The Hnatyshyn Foundation

The Hnatyshyn Foundation

December 01, 2010 09:00 ET

Artist Shary Boyle and Curator Scott Watson Receive Hnatyshyn Awards

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2010) - Editor's note: two photos are associated with this press release.

Gerda Hnatyshyn, C.C., President and Chair of the Board of The Hnatyshyn Foundation today announced the recipients of the 2010 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Awards. The $25,000 prize for outstanding achievement by a Canadian artist is awarded to Shary Boyle of Toronto; the winner of the $15,000 award for curatorial excellence in contemporary art is Scott Watson, Director/Curator, UBC Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, in Vancouver.

The award recipients were selected by a jury of arts professionals from across Canada:

  • Louise Déry, Director/Curator, Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal

  • Ken Lum, Artist, Vancouver

  • Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, Artists, Educators, Founders of Vtape, Toronto

  • Jon Tupper, Director, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Shary Boyle

Born in 1972 and based in Toronto, Shary Boyle graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1994 and has since traveled, lived and performed throughout Canada, Europe and the United States. Her practice includes drawing, painting, sculpture and performance. Boyle is well known for her bold, subversive fanciful explorations of the figure. Highly crafted and deeply imaginative, her multi-disciplinary practice mines the history of porcelain figurines, animist mythologies and historical portraiture to create a unique symbolic language. From sculpture to projection, she interprets her personal observations of sexuality, relationships and human vulnerability through a darkly feminist lens.

Shary Boyle's work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions including at the Power Plant (Toronto, 2006) and at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, 2008). In 2009 her work was featured at the Fumetto Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland, and included in the exhibition The Likely Fate of the Man that Swallowed the Ghost organized by the Centre Pompidou at the Conciergerie in Paris. Flesh and Blood, a national touring exhibit of her work curated by Louise Déry of the Galerie de l'UQAM, will circulate from the Art Gallery of Ontario (until December 5, 2010), to Galerie de l'UQAM in Montréal (January 6 to February 12, 2011) and The Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver in June to August 2011. The Gardiner Museum in Toronto, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and the Maison Rouge in Paris feature Boyle's work in their 2010 and 2011 programs.

Collected internationally, her work has been acquired by the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Paisley Museum in Scotland. Shary Boyle is the 2009 recipient of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO for her outstanding contribution to visual arts in Canada.

In recommending Shary Boyle for the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award, the jury highlighted the ingenuity, sophistication and extreme versatility of her artistic practice. "This Toronto-based artist moves freely between drawing, painting, sculpture, and audio-visual performances and installations to create a fantastical language conveying a range of psychological and emotional conditions. Ms. Boyle's unique world view generates daring and original perspectives on the present in a unique, intuitive, poetic and feminist style. Her work reveals a consciousness haunted by considerations of the nature of life, animality, heredity, sexuality and death which she exposes, fleshes out and executes in a formidable range of scale and detail in a powerful exploration of our complex relationship to other species. The strange elegance and allure of Ms. Boyle's works, in particular her remarkable small porcelain figurines and live drawing performances, have contributed to her growing success at home and abroad."

Scott Watson

The recipient of the 2010 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art is Scott Watson, Director/Curator of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (1989- ) and Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (2003- ) at the University of British Columbia. He is also Director and Graduate Advisor for the Critical Curatorial Studies program, which he helped initiate in September 2002. Recent distinctions include the Alvin Balkind Award for Creative Curatorship in British Columbia Arts (2008), and the UBC Dorothy Somerset Award for Performance Development in the Visual and Performing Arts (2005).

Professor Watson has published extensively in the areas of contemporary Canadian and international art. His 1990 monograph on Jack Shadbolt earned the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize (B.C. Book Prize) in 1991. Recent published works included: "Race, wilderness, territory and the origins of the Modern Canadian landscape" and "Disfigured Nature" (in Beyond Wilderness, Montréal: McGill University Press, 2007); "Transmission difficulties: Vancouver painting in the 1960s" (in Paint, Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 2006); and "The Lost City: Vancouver Painting in the 1950s" (in A Modern Life: Art and Design in British Columbia 1945-1960, Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2004). Recent and upcoming curated exhibitions include: Mark Boulos (2010); Jack Shadbolt: Underpinnings (2009); Exponential Future (2008); Intertidal: Vancouver art & artists (2005/06) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp; Stan Douglas: Inconsolable Memories (2005/06); Rebecca Belmore: Fountain (2005) for the Venice Biennale Canadian Pavilion; and Thrown: Influences and Intentions of West Coast Ceramics (2004), from which emerged his current publication project on British Columbia's studio pottery movement. He is also researching Concrete Poetry for an upcoming publication and exhibition.

Professor Watson's research focus is contemporary art and issues, art theory and criticism, 20th century art history, curatorial and exhibition studies.

In making the curatorial award recommendation, the jury praised his deep understanding of artists and their work. "For almost 40 years Scott Watson has made thoughtful and substantial contributions to our understanding of contemporary art. His writings on Jack Shadbolt, Roy Kiyooka, Stan Douglas and Rebecca Belmore have broadened our knowledge of the artists work and the context in which it was produced. Watson's curatorial practice shows an impressive range of interest from conceptual art to ceramics, and his approach has been both critical and timely. His restless curiosity and his scholarly dedication have been inspiring to his colleagues in Canada and abroad. In addition to the profound impact he has made as a curator, his leadership of the Critical Curatorial Studies program at the University of British Columbia is an important contribution to the professionalization of curatorship in Canada."

The awards will be presented in Montréal, Québec on January 6, 2011 at a ceremony and reception at the Galerie de l'Université de Québec á Montréal.

About The Hnatyshyn Foundation

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada's twenty-fourth 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. Its programs are funded by donations from government, foundations, corporations and individuals. The Department of Canadian Heritage has provided $2.4 million in matching funds to the Foundation.

Information about The Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Awards is available on the Foundation's website

The photos associated with this press release are available at the following addresses:

Contact Information

  • The Hnatyshyn Foundation
    Dawn Firestone
    Executive Director