 VIVA Award

Elizabeth Zvonar graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in 2001. She has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Vancouver at Artspeak, Malaspina Printmakers, Western Front, Contemporary Art Gallery, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Presentation House Gallery, Exercise Projects and Simon Fraser University Galleries among others. Nationally, she has exhibited in Toronto at Daniel Faria Gallery, Oakville Galleries, Mercer Union and internationally in New York, Australia, Japan and Belgium. Zvonar received the 2009 Mayor’s Award for Emerging Visual Artist, selected by Marian Penner Bancroft. In 2011, she was presented with the Emily Award for outstanding achievement by an Emily Carr alumna. From 2012-15, Zvonar held the post of City of Vancouver Artist in Residence. She is represented by Daniel Faria Gallery in Toronto.

2014

Skeena Reece
Skeena Reece, Raven: On the Colonial Fleet, 2010, performance regalia, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo: Sebastien Kriete

Skeena Reece


2014 VIVA Award

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 the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University). In 2010, she performed at the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Australia.


Mina Totino
Mina Totino, nnaked, 2013, oil on canvas, Courtesy of the Artist, Photo: Stan Douglas

Mina Totino


2014 VIVA Award

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Vancouver-based artist Mina Totino graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) 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, Vancouver; 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.

2013

Elizabeth McIntosh
Elizabeth McIntosh, Beginner’s Luck, 2011, oil on canvas, Colection of Richard and Donna Ivey, Toronto, Photo: Scott Massey

Elizabeth McIntosh


2013 VIVA Award

In her painting, Elizabeth McIntosh explores the formal properties of abstraction through processes of collage, where elements of composition and colour are continuously negotiated. Recent work produced during a six-month residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York features the emergence of abstracted human figures drawn from art history and reimagined within vividly coloured geometries and abstractions. McIntosh was born in Simcoe, Ontario, and lives in Vancouver. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, Toronto, and a Master of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts, London, UK.

2012

Beau Dick
Beau Dick, Tsonokwa Mask, 2007, red cedar, horse hair, acrylic, Collection of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa, Photo: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery

Beau Dick


2012 VIVA Award

Beau Dick is acclaimed as one of the Northwest Coast's most versatile and talented carvers. His work can be found in private collections as well as museums, including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Heard Museum (Phoenix), the Burke Museum (Seattle) and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Reaching out beyond the confines of his own Kwakwaka’wakw culture, Dick has explored new formats and techniques in his work, including painting and drawing.


Ron Tran
Ron Tran, Apartment #201, 2008, Artist’s apartment door removed and displayed for duration of exhibition, wood and metal, Courtesy the artist, Photo: Kevin Schmidt

Ron Tran


2012 VIVA Award

Born in Vietnam, Vancouver-based artist Ron Tran’s work explores the ways that chance and coincidence influence daily life. Tran has exhibited in both group and solo exhibitions in Canada, Europe and Asia. He was selected for the 2007 East International Biennial in Norwich, England and the Berlin Biennale 6.

2011

Reece Terris
Reece Terris, Ought Apartment, 2009, detail with view of the 1970s level, Collection of the artist. Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery

Reece Terris


2011 VIVA Award

Often working with the characteristics of a specific site, Vancouver-based Terris alters the experiential qualities of a place or object through an amplification or shift in the primary function of its original design.


Althea Thauberger
Althea Thauberger, not afraid to die, 2001, single-channel video projection, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisitions Assistance Program and the Vancouver Art Gallery Acquisition Fund

Althea Thauberger


2011 VIVA Award

Vancouver-based Thauberger uses film, video, performance and photography to focus on popular culture and the myriad ways it shapes self-expression and identity.

2010

Germaine Koh
Germaine Koh, Fair-weather forces (water level), 2008, stainless steel stanchions and electronic and mechanical systems with velvet ropes moving up and down in relation to water level, which are transmitted over the internet from an ultrasonic sensor installed at a nearby body of water dimensions variable. Photo: Scott Massey, Courtesy Catriona Jeffries Gallery

Germaine Koh


2010 VIVA Award

Germaine Koh is a Vancouver-based artist, whose conceptually-generated installations and public artworks illuminate the significance of everyday actions, familiar objects and common places. Reframing common experiences, Koh’s often amusing work exposes arbitrary boundaries between art and non-art and creates new appreciations of the everyday environment. Koh’s work was selected by the Vancouver Art Gallery to appear in the 2009 exhibition How Soon Is Now: Contemporary Art From Here, which presented the most exciting recent developments in British Columbia’s contemporary art scene. She has exhibited her work in public art galleries across Canada, as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States. Her work was presented as a part of the Liverpool, Sydney and Montreal biennials, and she was a finalist for the 2004 Sobey Art Award.


