Renowned local Indigenous artist Dana Claxton has added another accolade to her already wildly impressive resume with the prestigious Audain Art Prize for the Visual Arts.
Presented by the Audain Art Museum in Whistler (itself the brainchild of philanthropist and arts patron Michael Audain), the Audain Prize recognizes a tenured artist for their contributions to the Canadian arts landscape. The annual prize, worth $100,000, is one of the country’s most prestigious; previous winners include celebrated photographer Ian Wallace, master carver James Hart, and photographer-videographer Stan Douglas.
Vancouver-based Claxton, a member of the Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation in Saskatchewan, is a multidisciplinary artist whose work spans photography, performance art, film, and multi-channel installation. She explores Indigeneity, belonging, spirituality, and physicality in her pieces, which have shown at galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Australia, the Seattle Art Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. She has also shown her work at the Sundance Film Festival, and, of course, at her long-time supporter the Vancouver Art Gallery, which staged her solo exhibition Fringing the Cube in 2018.
“I am grateful for all the support my artwork and cultural work has received,” she says in a statement. “I am indebted to the sun and my sundance teachings—mni ki wakan—water is sacred.”
Among Claxton’s other wins are the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Scotiabank Photography Award.