The Prairies & North - Brenda Draney

The 2016 Sobey Art Award: The Prairies & North - Brenda Draney
Brenda Draney (Mary Lynk/CBC)

The Sobey Art Award is Canada's pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian art. The annual prize is given to an artist under age 40, who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. 

Brenda Draney grew up in Slave Lake, Alberta. She has a BA in English and in Fine Art in Painting from the University of Alberta and an MA from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. The 11th winner of the annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2009, Draney was also longlisted for the Sobey Art Award in 2013. Her work has been exhibited at The Power Plant in Toronto, Toronto International Art Fair and MKG127 Gallery, and was recently included in 90X90: Celebrating Art in Alberta at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Draney lives and works in Edmonton.

​Sobey Art Award Juror Naomi Potter on Brenda Draney

"This year's short list is an incredibly impressive selection of Canadian artists. For me, it signals a shift in Canadian production, one that is not solely rooted in the larger cultural centres, but presents both a transnational and a more rural, or smaller-centre, focus. With the Sobey Art Award moving to the National Gallery, a much higher profile is brought, not only to the award, but also to all the nominated artists, regardless of outcome. I predict a very thrilling 13th iteration of the Sobey Art Award. Artist Brenda Draney takes the personal and makes it universal: her work is powerful, completely unique and without compromise. It is very exciting to see Draney's work being given a national platform; her voice deserves to be heard."

The Art of Brenda Draney

Brenda Draney, Tent, 2013 oil on canvas, 91.45 × 121.9 cm Courtesy of the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre (Sarah Fuller)
Brenda Draney, Night Sky (for Sandi), 2012 oil on canvas, 91.45 × 121.9 cm (Trident Photography)
Brenda Draney, Evacuation, 2013 oil on canvas, 3 × 4 feet (Sarah Fuller)
Brenda Draney, The Righteous, 2012 oil on linen, 18 × 24 inches (Sarah Fuller)