Marina Roy
Marina Roy, Apartment, 2008 (still), video installation, colour with sound, 56 minutes, Courtesy of the Artist

Marina Roy


2010 VIVA Award

Vancouver-based artist Marina Roy works across a variety of media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, animation and video, to find new ways of visualizing the unconscious mind. In her celebrated animated film, Apartment, Roy takes the viewer through each room of an opulent, but dilapidated apartment building, weaving together surreal narratives and images. This work was selected by the Gallery to appear in the exhibition How Soon is Now. She has exhibited her work across Canada, as well as in Europe and the United States. Also a prolific writer, Roy’s book Sign After the X was published by Arsenal Pulp Press and Artspeak in 2001. She has been an Assistant Professor of Visual Arts in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia since 2002.

2009

Kathy Slade
Kathy Slade, Black Pom-pom, 2004, acrylic yarn, Courtesy of the artist and Lawrence Eng Gallery, Photo: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery

Kathy Slade


2009 VIVA Award

Vancouver artist Kathy Slade is celebrated for her artworks that mix conventions of high and low culture in a practice that includes video, photography, embroidery and sculpture. Born in 1966 in Montreal, Slade graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1990 and has since exhibited her work in locations across Canada and in China, Ireland, Sweden and the United States.


KMark Soo
Mark Soo, That’s That’s Alright Alright Mama Mama, 2008, 2 chromogenic prints, angled wall, 3-D glasses, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with the proceeds from the Audain Emerging Artists Acquisition Fund, Photo: Robert Keziere

Mark Soo


2009 VIVA Award

Vancouver artist Mark Soo works in a variety of media, often incorporating humour and manipulating images to prompt awareness of the psychological and physiological aspects of light and colour. Born in 1977 in Singapore, Soo graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) in 2001. The artist has been included in international exhibitions in Manchester, Melbourne, New York and Toronto, and in 2006 was the focus of a solo exhibition at Vancouver’s Artspeak Gallery. In 2008 Soo’s photo-based artwork, That’s That’s Alright Alright Mama Mama was the first work selected for purchase by the Vancouver Art Gallery for its Audain Emerging Artists Acquisition Fund.

2008

Tim Lee
Tim Lee, Upside-down Water Torture Chamber, Harry Houdini, 1913, 2004, chromogenic print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Thomas H. Bjarnason

Tim Lee


2008 VIVA Award

Korean-born and Vancouver-based artist Tim Lee’s sculpture, photography, video and painting integrate important moments of popular culture with significant moments in art history. His work plays with the conventions of high modernism using humor and irony, and his own image as the central subject. In 2002, he completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia. He received national recognition in 2001 with the exhibition of his video-performance, The Move at Vancouver’s Western Front, and recently completed a residency at the prestigious CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco where his work is currently on display. He has participated in numerous exhibitions nationally and internationally, and his work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Museum of Modern Art, New York and Tate Modern, London


Kevin Schmidt
Kevin Schmidt, Fog, 2004, double-sided slide projection, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with funds donated by the Audain Foundation

Kevin Schmidt


2008 VIVA Award

Since graduating from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) in 1997, Kevin Schmidt has received considerable recognition as an important emerging artist. A multi-disciplinary artist, working primarily in photography and video, his work references the pictorial traditions of landscape art through representations of nature as sublime spectacle. Currently showing the installation Fog, 2004 in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s exhibition The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social, Schmidt has had exhibitions at Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver; Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; Zierhersmith, New York; Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton; and Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh.

