2018 Sobey Art Award Longlist Revealed

Above: Flovers for Africa: Nigera by Kapwani Kiwanga

The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada are delighted to present the longlist of nominees for the 2018 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s prestigious contemporary art prize that recognizes and supports emerging artists from across the country.

Established in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation, the Sobey Art Award aims to promote new developments in contemporary Canadian art and provide opportunities for artists, bringing them national and international attention. A total of 240,000 CAD prize money is awarded: 100,000 CAD to the overall winner, 25,000 CAD to each of the four shortlisted artists, and 2,000 CAD to each of the remaining twenty longlisted artists. In addition, three nominees from the longlist will take part in national and international art residencies funded by the Sobey Art Foundation and the Donald R Sobey Foundation. This is the first year the Sobey International Residencies’ program is being offered.

After careful consideration of the more than 100 nominations received, the 2018 curatorial jury selected the longlist of 25 artists:

West Coast & Yukon

Hannah Jickling and Helen Reed
Arvo Leo
Jeneen Frei Njootli
Krista Belle Stewart
Howie Tsui

Prairies & The North

Joi T. Arcand
Hannah Doerksen
Przemek Pyszczek
Elif Saydam
Couzyn Van Heuvelen


Sameer Farooq
Maggie Groat
Kapwani Kiwanga
Life of a Craphead
Nep Sidhu


Adam Basanta
Sophie Bélair-Clément
Julie Favreau
Yann Pocreau
Jon Rafman


Jordan Bennett
Lisa Lipton
Jerry Ropson
Lou Sheppard
D’Arcy Wilson

The 2018 international jury panel, chaired by National Gallery of Canada’s Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois, is composed of curators from five designated regions in Canada, as well as one international juror: Heather Igloliorte, Independent Curator and Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous Art History and Community Engagement, for the Atlantic Provinces; Jean-François Bélisle, Executive Director and Chief Curator, Musée d’art de Joliette, for the Quebec region; November Paynter, Director of Programs, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada, for the Ontario region; Kristy Trinier, Independent Curator, for the Prairies and the North region; Melanie O’Brian, Director, Simon Fraser University Galleries, for the West Coast and Yukon; and international juror, Séamus Kealy, Director, Salzburger Kunstverein.

“I am thrilled that we received more nominations this year than ever before, and I’d like to recognize the role of the nominators in introducing us to artists and practices that we are not yet familiar with,” said the Gallery’s Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Josée Drouin-Brisebois. “This year’s longlist represents artists, some new to the Sobey Art Award and others who have been selected before, that everyone should be paying attention to. I am also honoured to be working with new jurors this year, as they help connect us to arts communities across Canada, and internationally.”

The Sobey Art Award’s shortlist of nominees will be announced May 29, 2018. The winner of the Sobey Art Award will be announced at the National Gallery of Canada November 14, 2018.

The work of the five Sobey Art Award finalists will be featured in a special exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada from October 3, 2018 to February 10, 2019. The exhibition of finalists alternates each year between the National Gallery of Canada and other arts institutions across the country.

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