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Canada’s largest art prize, the Sobey Art Award, heads west

An exhibition of the shortlisted artists is now on view at Edmonton’s Art Gallery of Alberta

The finalists for the 2019 Sobey Art Award: Stephanie Comilang (Ontario), Nicolas Grenier (Québec), Kablusiak (the Prairies and North), Anne Low (the West Coast and Yukon) and D’Arcy Wilson (the Atlantic) © 2019 Leroy Schulz

The finalists for Canada’s biggest annual contemporary art prize, the C$100,000 ($75,000) Sobey Art Award, have been selected and their work is now on view in an exhibition at Edmonton’s Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA), where the winner is due to be announced on 15 November. Representing five Canadian regions and each aged 40 years old or younger, this year’s shortlisted artists are Stephanie Comilang (Ontario), Nicolas Grenier (Québec), Kablusiak (the Prairies and North), Anne Low (the West Coast and Yukon) and D’Arcy Wilson (the Atlantic).

The exhibition, which runs until 5 January 2020, presents some 35 works, including video-based installations inviting audience participation, and old standards like paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs. “The work by this year’s shortlisted artists is incredibly varied and their diverse ways of working makes for a really interesting exhibition,” says the show’s curator Lindsey Sharman. “There is an attention to language running through the exhibition and there is definitely an interest in looking at colonial structures and legacies.”

This is the first time the Sobeys have ventured to Alberta, notes the award’s chair Rob Sobey. “The trustees of the Sobey Art Foundation have watched with enormous pride as artists from across Canada have continued to build a vital cultural legacy for our country.”