TORONTO, September 20, 2016 - Making the move from emerging talent to established artist can be a challenge for many young Canadian artists. The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is an established national platform which combines mentorship, professional development opportunities and financial support, giving the finalists resources to help them confidently navigate their own path to success.
Today, RBC and the Canadian Art Foundation are thrilled to announce that Brian Hunter of Winnipeg, Manitoba has been chosen as the national winner of the 18th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, for his work entitled “Two empty trays mounted vertically.” In honour of the win, Hunter will receive a $25,000 purchase prize for his painting, which will become part of the RBC Corporate Art Collection.
The jury provided this statement about the winners:
“After passionate and heated deliberation, the jury is pleased to select Brian Hunter as the national winner. Hunter’s sophisticated work struck the jury as being both immediate and deeply considered, straddling a bridge between abstraction and representation in a compelling and seemingly effortless way. The works of the two honourable mentions, Nika Fontaine and Cameron Forbes, demonstrated a strong material presence, provoking conversations about painting and performativity as well as the continuing possibilities offered though the intimacy of observation.”
Two honourable mentions were given to Nika Fontaine of Montreal, Quebec for her work entitled “Schnell Schnell 17” and Cameron Forbes of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for her work entitled “Maritime Plaza Hotel, Window Set 2”. Fontaine and Forbes were each awarded a purchase prize of $15,000 for their work, which will also be added to the RBC Corporate Art Collection.
The RBC Canadian Painting Competition, along with the RBC Emerging Artist Project, reflects RBC’s dedication to helping communities prosper by supporting and championing a growing network of young artists. The competition is open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who are in the early stages of their artistic career. More than 560 artists submitted works for this year’s competition, from which 15 finalists were shortlisted. Submissions for next year’s competition will open in early 2017.
In addition to the purchase prize awarded to the winners, all finalists receive invaluable exposure to and insight from jurors, mentors and industry insiders. Past winners of the Competition, such as 2015 winner Patrick Cruz, Tiziana La Melia, Dil Hildebrand, Chris Millar and Melanie Authier have gone on to considerable international acclaim.
“It was an honour to win last year’s prize,” said Patrick Cruz, winner of the 2015 RBC Canadian Painting Competition. “It has enriched my art practice, allowing me to experiment, take further risks and connect with other artists, curators and writers. I am thankful for the support from RBC, Canadian Art Foundation and my mentors.”
Submissions by Hunter, Fontaine and Forbes will join the 4,500 pieces of art belonging to RBC’s Corporate Art Collection, which includes many emerging artists and spans more than a hundred years of Canadian art. The other 12 finalists were each awarded a $2,500 prize for their submission.
“Each year, RBC’s Canadian Painting Competition attracts many talented young artists and each submission is a strong reflection of the artistic excellence that the Canadian arts community is known for both nationally and internationally,” said Robin Anthony, curator for RBC. “Brian‘s win is well deserved and we look forward to following his career, as well as all the artists from this year’s talented group of finalists.
“We are proud to partner with RBC to advance young Canadian artists in the early stages of their careers, and to connect them to broader conversations about art- and culture-making in Canada. This has been a shared vision of ours for the past 18 years,” said David Balzer, Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher at Canadian Art. “We are eager to watch each finalist over the coming years, and heartily congratulate Brian Hunter, Nika Fontaine and Cameron Forbes for their wins.”
All 15 finalists’ paintings are on exhibit at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto until September 25, 2016 and will once again be displayed at Art Toronto from October 28 to 31, 2016.
The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is judged by some of Canada’s most accomplished artists, museum directors, curators and critics. For visuals and descriptions of the previous winning works, visit rbc.com/paintingcompetition.
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THE CANADIAN ART FOUNDATION
For more than three decades, the Canadian Art Foundation has fostered an appreciation of Canada’s artists and their works—from emerging talent to established icons. As a national not-for-profit, the Canadian Art Foundation’s mandate is to inform and advocate for the visual arts through thought-provoking coverage and programming that examines artists and their works, as well as visual art's impact on contemporary culture. From coast to coast, our award-winning content and programming are the voice for visual arts in Canada.
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