2007

Luanne Martineau


2007 VIVA Award

Luanne Martineau is a multimedia artist who creates hand-spun and felted wool sculptures. Through her work, she engages in a long tradition of social satire as well as feminist textile practice. Martineau was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She studied art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as well as the Alberta College of Art and Design. Martineau received her Fine Art Diploma in 1993 before going on to complete her Master of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia in 1995. She was previously the Associate Curator for the Art Gallery of Calgary. Martineau currently lives and works in Victoria, British Columbia where she is a Professor of Theory and Curatorial studies at the University of Victoria. She is represented in Canada by TrépanierBaer in Calgary and by Jessica Bradley ART + PROJECTS in Toronto.


Isabelle Pauwels


2007 VIVA Award

Belgium-born conceptual artist Isabelle Pauwels currently lives in Vancouver and is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver. Pauwels graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2001 and earned her Master of Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. Pauwels works in a variety of disciplines that include sculptures, installations, screenplays, prints and performances. She is best known for her architectural interventions in gallery spaces where she has literally cut up walls. She has exhibited in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles, and was formerly represented by the Atelier Gallery, Or Gallery and State Gallery in Vancouver.

2006

Damian Moppett


2006 VIVA Award

Working in a wide array of art forms from photography, sculpture, ceramics, painting, drawing and small tableaux to larger installations, music and video, Damian Moppett is one of Vancouver’s most diverse visual artists. In his work, however, he is more likely to focus on the process than the product. He has, in fact, devoted entire exhibitions to exploring the art-making process and the doctrines by which meaning is made, documenting process and technique rather than the art forms themselves. Moppett was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1969. He graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) in 1992 and received his Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University in 1995. He currently lives and works in Vancouver, where he taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design from 1998-2004. The Catriona Jeffries Gallery in Vancouver has represented him internationally since 2000.


Marianne Nicolson


2006 VIVA Award

Marianne Nicolson is a member of the Dzawada’enuxw Tribe of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations. She was born in Comox, British Columbia in 1969 to a Dzawada’enuxw First Nations mother and a Scottish father. During the 1990s, Nicolson studied Western art practice at the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design (now University) and was simultaneously tutored by Kwakiutl artist Wayne Alfred in traditional Kwakwaka’wakw. Her work combines symbolic elements of both Western and First Nations cultures to create a bi-cultural visual language. Her primary objective is to raise awareness and sensitivity towards contemporary native existence while celebrating the continuation of a rich cultural practice. Nicolson is the recipient of many previous awards including two Canada Council Grants, BC Arts Grant, Smithsonian Artist Fellowship, Vancouver Foundation Visual Arts Award, and National Aboriginal Arts Council Scholarship. She is currently a board member of the BC Arts Council and a former founding member of the Nunwakola Cultural Society.

2005

Hadley+Maxwell


2005 VIVA Award

Known collectively as Hadley+Maxwell, Canadian artists Ms. Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens began collaborating in 1997 after graduating together from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University). They design, install and document conceptual artworks. To date, their body of work has included film sets, opera and dance productions, publications, images, photographs, and acts of conceptual inquiry. They have explored such diverse mediums as silk-screen and etching, oil and watercolour painting, sculpture and installation, video and photography and writing. They also have extensive knowledge of historical decorative arts. Hadley, whose background focussed on public art and architecture, was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1973. Maxwell, a former musician with a number of recordings and publicly exhibited videos to his credit, was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1966.


Steven Shearer


2005 VIVA Award

Steven Shearer has fondly been described as the "bastard offspring" of the Vancouver photo-conceptualist movement, but more rightly he is the progenerator of the new digital generation. Shearer works in a broad range of media including collage, digital prints, serigraphs, oil and acrylic paintings, music and installation. Shearer was born in New Westminster, BC in 1968 and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio) at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) in 1992. His work has recently been exhibited at New York's American Fine Arts, Tokyo's Mars Gallery and San Francisco's CCAC Wattis Institute. He has participated in numerous shows in Europe, Japan, the United States and Canada. His unique artwork has been collected by the Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art; the Canada Council Art Bank and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; The Morris and Helen Belkin Fine Arts Gallery, Vancouver; and the London Regional Museum, Ontario, among others. Recently he had a solo exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich and exhibited in a group exhibition at the Tate Modern in London.

