2009-2013 Plaskett Award Recipients

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2013 Plaskett Award Recipient – Julie Trudel

Julie Trudel is the winner of The 2013 Plaskett Award! This prize of 25,000, which is nicknamed “The Plaskett” is now in its tenth year! The award allows her to spend a year painting in Europe and Berlin in 2014. Currently she is in her studio in Montreal where she is creating a new body of work for a new solo show in January 2014 at Hugues Charbonneau Gallery. The prize was announced to audiences both at her home Université du Québec à Montréal by UQAM Art Gallery Director Louise Dery, and two days later at the 134th Annual Assembly of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA), which was held at the Empress Hotel in Victoria in May, 2013.

After hours of deliberation and carefully reviewing the submissions Julie Trudel from UQAM (Montréal) was chosen as the winner. The Jury wrote that Trudel was chosen for her intense and innovative approach to abstraction in painting: “In her painting she investigates mechanical colour reproduction systems (e.g. CMYK) that she manually applies to variously shaped panels. This results in highly evocative and illusionistic surfaces that remind one of weavings or microscopic photography.”

Jury member Robert Youds continued: “In my opinion the finalist’s work stood out above the majority of the other candidates for what seemed to me to be solid reasons; 1) the recipients work has the appearance of extending abstract painting from a generalized vernacular into a form of specifics that involves not only the use of her own hand but perhaps speaks towards systems of reproduction in general (both mechanical and digital). I think this double-play affords the work something quite unique, and yet timely. 2) Her work owes a certain debt to earlier (particularly Quebec) abstraction – but is not held back, nor is simply mimicking past histories.”

The jury process in Vancouver was witnessed by Plaskett Board Member Pierre Lapointe who came specifically for it from Montreal and by Caroline Mousseau (SFU) who provided technical assistance and French translation and who is also the 2013 guest artist – designer for the ad in Canadian Art magazine (Fall 2013). Jen Aitken, MFA Sculpture candidate at University of Guelph, sorted the files at the RCA in Toronto and general coordination was by Plaskett Trustee/RCA Liaison Landon Mackenzie.

BIO: Julie Trudel, 2013 The Plaskett Award, has been active as a painter since 2008. Based in Montreal, she has had solo exhibitions there including Projet CMYK – phase 1 at Maison de la culture Maisonneuve (2011) and Projet CMYK – phase 2 at Optica Centre for Contemporary Art (2012). Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions in Quebec, Canada, France and Japan, including the acclaimed The Painting Project at Galerie de l’UQAM (2013). Trudel holds an MFA from Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM, 2012) and has received several research grants, including one from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (2013) and another from the Canada Council for the Arts (2012). Twice she has been a finalist for the RBC Prize. In both years 2011 and 2012 Trudel was chosen as a national finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition and her work exhibited in those exhibitions. In 2012 she was the runner up for The Plaskett Award with a jury based in Halifax. Her paintings can be found in several public and private collections in Quebec, Canada and France. She is represented by Hugues Charbonneau Gallery in Montreal.

2012 Plaskett Award Recipient – Philip Delisle

The 9th Plaskett Winner is announced! Philip Delisle is the 2012 Recipient of The $25,000 Plaskett Award.

This spring at a gathering of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, with many senior Canadian artists and designers in attendance, RCA Awards Chair Renee Van Halm presented Philip Delisle with his prize. The 2012 Plaskett Reception was held May 26th before the Presidents’ Dinner of the Annual General Assembly of the RCA at the Battery Hotel in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The RCA meeting and Plaskett award process moves each year and the excellent jury for this year was based in Halifax. Included were Jan Peacock, the Governor General Award Winner in Visual Arts for 2012, Alex Livingston, painter and Professor at NSCAD University (who excused himself in the final votes to avoid perceived conflict) and Peter Dykhuis, Director of the Dalhousie University Art Gallery. Award Coordinator Landon Mackenzie, Professor at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, joined the jury by Skype at the final short list.

The jury complimented the practice of Philip Delisle stating that he intends to use the award to “exercise a close examination of historical art sites and museums”. They wrote, “As Delisle’s work is highly dependent on complex systems of linear perspective, it will be beneficial for him to be able to experience the paintings where these systems were invented in the development of the modern perspectival system.” Delisle’s works “explore the conventions of framing; often having many paintings within paintings. In recent works he has sought to leave evidence of process by allowing areas to be fragmented or suggestive.” Already Delisle has been granted permission to make special photographs at the Louvre in Paris and in Madrid’s special collections.

