Michael Morris wins Audain Prize; Elizabeth Zvonar and Cate Rimmer take other top art awards

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      Michael Morris, Elizabeth Zvonar, and Cate Rimmer will receive B.C.'s top visual-arts awards in a ceremony presented by the Vancouver Art Gallery on April 16.

      Painter, photographer, video and performance artist, curator, and longtime innovator Michael Morris will receive the 13th Audain Prize, an award funded by the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts for lifetime achievement. The prize grants $30,000 annually to a senior British Columbia artist selected by an independent jury. 

      Among many other achievements since the 1960s, Morris cofounded the Western Front Society, one of Canada’s first artist-run centres, in 1973 and was invited to Berlin's Berliner Künstlerprogramm DAAD in 1981. He made his mark with abstract works and art "happenings" in the 1960s and was a pioneer in interdisciplinary and collaborative practice. He lives in Victoria now but was a key piece of Vancouver's cultural fabric for decades.

      To celebrate his prize, Kardosh Projects and Marion Scott Gallery have announced an exhibition of work by Morris, opening April 11 and continuing through April 25, and featuring classic multiples on acetate from the 1960s, recent gouaches, and new works on canvas and Plexiglas. 

      Zvonar is the recipient of this year’s VIVA Award, presented by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts, a $12,000 award to a mid-career artist aimed at nurturing the scene in the province. Zovner graduated from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design (now University) in 2001 and has since exhibited here and nationally, serving as the City of Vancouver's artist in residence from 2012-2015. Her work encompasses photo, printing, collage, sculpture, and more, often referencing pop culture and art history in striking new ways.

      Elizabeth Zvonar's Two Faces, Part Human and Mostly Supernatural, from 2007, part of the VAG collection.

      The Charles H. Scott Gallery's Rimmer receives the biannual Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize. She was the founding director-curator of Artspeak Gallery in Vancouver, served as director of Truck Gallery in Calgary, and was a curator in residence at the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal. In 2010-11 she curated a yearlong public-art project for the City of Vancouver called Walk In/Here You Are

      Cate Rimmer

      The Audain Prize, the VIVA Award and the Balkind Prize will be presented by the VAG in the Great Hall of the BC Law Courts at 800 Smithe Street on April 16 at 7 p.m., in an event that is free and open to the public.