2018 Sobey Art Award longlist revealed

2018 art award logo ENOTTAWA, April 17, 2018 – 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 to the overall winner, $25,000 to each of the four shortlisted artists, and $2,000 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:


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

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, 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 Direcotr 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 which are new 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.

About the Sobey Art Award
As one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art prizes, the Sobey Art Award is awarded to a visual artist age 40 and under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. Presented annually, the award celebrates some of Canada’s most exciting young artists and provides significant financial recognition – a total of $240,000 in prize money, including a top prize of $100,000 for the winner, $25,000 for the four shortlisted finalists, and $2,000 each for the longlisted artists. Past award recipients include Jeremy Shaw, Brian Jungen, Jean-Pierre Gauthier, Annie Pootoogook, Michel de Broin, Tim Lee, David Altmejd, Daniel Barrow, Daniel Young & Christian Giroux, Raphaëlle de Groot, Duane Linklater, Nadia Myre, and Abbas Akhavan. The 2017 Sobey Art Award winner was Ursula Johnson.

About the Sobey Art Foundation
The Sobey Art Foundation was established in 1981 with a mandate to carry on the work of entrepreneur and business leader, the late Frank H. Sobey, to collect and preserve representative examples of 19th- and 20th-century Canadian art. In one of the finest private collections of its kind, the Sobey Art Foundation has assembled outstanding examples from Canadian Masters such as Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson and J. E. H. MacDonald. The collection is on view in the former home of Frank Sobey and his wife Irene in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.

About the National Gallery of Canada                              
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st centuries, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. In 2015, the National Gallery of Canada established the Canadian Photography Institute, a global multidisciplinary research center dedicated to the history, evolution and future of photography. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. For more information, visit gallery.ca and follow us on Twitter @NatGalleryCan


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For all media requests:

Josée-Britanie Mallet

Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada


Bernard Doucet

Sobey Art Foundation  
902-752-8371, ext. 2301


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