2004

Rebecca Bellmore


2004 VIVA Award

First Nations artist Rebecca Belmore does not "go gently into that good night." The 44-year old internationally-acclaimed artist has dealt significantly with such themes as social justice, land ownership, family and identity in hard-hitting performance art and installations. She has provided a voice for her people, the Anashinabe Objibwa, for 15 years. Belmore has become a major force in contemporary art through her assertive installations and disturbing shows, especially those that protest violence against women. Belmore was born in the Sioux Lookout District of Northern Ontario and now lives in Vancouver


Ron Terada


2004 VIVA Award

Ron Terada is a post-modernist conceptual artist who uses signage and advertising as art forms. He is best known for his monochromatic and neon signs onto which he transposes text, such as "Welcome to Vancouver." Ron Terada was born in 1969 in Vancouver, BC, where he continues to reside. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University), the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the University of British Columbia. Since 1998 he has been an instructor at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Terada has been a significant force in the development of a deconstructionist viewpoint on the trappings of contemporary art. He has pointed to the conflated esteem in which contemporary art exhibitions are held, the veneration for the venues, the curatorial and critical forces that promote them, and the forces behind their sponsorship.

2003

Geoffrey Farmer


2003 VIVA Award

Geoffrey Farmer’s projects incorporate a wide array of media over an extended period of time. The works may combine video elements, found objects, costumes, custom packaging, paper cut-outs, popular film references and Styrofoam shavings. The artist’s archival bent combined with his research methods reveals a process that is less about the need to critique or find conclusive meaning, but looks to the possibilities inherent in reconstructing and reinterpreting narratives. Geoffrey Farmer attended the San Francisco Art institute and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University).


Kelly Wood


2003 VIVA Award

Kelly Wood’s photographic work has been influenced by the conceptual art of the late sixties as well as by the work of Vancouver photo-conceptual artists such as Ian Wallace and Jeff Wall. She can be viewed as an intermediary between this established generation of Vancouver artists who are rooted in photography, and a newer generation of artists who use photography as a medium but are not defined by it. Kelly Wood studied at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) in Vancouver and later received a Master of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia in 1996.

2002

Award of Honour: Jeff Wall


2002 VIVA Award

Jeff Wall is best known for his innovative use of the light box. Set in a lightbox frame similar to that of an advertisement, a TV or film screen, his monumental photographs are backlit, appearing as spectacular, glowing icons or archetypes of modern life. There is nothing accidental about the timeless scenes Wall, referred to by some critics as "today's painter of modern life" (as Manet was in his day), presents to his audiences. Many of his photographs take many months or years to create. They are what he calls "cinematogaphic" narrative works. Trained in art history, not studio practice, Jeff Wall received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at the University of British Columbia and doctoral training at London's Courtauld Institute. For many years, he worked as a professor of art history, first at Simon Fraser University, and until recently, at the University of British Columbia. He maintains a large studio space in Vancouver.

2001

Dana Claxton


2001 VIVA Award

Dana Claxton was born in 1959 in Saskatchewan and is a Hunkpapa Lakota filmmaker, photographer and performance artist. Born of Lakota Sioux descent, Claxton investigates the ongoing impact of colonialism on Aboriginal cultures in North America, primarily through film, video and photography. Claxton co-founded the Indigenous Media Arts Group and has taught at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. She has taught at the University of Regina, the University of British Columbia, and at Simon Fraser University. Claxton has also worked closely with numerous Canadian and First Nations organizations, serving as a director and producer for the Canadian program Wakanheja, an Indigenous oriented children's program and 26 episodes of ArtZone, an art show for teenagers.


Brian Jungen


2001 VIVA Award

Brian Jungen was born in 1970 in Fort St. John, British Columbia and is a Canadian artist with Swiss and Dunne-za Indigenous ancestry. A graduate from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University), he employs repurposed materials and a combination of contemporary and traditional techniques; the resulting works often prompt viewers to consider the distances and proximities between cultures, as well as those between humans and nature. He is the first living Indigenous artist to exhibit at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C. with his survey exhibition entitled Strange Comfort. Later works, shown at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the New Museum and Tate Modern, among other venues, include giant whale skeletons made of plastic lawn chairs, totem poles made of golf bags and a teepee made of black sofa leather. In 2010, he won the Gershon Iskowitz Prize for visual arts.

