VANCOUVER.- At a luncheon held yesterday in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotels Sapphire Ballroom, the Audain Prize for British Columbias most distinguished artists was awarded to James Hart. Hart is a hereditary chief of the Eagle Clan of the Haida Nation.
The Audain Prize, which was established in 2004, is one of the big three annual Canadian arts awards granting the winner a cash prize of $100,000. The Scotiabank Giller Prize (celebrating excellence in Canadian fiction) and the Sobey Art Award (for a contemporary Canadian artist) are in this rare company.
It is a real honour to make this award to one of B.C.s greatest living artists Jim Hart, says Michael Audain, Chairman of the Audain Foundation. Mr. Hart is a carver in a long line of Haida artists: master carver and Harts ancestor Charles Edenshaw, Bill Reid, and Robert Davidson with whom Hart apprenticed with in 1978.
The Audain Foundation wants to see our leading artists become better known.
British Columbia has many internationally renowned visual artists who are not as widely recognized in our own province as they should be, says Audain.
In addition to the $100,000 Audain Prize for Visual Art, the Audain Foundation funds five $7,500 travel grants for students in university-level visual arts programs. This year the students are:
Pip Dryden University of British Columbia Okanagan
Carly Greene University of Victoria
Erick Jantzen Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Homa Khosravi Simon Fraser University
Romi Kim University of British Columbia
The Audain Art Museum is proud to be the managing institution for this prestigious visual arts award, as our permanent collection is exclusively focused on noteworthy historic and contemporary art production in British Columbia, says Director & Chief Curator, Dr. Curtis Collins. Such a prize speaks to the ongoing vitality of creative communities across the province and is selected by an independent jury composed of curators and artists.
The Audain Prize was established in 2004. Past Audain Prize recipients include: Ann Kipling, Edward J. Hughes, Eric Metcalfe, Gordon Smith, Jeff Wall, Liz Magor, Robert Davidson, Rodney Graham, Marian Penner Bancroft, Takao Tanabe, Gathie Falk, Fred Herzog, Michael Morris, Paul Wong, Carole Itter, Susan Point and Stan Douglas.