Sobey Art Award 2021


OTTAWA, June 9, 2021— The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada are honoured to announce the five artists shortlisted for the 2021 Sobey Art Award. Globally recognized as one of the world’s most generous privately funded prizes for contemporary visual artists, the Award celebrates the careers of emerging Canadian artists of all ages through financial support, an exhibition highlighting the practices of the five shortlisted artists, as well as national and international recognition. 

“I want to personally congratulate these five inspiring artists shortlisted for the 2021 Sobey Art Award. For 20 years the Sobey Art Foundation has been proud to support Canadian visual artists through this award and we are excited to celebrate their exceptional work at the National Gallery of Canada this fall,” said Rob Sobey, Chair, Sobey Art Foundation. “Thank you to the jury panel for its dedication to this thoughtful process, and to all of the long-listed artists for their participation this year. We look forward to announcing the winner of this year’s Sobey Art Award this November in Ottawa.”

“These five shortlisted artists represent every region in Canada and the strength and future of contemporary art,” said Dr. Sasha Suda, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada, and Chair of the Sobey Art Award Jury. “Throughout this challenging year, the Sobey Art Award has helped sustain my optimism for the artform. I’m ever thankful to the jury and to the Sobey Art Foundation for its continued commitment to the visual arts in Canada. Most of all, what an extraordinary privilege to champion these brave emerging artistic voices. I can’t wait to welcome the public to the Sobey Art Award exhibition at the National Gallery in the fall—and to meeting these artists personally at the award ceremony hosted at the gallery.”

The five visual artists shortlisted for the 2021 Sobey Art Award, from across the five regions of Canada, are:

These shortlisted artists will each receive $25,000 and be featured in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada from October 8, 2021, to February 20, 2022.

An independent jury consisting of curators from five regions (Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and the North, and the West Coast and Yukon), as well as two international jurors, oversaw the shortlist selection process and will continue to participate for the remaining deliberation round.

The Jury members are:

  • Chair,Sasha Suda, PhD,Director and CEO,National Gallery of Canada
  • Atlantic, Nisk Imbeault, Director and Curator, Galerie d’art Louise-et-Reuben-Cohen, University of Moncton
  • Québec, Dominique Fontaine, Independent Curator
  • Ontario, Emelie Chhangur, Director and Curator, Agnes Etherington Art Centre 
  • Prairies & North, Tarah Hogue, Curator (Indigenous Art), Remai Modern
  • West Coast & Yukon, Joni Low, Independent Curator and Writer
  • International Juror, Adriano Pedrosa, Artistic Director, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand
  • International Juror, Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director, Whitney Museum of American Art

Now in its twentieth year, the Sobey Art Award is jointly administered by the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada. Awarded annually, the award shines a spotlight on many of the most exciting emerging artists in the country. The 2021 Sobey Art Award overall winner will be announced in the fall of 2021.

For more information, including biographies of the 2021 shortlisted artists, please visit the National Gallery of Canada link here: https://www.gallery.ca/whats-on/sobey-art-award



For media inquiries, please contact: 

Denise Siele
Senior Manager, Communications
National Gallery of Canada

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Officer, Media and Public Relations
National Gallery of Canada

Bernard Doucet
Executive Director
The Sobey Art Foundation