2000

Haruko Okano


2000 VIVA Award

Vancouver artist Haruko Okano was educated in Commercial & Fine Arts at Toronto's Central Technical School, graduating in 1972 with a 3-year honours Diploma. She has also studied print production, drawing, Tibetan and Buddhist iconography, and page Japanese tattooing or irezumi, evident in the crisp graphical precision of form and line that marks her work. Okano's multi-media works merge a stunning aesthetic with political commentary. She delivers simultaneously beautifully shocking and shockingly beautiful astute explorations of sexuality, gender, and race, and more epically, what it feels to be human.


Jerry Pethick


2000 VIVA Award

Jerry Pethick is best known for his multimedia assemblages investigating space, light and perception. Using arrays built of photographs, holographs, video and digital imaging, recycled or commonplace materials (a boat, blankets, a milk crate) and panels of 30 or 40 identical reflective lenses, he examines the nature of human perception. The result is part machinic surrealist (think Duchamp), part Impressionistic (think Pissarro) and wholly postmodern. The interrelatedness of the component parts of his art defy stable meaning, but signal instead strange surrealistic harmonies between disparate elements, or signal nothing—nothing but the incongruence between perception and reality. Jerry Pethick was born in London, Ontario and trained in art and sculpture in London, England at the Royal College of Art and at the Chelsea School of Art. In 1998, he was awarded the National Gallery of Canada's prestigious Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art & Science. He lives on Hornby Island.

1999

Myfanwy MacLeod


1999 VIVA Award

Myfanwy MacLeod is originally from London, with subsequent art training in Paris and Montreal. Her art forms have been described as a meeting of the primeval and postmodern. Horrific yet at the same time controlled by humor, Macleod's sculptural figures appropriate the styles of animation and comic strips. Like the worst-case scenarios of on-line MUDs, her work is a portrayal of mutilated characters and public "undressing." Her themes are anti-social with violent fantasies. By contrast, she uses a lean and precise style to create memorable characters and imagery.


Judy Radul


1999 VIVA Award

Judy Radul is a performance artist. She uses her own body, plus props and a documentary crew, to create "living" art. Always intimate, usually disturbing, and definitely provocative, Radul's performances explore the fine line that traditionally has separated "art" from "living". Radul positions herself as a public spectacle in order to interpret and challenge self-humiliation and empowerment. She has had an extensive series of performances and exhibitions since 1983 in alternate galleries and public venues.

1998

Cornelia Wyngaarden


1998 VIVA Award

A well-known cultural dissident and important voice of Canadian feminism, Wyngaarden has been a pioneering force in the development and institutionalization of new media in Vancouver. Along with producing theoretically complex and formally compelling works of video and sculpture, Wyngaarden rallied, fought and forged for years at both Video In and Western Front to lay the ground rock on which much of the Vancouver’s media community flourished.


Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun


1998 VIVA Award

Yuxweluptun, an artist of Coast Salish and Okanagan descent, graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University). Influential as both artist and activist, Yuxweluptun merges traditional iconography with representations of the environment and the history of colonization, resulting in his powerful, contemporary imagery; his work is replete with masked fish farmers, super-predator oil barons, abstracted ovoids, and unforgettable depictions of a spirit-filled, but now toxic, natural world.

1997

Award of Honour: Joan Lowndes


1997 VIVA Award

Born in England, Joan Lowndes immigrated to Canada with her parents in 1919. She was educated at the University of British Columbia and the Sorbonne, Paris. While working as a translator for the American Office of War Information she became interested in modern art. She worked as a freelance broadcaster for the CBC in the 1940s and 1950s. Shortly afterwards she began her career as an art critic and over the next thirty years became widely involved in art criticism while working for the Vancouver Sun and the Vancouver Province.


Award of Honour: Ian Wallace


1997 VIVA Award

Born in Shoreham, England in 1943, Ian Wallace lives and works in Vancouver. A celebrated artist and teacher, Wallace is best known as a founding member of what has come to be recognized as the Vancouver school of photo-conceptualism. Wallace graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1968 with a master’s degree in art history; from there, he began his teaching career, starting at the University of British Columbia and soon moving to the Vancouver School of Art (now the Emily Carr University of Art and Design), where he remained until his retirement in 1998 and was among the first to teach courses on recent developments in the visual arts. Wallace was a teacher and mentor to such younger artists as Jeff Wall, Ken Lum, Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham. As an artist, his work was also instructive: he set precedents by blowing up photographs to scales typically associated with history painting, and by uniting these images—documents from the news or the everyday—with minimalist, monochrome painting.

