MAHON HALL, Salt Spring Island BC – Sep 21 – Oct 21
by Deirdre Rowland
Established in 2015, the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) provides a broad survey of art practice across Canada, represented by the 52 works selected. This year’s Finalists’ Exhibition will feature artists from Corner Brook, NL, to Port Hardy, BC, as well as major urban centres.
According to SSNAP juror cheyanne turions, curator at SFU Galleries and member of the board of directors at 221A, both in Vancouver, SSNAP takes the temperature of what artists across Canada are exploring, “The art prize allows us to see what artists in Canada are visioning in their work and what they feel it is urgent to address in anchoring our current political moment and visioning possible futures.” turions notes that SSNAP draws in a wide variety of artists from different communities, providing a diverse showcase of contemporary art practices.
West Coast finalist Meghann O’Brien, based in Vancouver, created her culturally inspired piece The Spirit of Shape, a Naaxiin (Chilkat) weaving, with materials such as cedar bark and cashmere. “The apron was one of those pieces, works that I make from a heart-centred space so I can contribute to the world in a way that is meaningful and helps the greater society recognize the value of the Indigenous world view.”
East Coast finalist Nadine Belliveau, from Church Point, NS, has been creating professionally since 1971. Her finalist work, When Fish Become Fashion Coat, is a decorative expression using textural, layered large-format acrylic on canvas. To Belliveau, coats are a way for people to present themselves in society and look at what’s being covered up.
A visit to Salt Spring Island for the Finalists’ Exhibition promises to take art lovers on a journey. It’s an exhibition that looks to be as inclusive, diverse and culturally rich as Canada itself.
Awards Night & Closing Gala Oct 19, 6-10pm