Plaskett Award Testimonials

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Jason Stovall – 2017 Recipient

The Plaskett Award and the opportunity to live, travel, and make art in Europe has been one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. I am eternally grateful to Joseph Plaskett and The Joe Plaskett Foundation for I would not have been able to travel Europe, experiencing many new things, without the award.

Jason standing in front of a Jenny Saville painting at The Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh
Jason standing in front of a Jenny Saville
painting at The Scottish National Gallery,

Berlin was an amazing place to live, travel, and create out of. Affordable living and travel are some of the benefits of living in Europe, and they make seeing different countries easy. There is so much to do and see at the many galleries, museums, restaurants, and historic sights throughout Europe. I visited twelve countries in total and countless museums and galleries in each city, including Venice for the Biennale. Europe has much to offer young artists; the history and culture is so unlike North America. Being exposed to new philosophies was enlightening and I wish I could have experienced such things earlier in my life and development.

I will never forget the first time I walked through Museum Island in Berlin. I had a visceral reaction seeing buildings still scarred with bullet holes from WWII. I felt so fortunate to live in a place so far from the horrors of war. I experienced waves of occhiolism walking through cities hundreds, even thousands, of years older than any city in Canada. The things I witnessed expanded my breadth as an artist and human. I experienced a type of learning unlike anything I have known before, not from a textbook but firsthand.

My experience was unforgettable. My time abroad has contributed to my growth as an artist and person. I hope to honour Mr. Plaskett’s legacy by paying-it-forward, one day.

Jason Stovall, 2017 Winner

Julie Trudel – 2013 Recipient

Dear Members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts,

I am especially happy to receive the Plaskett Award in painting. First, because it’s a painting prize. I am convinced that painting, especially abstract painting, is a very relevant medium to investigate some aspects of the world we live in. The practice of painting requires long lasting patience, attention, and a willingness to stay away from clichéd images. In many aspects this is extremely different from the way things go today.

Celebration of Plaskett Award Ten Years in Vancouver, 2014
Celebration of Plaskett Award Ten Years in Vancouver, 2014

Standing in front of a painting is a special experience: we are looking at an image, yet we are looking at a handmade object. Another human being has tried to communicate some idea through it. We should walk toward the painting and be open to engage with it, with our senses and our mind. It is something I love.

Winning the Plaskett Award will give me the opportunity to spend a full year in Berlin doing those things I love: to go to the studio every day to paint, discover the work of other artists and meet with very committed artists. This is an amazing gift.

That’s why I would like to thank the Joe Plaskett Foundation and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and especially the members of this year’s jury: senior artists Ben Reeves, Renée Van Halm and Robert Youds. I am the 10th emerging artist to receive the award and I am proud to join a list of serious painters. I also warmly thank Landon Mackenzie who coordinates the award with a great generosity, giving time as well as generous advice without counting.

Finally, I would like to say how important taking my MFA at the Université du Québec à Montréal was in the development of my young painting practice. I found there excellent teachers, conceptual rigour and a spirit of collaboration and generosity among the students.

Thanks a lot and have a pleasant evening.

Julie Trudel , 2013 winner
June 2013, Victoria BC

Nam Nguyen – 2008 Recipient

Nam Duc Nguyen and Joseph Plaskett
Nam Duc Nguyen and Joseph Plaskett

John Vogel (Joe Plaskett Foundation) once asked if the award had the transformational effect Joseph had hoped for.

I would have to say…already I am a different person, a different artist, and more confident about my point of view as an artist after being expose to so much…to the point of over stimulation. And it’s not even over yet! My work has changed and I think that a huge part of it has not only been being able to learn from seeing art, but having time to think and just make things without the pressure of “real” life. So yeah! I think the Plaskett formula for transformation is a resounding success!

I found that the award could be more accurately described as a post-graduate independent research residency, similar to any post-graduate or post-doctoral research of other disciplines. In the time I have spent here, I have visited fifteen cities, and I am guessing over 40 Museums and art institutions. I have made strides in my drawing, photography and video art practice that will nourish my painting practice many years into the future. And best of all, I have found a kind of artistic home in Europe being in the city of Berlin.

In short, my research was full of discovery and surprise in being exposed to works of art that showed me different ways of seeing as much as it taught me about who I am as an artist.

I think “transformational” would definitely be the right adjective for the effect of this award.

Nam Nguyen, 2008 winner
May 2010, Berlin