1996

Lorna Brown


1996 VIVA Award

Born in 1958 in Oxbow, Saskatchewan, Lorna Brown's work has focussed on how society classifies the subjective voices of women as 'low ranking knowledge'. Combining fiction with fact, she constructs a mixture of text, photographs and sculpture that challenges the barriers which have historically conditioned how the voices of women are heard and their movements are determined. She creates installation works based on a variety of media, including photography, sound and text. Brown successfully uses scale to make an impact. Her installations are often composed of huge photo-murals of women depicted in enigmatic roles accompanied by fictional narrative text. Combinations of sculpture, text and imagery conspire to make public strange, usually private, feminine thoughts and voice the desire of women to step out of conventional female roles.


Phillipe Raphanel


1996 VIVA Award

Born in 1956 in Paris, Philippe Raphanel came to Canada in 1976, initially making his home on Hornby Island. By the end of the decade he had moved to Vancouver and was exploring the local, regional tradition of modernist landscape painting. He came to prominence in 1985 when his work was included in Young Romantics, organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery. From modernist landscape painting, Raphanel developed a politicized and personal reading of regional pastoral painting. By the early 1980s he was producing post-punk paintings depicting the 'natural' detritus of the resource industry. Since then his work has increasingly used sexual metaphors to examine bourgeois subjectivity, resource exploitation and the relationships between nature and the human body. In his most recent work Poisons/Phobia, snapshot photographs of the Gay Movement juxtaposed with botanically accurate painted panels of Indigenous florals suggest multiple meanings and readings of the nature/culture dichotomy.

1995

Kati Campbell


1995 VIVA Award

Kati Campbell was born in February of 1954 in Brockville, Ontario. She graduated from Simon Fraser University in 1984 with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and a minor in Visual Arts. In 1984-85, Campbell founded and directed the (N)on Commercial Gallery in Vancouver, BC.


Alan Storey


1995 VIVA Award

Alan Storey is a practicing artist working locally and internationally from Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a 30-year history of site-specific public art making and is best known for the ‘Pendulum’ installation in the HSBC Bank on Georgia Street in Vancouver. Alan has received several awards for his work including the Americans for the Arts ‘2006 Year in Review’ top 20 award for ‘Compass’ at the Bellevue City Hall in Washington State, and ‘Public artist of the Year’ of 2009 Vancouver Mayor’s Arts awards. As an artist, Storey divides his artistic practice into three categories. The first consists of machines that make marks, effectively drawing machines. The second consists of gallery installation works that investigate architectural and social space. The third category, and the one Storey is rapidly becoming best known for, are his public art projects which, for their accessibility and innovative use of technology simply to communicate are truly democratic in conception.

1994

Mike MacDonald


1994 VIVA Award

Mike MacDonald, born in 1941, is a video artist from Nova Scotia of Mi’kmaq, Beothuk and European ancestry. He has lived on the West Coast for 20 years where he makes videos about nuclear and environmental issues and collaborates with Indigenous communities in BC. He was dubbed “the electronic shaman” by one reviewer, a moniker that he does not reject. MacDonald designs complicated audio-video installations using multiple TV monitors, each showing a different image. They are stacked, placed in a single row or arranged in banks several monitors high. Among his primary concerns are land claim issues and the impact that environmental damage has on Indigenous cultures. For instance one of his video works employs the destruction of traditional Indigenous medicine and food plants as a metaphor for environmental damage that threatens the cultural life of the Indigenous West Coast peoples.


Chick Rice


1994 VIVA Award

Chick Rice, born in 1954, is a photographer who was born in the Portuguese colony of Macau. Her family immigrated to Canada when she was two years old and her family life revolved around the struggle to survive in a foreign, even hostile environment. In retrospect, Chick credits the early feelings of alienation that permeated her upbringing, as the genesis of her acute critical vision. As a child she intuitively turned to photography as a way of expressing herself. Almost before she could read, she was creating her own photographic world using Kleenex boxes as pretend cameras. When her brother gave her a real camera, which she still has, she began a lifelong love affair with the medium. Rice started exhibiting her work while studying Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia. However, it wasn’t until well after graduation from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) that she decided on a full-time career as an artist. Although she has experimented with other media, including sculpture and film making, portraiture continues to be her passion.

