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Contemporary artists Altmejd, Dzama vie for Sobey Art Award

Installation artist David Altmejd, illustrator Marcel Dzama and video artist Althea Thauberger are among the 25 competitors for the 2009 Sobey Art Award.

Installation artist David Altmejd, illustrator Marcel Dzama and video artist Althea Thauberger are among the 25 competitors for the 2009 Sobey Art Award.

The annual art honour, which carries a cash prize of $50,000 for the winner (plus $5,000 to each of the four remaining finalists), was established in 2002 to celebrate promising Canadian contemporary artists under the age of 40.

Organizers announced this year's long list of artists on Tuesday, with a handful of finalists hailing from five Canadian regions.

  • West Coast and the Yukon: Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky; Luanne Martineau; Keith Langergraber; Evan Lee; Julie York.
  • Prairies and the North: Paul Butler; Marcel Dzama; Sarah Anne Johnson; Jon Pylypchuk; Althea Thauberger.
  • Ontario: Shary Boyle; Christian Giroux and Daniel Young; Luis Jacob; Kelly Richardson; Derek Sullivan.
  • Quebec: David Altmejd; Raphaelle de Groot; Manon De Pauw; Pascal Grandmaison; Adad Hannah.
  • Atlantic provinces: Alexandra Flood; Tara K. Wells; Ilan Sandler; Graham Patterson; Joe McKay.

A short list of five finalists — one representing each region — will be announced on May 1, with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to feature an exhibition showcasing the work of the five shortlisted artists. The winner will be announced at a gala at the Halifax gallery on Oct. 15.

Past winners of the Canadian contemporary art prize have included Brian Jungen, Jean-Pierre Gauthier, Annie Pootoogook, Michel de Broin and Tim Lee.