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Graeme Patterson, Royal Art Lodge founders up for Sobey Award

New Brunswick's Graeme Patterson and Royal Art Lodge co-founders Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber are among the young contemporary artists shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, one of Canada's most prestigious visual arts prizes.
Artist Graeme Patterson, seen in Toronto in 2013, is a finalist for the 2014 Sobey Art Award. (Dwight Friesen/CBC)

New Brunswick's Graeme Patterson and Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber, co-founders of the Royal Art Lodge collective, are among the young contemporary artists shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, one of Canada's most prestigious visual arts prizes.

Organizers unveiled the finalists — each representing a region of Canada — for this year's prize on Wednesday in Halifax. The annual prize is administered by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The finalists are:

  • Atlantic Canada - Patterson, based in Sackville, N.B.
  • Quebec - Montrealer Nadia Myre.
  • Ontario - Chris Curreri of Toronto.
  • Prairies and the North - Farber and Dumontier, based in Winnipeg.
  • West Coast and Yukon - Evan Lee of Vancouver

The five were chosen out of a record number of nominations submitted this year, according to the Sobey curatorial panel, comprising art experts from galleries in B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and PEI.

"We are confident that the work of these five compelling and engaged [nominees] will leave a lasting impact on Canadian art," the panel said in a statement.

Each year, the Sobey Award celebrate Canadian artists or artistic partners aged 40 or under. To be eligible, artists must have held an exhibit in a public or commercial gallery within 18 months of being nominated.

The winner receives $50,000, while $10,000 goes to each of the remaining finalists. Remaining artists on the long list receive $500 each.

Past Sobey recipients have included Brian Jungen, Annie Pootoogook, David Altmejd and Raphaëlle de Groot.