The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada have named the five finalists for the 2018 Sobey Art Award, which is given annually to a Canada-based artist aged 40 or younger. The finalists are as follows: Jordan Bennett, Jon Rafman, Kapwani Kiwanga, Joi T. Arcand, and Jeneen Frei Njootli.
On November 14, one of the shortlisted artists will receive the $100,000 prize, with the four runners up each winning $25,000. (The remaining 20 artists on the longlist will each receive $2,000.) Work by the five shortlisted artists will be featured in a group exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada that opens on October 3.
The shortlisted artists hail from each of Canada’s five geographic regions—Bennet from the Atlantic region, Rafman from Quebec, Kiwanga from Ontario, Arcand from the Prairies and the North, and Njootli from the West Coast and the Yukon.
This year’s jury is chaired by Josée Drouin-Brisebois, the senior curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada. Other members of this year’s jury include Heather Igloliorte, an independent curator and Concordia University’s research chair in indigenous art history and community engagement; Jean-François Bélisle, executive director and chief curator at the Musée d’art de Joliette; November Paynter, the director of programs at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; Kristy Trinier, the executive director at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery; Melanie O’Brian, the director of the Simon Fraser University Galleries; and Séamus Kealy, the director of the Salzburger Kunstverein in Salzburg, Austria.
“This year’s jury really took the time to thoughtfully exchange and learn about all of the artists’ practices,” Drouin-Brisebois said in a statement. “I am very proud of the shortlisted artists selected and inspired by the criticality and potent interactivity of their work. Many of this year’s artists use performance and public space, and it will be an interesting challenge to reflect these aspects of their practice in the exhibition this fall.”