Prolific interdisciplinary artist, writer, performer, and filmmaker Carol Itter will be the recipient of this year's Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts.
Born in 1939 in Vancouver, Itter is well known for her sculptures, collages, and performances, as well as the large-scale assemblages and installations. Key works include her 1972 piece, Personal Baggage, in which she removed a cedar log from Roberts Creek, disassembled it, and then move it and reassembled it in Nova Scotia; her1979 photo series Euclid, which documented her partner, artist and jazz musician Al Neil, tracing geometric figures in the sand of Cates Park; 1984's Grand Piano Rattle: A Bosendorfer for Al Neil (1984), an assemblage that reimagines the parts of an antique piano, and included in the permanent collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery; and 1994's Where the Streets are Paved with Gold: A Tribute to a Canadian Immigrant Neighbourhood, a gilded reassembling of antique-organ parts as an ode to the elderly immigrants in her Strathcona neighbourhood. Most recently, she's been in the news as her and Neil's Blue Cabin, an original squatters' heritage cabin on the North Shore, is being saved to become a floating artists' residency.
It and two other high-profile awards will be given out at a public ceremony at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19 in The Great Hall of the BC Law Courts building in downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Art Gallery announced today.
It also revealed that drawing and multimedia artist Lyse Lemieux is the recipient of the 2017 VIVA Award, granted annually by the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts. In a recent exhibit, A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do, at the Richmond Art Gallery, she cut large ovoids out of black felt, and has applied her scissors and drawing techniques to everything from found clothing to medical tape. As Straight writer Robin Laurence put it in a review, "Lemieux, using scissors to cut fabric is as much a means of executing a drawing as creating lines and forms with a pen, a pencil, or a stick of charcoal." Her work is also featured in Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures, on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery until April 17.
The foundation will also present the second biannual Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize to Grant Arnold, who is Audain curator of British Columbia at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Established in 2004, the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts grants $30,000 annually to a senior British Columbia artist who has been selected by an independent jury. Previous winners include Paul Wong (2016), Michael Morris (2015), Fred Herzog (2014), Marian Penner Bancroft (2012), Rodney Graham (2011), Jeff Wall (2008), and Gordon Smith (2007).
The VIVA Awards provide a minimum of $12,000 and recognize British Columbia artists in mid-career, chosen for outstanding accomplishment and commitment by an independent jury.
The Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize is a biannual award that recognizes outstanding innovation, original research, and critical engagement through curatorial work in the visual arts.