3 Montrealers win Governor General visual arts awards

Curator Louise Déry, media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and composer and writer Rober Racine are three Montrealers on the 2015 Governor General's Awards for Visual Arts.

Artists Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Rober Racine and curator Louise Déry honoured

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's Pulse Room was shown in Montreal at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in 2014. (YouTube)

Three Montrealers are on the list of eight winners of the 2015 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

They include curator Louise Déry, media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and performance artist Rober Racine.

Déry is the director of the Galérie de l’UQAM and she’s worked internationally as curator of several exhibitions for the Venice Biennale, including David Altmedj who represented Canada in 2007.

Déry told CBC News that she appreciates the recognition for the role of the curator in supporting Canadian artists.

“As curators we are people deeply engaged in developing knowledge about artists, about the field, about new currents.”

“I enjoy measuring myself against the works, confronting the art works, going in the studio, meeting with the art works. This is what I have liked so much...Sometimes we are the first to look at the art work.”

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is known for his interactive installations including Vectorial Elevation for the Vancouver Olympics and Pulse Room which was shown here in Montreal at the Musée d’art contemporain last summer.

“It’s, I guess, very satisfying to all of a sudden get this recognition. As a narcissistic megalomaniac it fits nicely with my personality.  No I'm kidding, but these awards are always received with a sense of distance not really happening to your own career.” 

The third Montrealer to be honoured is multidisciplinary artist, writer, pianist and composer Rober Racine.

The other winners are Toronto's Robert Houle and Micah Lexier, both visual artists, Toronto jewellery artist Paul McClure, Victoria painter Sandra Meigs and new media artist Reva Stone of Winnipeg.

The Canada Council has commissioned short films on each of the winners, directed by award-winning Canadian filmmakers.

The films are available on the Canada Council and the Independent Media Arts Alliance websites and at film festivals throughout the year. Travellers on Air Canada will also be able to view them on the company’s in-flight entertainment system starting in May 2015.

The National Gallery of Canada will also have a special exhibition featuring selected works by this year’s winners from April 9 to August 30.

Governor General David Johnston will welcome this year’s recipients to Rideau Hall on April 8, 2015, for a special ceremony. On this occasion, each winner will be presented with a unique medallion produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.


Jeanette Kelly works as the arts reporter at CBC Montreal. She's also the host of Cinq à Six, Quebec's Saturday afternoon culture show on CBC Radio One.