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BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition

BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition

August 09, 2011 09:00 ET

BMO Announces 1st Art! Awards Recognizing Top Graduating Student Artists in Canada

Thirteen Graduating Student Artists from Across the Country Are Recognized for Their Outstanding Artwork by the 9th Annual BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 9, 2011) - BMO Financial Group today announced one national and 12 regional winners of the BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition – Canada's only national graduating artist competition. This year, the competition received 250 entries from art schools across Canada, the highest number received to date.

The BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition is a celebration of the creative excellence of art students from post-secondary institutions across Canada. Deans and instructors of undergraduate certificate, diploma, and degree programs in visual art are invited to select three students from their graduating classes whose skill and imagination place them at the top among their peers. A distinguished panel of judges chooses an overall national winner and one winner from each eligible province and territory.

The exceptional works of art produced by the 2011 winners cover a range of themes in a variety of media. They include:

  • A playful, tent-like object that creates the illusion of a log house
  • A staged photograph of an actor posing in character that explores notions of truth and identity in portraiture
  • An intaglio and silk screened image of a ghostly pair of scissors that questions the reality of fate
  • A series of works on paper that charts the increase of man-made space debris over the past 50 years
  • A painting on a false wall that documents the repeated act of painting and painting over the artist's self portrait, investigating themes such as female representation and notions of deleting the self
  • An etching that captures the artist's memories of his younger sister making her first hand-made doll
  • A sculpture of a human skull assembled from computer components that raises questions about human thought processes and their relationship to technology

"This year's BMO 1st Art! submissions continue to show us the tremendous artistic ability of Canada's new artists," said Gilles Ouellette, President and CEO, Private Client Group, BMO Financial Group. "By honouring these talented artists and presenting their artwork to the public, it's our hope that BMO 1st Art! will encourage young and emerging artists to continue their pursuit of the arts and contribute to Canada's diverse artistic landscape."

2011 Winners
BMO 1st Art! 2011 National Winner:
Sandrine Côté, Université du Québec à Montréal
BMO 1st Art! 2011 Regional Winners:
Alberta Richelle Bear Hat, Alberta College of Art & Design
British Columbia Maegan Mehler, University of Victoria
Manitoba Jennifer Yablonowski, University of Manitoba
New Brunswick Keeley Haftner, Mount Allison University
Newfoundland & Labrador Jason Wells, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College,
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Nova Scotia Ambera Wellmann, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design
Nunavut Patrick Aula, Nunavut Arctic College
Ontario Joshua MacDonald, Ryerson University,
School of Image Arts
Prince Edward Island Ian Fildes, Holland College
Quebec Isabelle Landry, Concordia University
Saskatchewan Laura MacDonald, University of Regina
Yukon Territory Graham Rudge, Yukon School of Visual Arts

The national winner receives $5,000 and the regional winners each receive $2,500. The national winner's artwork will become part of the BMO Corporate Art Collection, which includes historical and contemporary Canadian masters such as Kenojuak Ashevak, Emily Carr, Paterson Ewen, Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Lawren Harris, Ian Wallace and many others.

"BMO 1st Art! gives graduating artists a unique opportunity to introduce their work to the Canadian public and a chance for Canadians to view artwork by some of the country's rising art stars as they begin their careers," said Dawn Cain, Curator, BMO Financial Group, Corporate Art Collection. "We are proud to acknowledge the creativity of these outstanding artists and we celebrate the achievements of all of Canada's visual arts graduates."

Representing the best of Canada's newest generation of artists, all of the BMO 1st Art! winners' works will be on display at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), 952 Queen Street West in Toronto from October 5 - 30, 2011. The winning pieces can also be viewed on BMO Financial Group's website at:

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