Montrealers Awarded in 2012 Edition of Hnatyshyn Prize

Montrealers Awarded in 2012 Edition of Hnatyshyn Prize
(Lani Maestro, Full Void)

Artist Lani Maestro and curator Nicole Gingras – both of Montreal – have won the 2012 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Awards. Maestro was awarded $25,000, and Gingras, $15,000.

The award recipients were selected by a jury of arts professionals from across Canada including Robert Enright, contributing editor, Border Crossings magazine; the Halifax Conceptual artist, Michael Fernandes; curator Peggy Gale; scholar, Stephen Horne; and curator and art historian, Diana Nemiroff.

Internationally exhibited on the biennial circuit, the work of Manila-born Maestro has been “concerned with questions of how we occupy space, how space occupies us, as well as how our space is occupied with and by others,” writes Canadian Art.

As a jury statement noted, “many of Maestro’s works situate places within places as a means by which to have us travel in and out of the home, inside and outside space, hoping to erode binary opposition. In this sense we might describe Maestro’s work as architecture of the body, with the proviso that such works, which emphasize passage rather than permanence, ultimately erode architecture’s claim to authority.”

Recently named artistic director of La Biennale de Montreal, Gingras has been distinguished in her commitment to curating experimental media. She established Éditions Nicole Gingras, which publishes monographs, artists’ books, and CDs by Canadian artists.

The jury stated, “Nicole Gingras’ active engagement with new art, her energy, and her intellectual rigor have enabled her to sustain a practice devoted mainly to new and relatively unexplored areas of contemporary art.”

A public awards presentation will take place on November 19 at Bourgie Hall at the Musée des beaux-arts in Montréal.

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada’s 24th Governor General, to assist emerging and established artists in all disciplines with their schooling and training, and promote to the Canadian public the importance of the arts in our society. Since 2006, a total of $265,000 has been awarded through its visual arts prizes program.