1993

Elspeth Pratt


1993 VIVA Award

Born in 1953, Elspeth Pratt received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1981 at the University of Manitoba, Sydney University, Australia, and the University of British Columbia, graduating in 1984 with a Master of Fine Arts. She has received several grants from provincial and federal arts funding agencies. She has had solo shows at the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, YYZ, Toronto, and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge. Pratt, a sculptor, creates architectural objects out of commonplace materials such as Styrofoam insulation, plywood, cardboard and fabric. Her architectural intervention is a type of feminist activism. In the same way that much of the architecture that we live with today mimics previous building materials, these artworks pass along complex messages without the unnecessary pomposity of monolithic displays of granite and marble.


Henry Tsang


1993 VIVA Award

Henry Tsang, born in 1964, has worked in installation, video, performance and photo-based mediums. Much of his work deals with cultural identity, exploring the space between cultures resulting from contact, influence and dominance. In 1991, he co-curated the multidisciplinary exhibition Self Not WhoIe: Cultural Identity and Chinese-Canadian Artists in Vancouver. He has been an active member of the Vancouver Association for Noncommercial Culture, which is committed to the investigation and intervention of cultural practices in the public sphere, has taught at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) and currently sits on the BC Advisory Committee for the Status of the Artist. Tsang received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986 from the University of British Columbia. Recently, his site-specific installation for the Kamloops Art Gallery involved a resurrection of Chinook Jargon, an intercultural pidgin widely used on the West Coast of North America throughout the 19th century.

1992

Award of Honour: Alvin Balkind


1992 VIVA Award

Alvin Balkind has been a seminal force within the Vancouver art scene since his arrival to the city in 1955. He was co-founder with Abraham Rogatnick of the New Design Gallery in Vancouver which led the way in showing advanced British Columbian and Canadian art. His influence was most clearly felt during the years he was with the University of British Columbia from 1962-73 as curator of the Fine Arts Gallery. His subsequent career took him first to Toronto where from 1973 to 1975 he served as Curator of Contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Ontario and then back to the West Coast where he became Chief Curator of the Vancouver Art Gallery from 1975-78. From 1985-1987 he was Head of the Visual Art Studio at the Banff School of Fine Arts. Balkind was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and has been a model citizen of Canada since 1969. He studied at the John Hopkins University, Baltimore, and the Sorbonne, Paris. He is the author of numerous essays and articles published in catalogues, magazines and books.

1991

Persimmon Blackbridge


1991 VIVA Award

A well-known figure in Vancouver's art community, Persimmon Blackbridge is known for her sculptural installations that clearly concern women, but also address major social issues. Her content is social and political, yet her handling of forms is powerful and expressive. One of these sculptural installations, Still Sane, was shown at Women in Focus Gallery in 1984. This multimedia production was based on the life story of a woman who had been institutionalized, and judged mentally unfit because of her lesbian predilections. Her thoughts about the unjust incarceration, the phrases that indicated her progress toward a healthy self-acceptance, were written, literally on the surfaces of dozens of ceramic body casts that depicted a woman past middle years in attitudes of despair and triumph.


Gary Pearson


1991 VIVA Award

Gary Pearson paints with oil on linen canvas. His images include grids, conduit-like pipes, spirals, rectangles and figures. This sounds very traditional, but in fact, the paintings use paint in a totally new way, an almost crude surface evolves because there is no falling back upon paint trickery, clever effects or charming colour. Colour in Pearson's paintings often defies verbal description: they are ochre-like? a sort of grey? almost a yellow? a near-white? The images are vaguely familiar, but can never be literally pinned down as "something." Even the figures are an entirely new symbol for the human form.

1990

Terry Ewasiuk


1990 VIVA Award

Terry Ewasiuk is a Vancouver artist currently living and working in Berlin. Over the last five years, she established herself as a key figure in Vancouver, both as an artist and as the exhibition curator at the Montgomery Cafe. ln the mid-1980s ,the Montgomery was a focal point as a meeting and exhibiting place for some of the most vital young artists in the city, many who are now recognized as significant figures. Recently, Terry Ewasiuk's exhibitions at the Western Front and Or Galleries have shown her photo-based work, juxtaposing black and white photographs with found materials. Her practice is political, serious and humorous with content referring to feminism, the erotic potential of art and the flaws of consumerism.


