Caroline Mousseau wins $30,000 Joseph Plaskett Award in Painting

$10,000 Nancy Petry Award won by Lauren Pelc-McArthur

Painter Caroline Mousseau in her studio. Photo credit: Richelle Forsey.
Painter Caroline Mousseau in her studio.
Photo credit: Richelle Forsey.

Painter Caroline Mousseau is the 2019 recipient of the $30,000 Joseph Plaskett postgraduate award in painting. Originally from Winnipeg, she is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting at the University of Guelph in Ontario. The award will allow her to spend six months in Europe upon completing her graduate studies.

This period of great freedom will allow Mousseau to focus on her artistic practice and to discover the masterpieces to be found in European museums: “I will base my work in Berlin and take advantage of short travels to the Netherlands, Norway, and Denmark, to further examine the contemporary relevance of craft in art,” says the artist. “I am especially interested in seeing design or folk art next to original modernist works such as those of the Bauhaus and De Stijl.”

The jury was impressed by the artist’s technical mastery and by her clever deconstruction of the abstract expressionist brushstroke through slow, deliberate gestures. Her remarkable understanding of conceptual issues in painting allows her to confidently deal with the tropes of abstraction.

Painter Lauren Pelc-McArthur in her studio. Photo credit: Richard-Max Tremblay.
Painter Lauren Pelc-McArthur in her studio.
Photo credit: Richard-Max Tremblay.

The 2019 Nancy Petry Award was won by painter Lauren Pelc-McArthur, who is originally from Toronto and is currently pursuing a Painting and Drawing Master of Fine Arts at Concordia University. The $10,000 award will allow her to travel to Europe for two months, where she plans to stay in Leipzig in Germany, as well as explore museums in Russia and in Italy, and to visit the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. The jury greatly appreciated the complexity of her paintings, which combine multiple techniques to create visually mutable surfaces that evoke the instability of the digital.

The award recipients were chosen after a careful assessment of the 30 exceptional applications that were received. The jury met in April 2019 at the University of Guelph, and was composed of: Doug Kirton, Associate Professor, Department of Fine Arts, University of Waterloo; Frances Loeffler, Curator, Oakville Galleries, Toronto; and Monica Tap (jury chair), Professor, School of Fine Art and Music, University of Guelph. To avoid any conflict of interest, Ms. Tap abstained from voting and discussing Caroline Mousseau’s work. Every year, the jury is held in a different location across Canada. The call for applications will open in February 2020 for the next set of Plaskett and Petry Awards.

Canadian artist Joseph Plaskett, who wished to give young Canadian painters the opportunity to discover Europe, created the Joe Plaskett Foundation in 2004. Since 2015, the Nancy Petry Foundation has partnered with the Joe Plaskett Foundation to administer a second prize given to the first runner-up. The award recipients are exceptional emerging Canadian artists in the field of painting who are admitted in a graduate program.

Plaskett and Petry Award Recipients for 2018!

The competition for this year’s Plaskett Award and Petry Award is complete! The 2018 Plaskett Award recipient is Karine Fréchette and the 2018 Petry winner is Adam Alexander Gunn. Karine and Adam received their awards at the RCA Annual General Meeting in Ottawa on Saturday May 19 at the new Ottawa Art Gallery. Congratulations Karine and Adam!

Thank you to our jury: Julie Trudel, Assistant Professor at UQAM; David Elliott, Professor at Concordia University, and Jennifer Lefort, Instructor at UQO and at the University of Ottawa. Mathieu Ménard assisted in the jury process. This Montreal-based jury saw many outstanding applicants. The images are always projected, and their quality is key. The jury was grateful to all the professors and senior artists who wrote thoughtful letters of reference.

We hope all 2018 applicants who are still eligible will apply again in 2019.

Plaskett and Petry Awards 2017

Jason Stovall is the 2017 Joseph Plaskett Award recipient! Based in Victoria, B.C., Jason completed his MFA (2016) at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. Thanks to Sky Glabush, Associate Professor at Western for the letter of reference. And congratulations  to Gillian King, MFA (2016–University of Ottawa), who is the Nancy Peltry Award winner. Thanks to Andrew Wright, Director of the Department of Visual Arts, University of Ottawa for his letter of support.

Jury for 2017 was held in Toronto. Thanks to artist and professor Laura Millard at OCAD who served as Chair, David Liss from MOCA, and Alexander Irving of University of Toronto. The experienced jury members enthusiastically offered their recommendations to the Joseph Plaskett and Nancy Petry Foundations and they offer congratulations the winners. Jen Aitken assisted the awards process.