The Ontario Association of Art Galleries announces winners
of 2005 OAAG Awards of Merit
(Toronto, text revised June 23, 2005)At a ceremony held
in the Art Gallery of Hamilton on Friday night, May 27, the
Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) presented
thirty-one 2005 Juried Awards of Merit to curators,
educators, designers, volunteers, community partners and public
art galleries all across Ontario. Approximately 200 people
attended the reception and ceremony.
The 2005 OAAG Awards are annual juried awards that distinguish
prominent achievement in the visual arts in seven categories:
exhibitions, writing, book design, exhibition design and
installation, education programs, partnerships and volunteers.
This is the 28th year.
This year, public art galleries in Guelph, Hamilton, London,
Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, Oakville, Ottawa and Toronto
were recognized with 2005 OAAG Awards.
Executive Director, Ontario Association of Art Galleries,
commented "We are extremely proud of the accomplishments
of public art galleries across Ontario every year and are
excited to shine a spotlight on their significant achievements
in the visual arts."
An evening of understated Hamilton glamour awaited guests
and award nominees alike with featured works from performance
and visual artists. Drag queen, artist, curator and writer
Andrew Harwood hijacked the AGYU Performance Bus
with a whirlwind trip from downtown Toronto to the Art Gallery
of Hamilton. Toronto artist Charlene Lau presented
a performance on piano. Musician and performance artist tiny
bill cody took the stage opening the ceremony. Christy
Thompson created an exclusive edition of artist multiples,
Good For You, awarded to the evenings winners,
by the lovely Enza Supermodel.
Demetra Christakos, Executive Director, Ontario Association
of Art Galleries, also commented:
"The Awards are an exciting time for us. We celebrate
the collaborations galleries initiate with artists, audiences
and community partners. Public art galleries really are
a dynamic part of our cultural life. More than 3 million
people in Ontario visit public art galleries annually and
we see that number growing every year. Overall, the quality
of visual art exhibition and art book publication in Ontario
is world-class. This year, our juries were largely artist-driven.
As an observer of the jury process, I am thoroughly impressed
by the clear thinking behind the jurors deliberations,
their care and patience."
2005 OAAG AWARDS HIGHLIGHTS
Jurors recognized the multi-site exhibition The Atlas
Group and Walid Raad with the Exhibition of the
Year Award, and the Exhibition Design and Installation
Award (Multi-Institutional). This exhibition, organized
by the Art Gallery of York University and curated by Philip
Monk, was presented in the fall of 2004 at the Art Gallery
of York University, Toronto, and Prefix ICA, Toronto. Jurors
affirmed the exhibitions assertion: that the site of
the public art gallery, like the archive, is one more form
that Walid Raads brilliant work inhabits, contests,
and ultimately critiques. The timing of the exhibition, a
considered move, was also recognized as an affirmation of
the works political content.
The Art Gallery of York University was also recognized for
the exhibition True Love Will Find You in the End: Video
Embroidery by 640 480, AGYU@Zsa Zsa, Toronto, with
an Exhibition Design and Installation Award for Temporary
Exhibition and for its partnership with corporate sponsor
Barudan Canada Inc., in the donation of training, use
of software, and an industrial sewing machine.
Artist and curator Richard Fung was in attendance to
accept the 2005 Curatorial Writing Award for Contemporary
Essay for "Sarindar Dhaliwal: Rebellious Beauty"
in the 2004 publication Record Keeping co-published by The
Organisation for Visual Arts Limited, London, England in association
with the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre, Kingston.
Art Gallery of Ontario curator Katharine Lochnan received
the Award for Historical Essay for her essay "Turner
Whistler Monet: an artistic dialogue" published
in conjunction with the exhibition Turner Whistler Monet
last year. The book to that exhibition is a massive Canadian
best seller on any scale, having recorded over 10,000 sales
in Canada alone.
The Merchant Capital Group Design Awards recognize
excellence in design in gallery publications. OAAG had the
pleasure of presenting ten Awards to graphic designers for
excellence and achievement in the design of visual art books,
newsletters, brochures, and web sites produced by public art
galleries in Ontario.
This year, designers of five books published by Ontario public
art galleries were recognized.
- Zab Design Topography for Caught in the Act,
YYZ Artists' Outlet
- Bryan Gee Design for Peter MacCallum: Material
World, YYZ Artists' Outlet and Museum London
- Timmings & Debay for David Rokeby, Oakville
- Niki Fleming for (W)hole Vessna Perunovich,
Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery
- Associés libres Inc. for multimedia project
Machine Life, published by Agnes Etherington Art
Centre and The Koffler Gallery.
Art Gallery of Hamilton and McMaster University
were acknowledged for their major collaboration in the website
www.virtualcities.ca for the ambitious project Future
Cities with the design award for web project.
No-Kit, an outreach programme in the classroom
organized by Catherine Sicot, Education Manager at Oakville
Galleries was awarded the Educator Award. Along with
a dedicated team of animateurs this innovative program allowed
students to engage with contemporary art in their own classrooms.
The Samuel E. Weir Partner Awards recognize and celebrate
community partnerships between businesses, foundations and
individuals and their public art galleries.
This year, the jury recognized the major contribution of Barrick
Gold Corporation for the collaboration in shipping 58
signature works by Canadian artist Tom Thomson to the State
Heritage Museum, Russia.
The Volunteer Award was presented to Jeanne Parkin
for her devoted fundraising efforts and the organization of
many member trips to major international art institutions.
Jeanne Parkin is an avid art collector of contemporary art
as well as a dedicated philanthropist in the arts community.
With over 15 years of support, she has worked tirelessly to
promote young Canadian artists and encourage dialogue on contemporary
2005 OAAG jurors included Robert Burley, Eldon Garnet,
Luis Jacob, Allyson Mitchell, Ed Pien, Ron Shuebrook, Greg
Staats, and Liz Wylie.
2005 OAAG Award presenters included Luis Jacob, Tor
Lukasik-Foss, Zoë Stonyk, Enza Supermodel.
The 2005 OAAG Awards are generously sponsored by Manaca
Inc. and Merchant Capital Group and numerous individuals.
OAAG also thanks its 2005 Awards contributors: Debra Antoncic,
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Hamilton Volunteer
Committee, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Gallery of York University,
Sharon Bassit, CJ Graphics Inc., C Magazine, Elaine Gaito,
Hamilton Artists Inc., The Japanese Paper Place, La Jardinère
Flower Market, Lisa Kiss Design, Dave Kemp, Manaca Inc., Merchant
Capital Group, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Samuel
E. Weir, Staircase Café Theatre, and Trip Print Press.
The Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG), located
in Toronto, is an important component of the visual arts infrastructure
in Canada. With a membership made up of public art galleries,
art museums, artist-run centres and arts-related organizations,
OAAG represents the shared interests of its members through
a range of services including an awards program, professional
development seminars, conferences, publications, targeted
communications strategies and special projects.
Digital images and broadcast-quality video documentation of
the 2005 OAAG Awards are available.
Photos at right courtesy of Dave Kemp and Suzanne