Three aboriginal artists on Sobey Art Award longlist

Aboriginal artists Ursula Johnson, Peter Morin and Nadia Myre were among 25 artists nominated for the 2014 Sobey Art Award. The winner will recieve $50,000 and four runners up will take home $12,000.

Ursula Johnson, Peter Morin and Nadia Myre among 25 nominees for $50,000 prize

Peter Morin is one of three aboriginal artists up for the prestigious Sobey Art Award. West Cost and Yukon nominee: Becoming Andy Kaufman in the Museum, stand-up comedy for Totem Poles, by Peter Morin. (Dallas Duobaitis)

Three aboriginal artists were among 25 chosen for the longlist for the 2014 Sobey Art Award. The Sobey award is one of the most prestigious and lucrative in Canada. The winner of the award will recieve $50,000 and four prizes of $12,000 will go to four runners-up.

The Sobey Art Award showcases the work of visual artists under the age of 40, who have recently exhibited. 

Peter Morin is one of the nominees from the West Coast/Yukon region. The Tahltan Nation artist, curator and writer is originally from B.C. but is now based in Manitoba. 

His artist's bio states: "In both his artistic practice as well as his curatorial work, Morin's practice-based research investigates the impact between indigenous cultural-based practices and western settler colonialism."

This piece called Meditations on Red was done by Anishnabe artist Nadia Myre from Quebec. (Nadia Myre)

Nadia Myre is KitiganZibiAnishnabeg and visual artist based in Quebec. 

In an interview with CBC Montreal, Myre said, "I would describe myself as a visual activist. A lot of the work that I'm making has a political base, and as a conceptual artist, I'm trying to say something."

Her artist bio says: "For over a decade, her multi-disciplinary practice has been inspired by participant involvement as well as recurring themes of identity, language, longing and loss."

Ursula Johnson utilizes the craft of traditional Mi’kmaw Ash Splint basketry in her contemporary work. Awije'jk, by Ursula Johnson. Black Ash and Sweetgrass Weaving. (Wendy McElmon)

Ursula Johnson is an interdisciplinary artist from Nova Scotia with Mi’kmaq ancestry.

Her bio states: "Johnson's art incorporates the traditional Aboriginal art form of basketry expressed through a variety of mediums, including, performance, installation, and sculpture."

"Ursula is the creator of the 21st Century O’pltek Basket, a subtly non-functional form that utilizes traditional techniques and methods of traditional Mi’kmaw Ash Splint basketry."

Last year, Duane Linklater won the annual $50,000 prize. Duane Linklater is Omaskêko Cree, from Moose Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario. His thought-provoking work explores First Nations identity in the context of contemporary society.

The shortlist will be announced on June 4, and the winner will be announced at a gala event on November 19. 

See all of the 2014 nominees:

About the Author

Connie Walker

CBC Reporter

Connie Walker is a reporter in the Investigative Unit at CBC News. Follow her on twitter @connie_walker


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