Phil Delisle’s work has already has received attention before winning The Plaskett Award. Notable awards include a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation as well as Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and Toronto Arts Council. He has had solo exhibitions at Artcite, Windsor; Forest City, London; and his thesis show “Strange Connections and Framing Conventions” was at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax. As well he has had group shows at Page and Strange, Halifax; Art M˚r, Montreal; The Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery; Cambridge Galleries; Propeller in Toronto; Gallery 101 in Ottawa and the Art Gallery of Peel. Delisle obtained his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and his Master of Fine Art from Nova Scotia’s NSCAD University in 2012. He is now based in Ontario.

Photo credit: Jacob Mailman

2011 Plaskett Award Recipient – Jessica Groome

Winner's announcement in Canadian Art magazine Design: Stefanie Fiore (Image courtesy of Canadian Art Magazine)
Winner’s announcement in Canadian Art
magazine Design: Stefanie Fiore
(Image courtesy of Canadian Art Magazine)

Jessica Groome is the winner of The 8th Plaskett Award. Selected by a jury of artists, who are all respected painters and educators, Groome is an excellent choice to continue the values of the Plaskett life-changing formula! She is an abstract painter who recently completed her MFA at the University of Guelph and holds a BFA from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

The Prize is gaining more attention every year, and the selection was difficult with so many strong candidates to choose from. This year’s jury was based in Toronto and included Shirley Wiitasalo, winner of the 2011 Governor General’s Award who also teaches at the University of Toronto, Laura Millard, Painting and Drawing Head, Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD University), and Professor John Kissick, Director of the School of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Guelph who at the end of rigorous debate left for the final vote to avoid any potential conflict of interest. Jessica Groome says of her work; “I am driven to paint in dialogue with a moment. I respond to the effects of sunshine, rain, cloud cover, snow, dusk, dawn, shadow and season. My work depends on the abundance of such ever-changing natural elements visible in my studio.” A year working in Europe will be a great experience in the development of her art practice.

2010 Plaskett Award Recipient – Megan Hepburn

Megan Hepburn and Joe Plaskett (photo courtesy of Guy Lavigueur)
Megan Hepburn and Joe Plaskett
(photo courtesy of Guy Lavigueur)

THE JOSEPH PLASKETT FOUNDATION and the RCA are pleased to announce the 2010 recipient of The Plaskett Award for excellence in painting. The award was announced at the 130th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts at the Château Frontenac in Quebec City with her Excellency, the Governor General, in attendance. The painter Joseph Plaskett, turning 92 years old, graciously traveled to Canada to give the $25,000 award to emerging Vancouver-Montreal artist Megan Hepburn.

Megan Hepburn was delighted to receive the award and to meet Mr. Plaskett and the Governor General and to be celebrated in front of a large audience of accomplished artists and guests. She plans to travel to Denmark to begin her Plaskett year.

Hepburn was born in Vancouver in 1982 and grew up in Australia and Canada. She received her BFA from Emily Carr University in Vancouver in 2005 and she receives her MFA at Concordia University in Montreal in fall, 2010 where she also received the Velan Graduate Award (2008) in Painting. She is a member of the Montreal Committee for Reading Texts and Objects and was a participant in the international residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts: Why Are Conceptual Artists Painting Again?, Because, They Think It’s a Good Idea, led by Jan Verwoert in 2009. Selected exhibitions include Stride Gallery in Calgary and Art Mur and The Basement Gallery in Montreal in 2009. Megan Hepburn is now the 2010 recipient of the esteemed Canadian The Plaskett Award for excellence in painting.

2009 Plaskett Award Recipient – Vitaly Medvedovsky

Winner's announcement in Canadian Art Magazine, Fall 2009 issue. Design: Tobias Ottahal
Winner’s announcement in
Canadian Art Magazine, Fall 2009 issue.
Design: Tobias Ottahal

Vitaly was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, and immigrated to Canada in 1998. After receiving his Honours BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design, he completed an MFA in Painting at Concordia University, Montreal. Vitaly has participated in a number of group exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, and Concordia’s Hitting the High Notes Fellowship.

As the recipient of The 2009 Plaskett Award and the inaugural Winsor Award at Concordia University, MFA candidate Vitaly Medvedovsky is gaining national recognition. Born in the former USSR, the artist draws on fractured memories of the Soviet Union to illustrate a childhood home that fell apart only months after he left. Medvedovsky resists staying rooted in pure nostalgia by combining historic references with elements of fantasy; as his country of origin is nowhere to be found, he takes the liberty to fill in the blanks.