David Ostrem


1990 VIVA Award

David Ostrem began exhibiting in the late 1970s and became known for his ironic silkscreens in the early 1980s. These multicoloured prints depicted an imaginary work built out of the flotsam and jetsam of mass-culture of the cold-war era. His figures were bemused and alienated, caught between the pursuit of consumer existence and the release of rock & roll. In the late 1980s he began to make large drawings and paintings which also referred to popular imagery and the pretentions of the culture-industry. His extended series on the condition of the artist satirize the art-market, while making a dignified plea for individual perception. Ostrem has long been recognized by the anistic community as a special voice, one that is caustic, funny, but also tender and compassionate.

1989

Carole Itter


1989 VIVA Award

Born in Vancouver in 1939, sculptor and writer Carole Itter has worked as an instructor on a part-time basis at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) in Vancouver for almost two decades, but much of her career has been conducted outside the mainstream.


Neil Wedman


1989 VIVA Award

Neil Wedman was born in Vancouver in 1954. Making paintings stands at the core of thirty years of studio practice but he has devoted almost equal attention to producing drawings and works on paper including print editions, book-works and photographs. He has also made a number of short films and musical recordings although not many of the latter. He lives and works in Vancouver and is represented by the Equinox Gallery.

1988

Stan Douglas


1988 VIVA Award

Stan Douglas was born in 1960 in Vancouver, where he currently lives and works. Throughout his career, the internationally acclaimed artist has consistently and provocatively explored the idea of historical record, narrative and location. His work, predominantly in film, video and photography, has been thematically linked to British Columbia and the many different peoples who have inhabited the region.


Carel Moiseiwitsch


1988 VIVA Award

Born in England, Carel Moiseiwitsch lives and works in Vancouver. She has exhibited in solo and group shows since 1985, including a 1989 solo show at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Moiseiwitsch teaches at Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (now University) and is well known for her award winning illustrations and her acerbic political and underground cartoons.


Alvin Balkind Curator's Prize

About the Awards

Provided through the generosity of the estate of Abraham Rogatnick to honour the memory of renowned Vancouver curator Alvin Balkind, the Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize of $12,000 is a biannual award that recognizes outstanding innovation, original research and critical engagement through curatorial work in the visual arts.

2017

Grant Arnold


Vancouver Art Gallery

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. Arnold first studied photography in the mid-1970s, a time when the medium had a subordinate status in the art world, at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts and the University of Saskatchewan. He holds a master’s degree in art history from the University of British Columbia. His MA thesis, The Terminal City and the Rhetoric of Utopia, looked at the photographs of John Vanderpant in relation to specific facets of modernism and the social history of Vancouver. 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.

2015

Cate Rimmer


Charles H. Scott Gallery

Cate Rimmer is currently Curator of Gallery + Exhibitions at the Charles H. Scott Gallery where she has curated numerous group and solo exhibitions. She was the founding Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery in Vancouver, served as Director of Truck Gallery in Calgary, and was a Curator in Residence at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. In 2010-11, she curated a year-long public art project for the City of Vancouver entitled Walk In/Here You Are. Her recent projects include The Voyage, or Three Years at Sea (2013), a multi-part exhibition project at the Charles H. Scott Gallery which looked at our relationship to the sea. Rimmer has a Master of Letters Degree (MLitt) with Distinction in Museum and Gallery Studies, School of Art History from the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

2013

Helga Pakasaar


Presentation House Gallery

Helga Pakasaar has been curator at Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver since 2003, and previously was a curator at the Art Gallery of Windsor and the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff. Her contemporary art exhibitions, public projects and publications often focus on photography and media art and their histories.

2008

Scott Watson


Morris + Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Scott Watson is Head (2012–) and Professor (2003–) in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory and Director/Curator of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (1989–) at the University of British Columbia. He is Director and Graduate Advisor for the Critical and Curatorial Studies program, which he helped initiate in September 2002. Recent distinctions include the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art (2010), Alvin Balkind Award for Creative Curatorship in British Columbia Arts (2008), the UBC Dorothy Sommerset Award for Performance Development in the Visual and Performing Arts (2005), and invitation to the UBC Chancellor’s Circle (2005).