Skip to main content

Ursula Johnson has won the 2017 Sobey Art Award.

Rita Taylor/Banff Centre for the Arts

Ursula Johnson, a Halifax-based multidisciplinary artist whose work considers the legacy of colonization, has won the 2017 Sobey Art Award. The $50,000 prize, Canada's most prestigious honour for young contemporary artists, was awarded Wednesday night at the University of Toronto.

Johnson, 37, was born in Sydney, N.S., and is an artist of Mi'kmaq First Nation ancestry. Her creative output includes sculpture, music, printmaking and performance art.

"This means that I will now have the tremendous opportunity to work on a larger scale and expand the reach of my work to a broader community, while exploring more diversity in materials and content as well as beginning to create a network of collaborators internationally," Johnson said in a statement.

Story continues below advertisement

Johnson prevailed over four other finalists from across the country to capture this year's Sobey award. Started in 2001 by the Nova Scotia-based Sobey Art Foundation, the honour goes to a Canadian artist under the age of 40 who has participated in a public or commercial gallery within 18 months of being nominated.

Each of the remaining finalists – Raymond Boisjoly, Jacynthe Carrier, Divya Mehra and Bridget Moser – receive $10,000, with all having their work exhibited at the Art Museum of the University of Toronto through Dec. 9.

The prize's selection committee, chaired by Josee Drouin-Brisebois, senior curator of contemporary art at the National Gallery of Canada, highlighted Johnson's "strong voice, her generosity and collaborative spirit."

"Through her work, she redefines traditional materials and re-imagines colonized histories," the committee said in a statement.

Past winners of the Sobey Art Award include David Altmejd, Duane Linklater, and the late Annie Pootoogook.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

If your comment doesn't appear immediately it has been sent to a member of our moderation team for review

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.