Cheyenne Rain LeGrande wins B.C. prize for BMO 1st Art! emerging artist competition

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      A video installation featuring a Nehiyaw woman applying symbolic red to her body has won its artist the B.C. regional prize for the BMO 1st Art! competition.

      Emily Carr University of Art + Design graduate Cheyenne Rain LeGrande was awarded the prize for emerging artists for her work titled Nehiyaw Isko ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ. The video installation documents four performances, each created in the environments of an institution, snow, fire, and water. To the sound of her mother Cikwes (Connie LeGrande) singing, the artist gradually applies red to her body--with references to "red as race, red as history, red as pain, red as trauma, red as blood, red as protection".

      The invitational competition invites deans and instructors of 110 undergraduate student art programs to select three grads from each of their studio specialties to submit a recent work. 

      The 17th annual BMO 1st Art! gives emerging artists cash awards of $7,500 to 12 regional winners from coast to coast. The national winner, Luther Konadu of the University of Manitoba, takes home $15,000. All winning pieces are on exhibit from November 21 to December 16 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto.

      For the first time in the competition’s history, the 2019 submission guidelines allowed for time-based media including video, film, slide, audio and computer technologies, in addition to the previously accepted mediums of drawing, printmaking, photography, painting, sculpture, glass, ceramics, textiles, mixed media, and installation works.