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Sandra Meigs, Victoria painter, wins $50K Gershon Iskowitz Prize

Victoria painter Sandra Meigs is the latest winner of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, the annual visual art honour administrated by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Painter, teacher received Governor General's visual art honour in April

Victoria artist Sandra Meigs is the 2015 winner of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, the annual visual art honour administrated by the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Michelle Alger/Art Gallery of Ontario)

Victoria artist Sandra Meigs is the latest winner of the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, the annual visual art honour administrated by the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Baltimore-born Meigs, who has lived in Canada since 1973 and taught at the University of Victoria for more than 20 years, receives $50,000 and a solo exhibition at the AGO. The exhibit is slated for 2017.

"Sandra Meigs is a highly creative artist whose projects blend painting, sculpture and performance in a manner that is all her own," Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal curator Lesley Johnstone, one of the 2015 jurors, said in a statement.

"Comical and sad, materially rich and socially engaged, psychologically intense but also somehow playful, her work continues to surprise us with each new project."

Meigs' work is described as 'Comical and sad, materially rich and socially engaged, psychologically intense but also somehow playful.' This 1988 painting is entitled Live Now/Die Now. (Sandra Meigs/Art Gallery of Ontario)

The prize, which recognizes an active, mature artist who has contributed to visual arts in Canada over the years, comes about six months after Meigs received another national honour: the West Coast painter was among this year's recipients of the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

"Sandra Meigs is an innovative contributor to the Canadian art world, and her unique vision has rightfully earned her a space on the international stage," said AGO chief curator Stephanie Smith.

"Primarily a painter — and one with an exquisite touch — Meigs makes vivid, playful, and inventive works that challenge and delight."

The Gershon Iskowitz prize was created in 1986 in memory of the late abstract expressionist painter. Since 2007, the Iskowitz Foundation has worked with the Toronto-based AGO to award the annual prize to a Canadian artist.  

Past winners have included multidisciplinary artists Michael Snow and Shary Boyle, photographer and filmmaker Mark Lewis and installation artists Kim Adams and Brian Jungen.

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