Salt Spring Island National Art Prize winner Luther Konadu of Winnipeg (winning piece shown here) creates portraiture that often involves intimate work with members of his community.

IN THE LOOP: National arts competition shows range of talent across country

Victoria Arts Council hosting Salt Spring National Art Prize winners starting Jan. 10

Since 2015, some of the best artwork being produced in Canada has found its way to Salt Spring Island, thanks to the vision of Ron Crawford and his dedicated team running the Salt Spring National Art Prize.

For the first time in the three iterations of this prize (offered every two years) the winners will be showcased in Victoria in an exhibit of diverse media, including: carving, ceramics, beading, painting, photography, sculpture and textiles.

The winner of the 2019 SSNAP is Winnipeg-based Luther Konadu, whose approach to portraiture merges the solitary studio practice with intimate snapshots of his community, often challenging the limits of the photographic device by offering numerous picture grounds in a single composition.

Other artists in the show include Kaley Flowers, Audie Murray, Skawennati , Tony Luciani, Steven Volpe, Tim Alfred (People’s Choice Award winner for his four-foot diameter carving, Blue Moon Mask), Erika Dueck, Carol Narod (whose textile, Married and single – a visual metaphor for the transitions that occur in life – took home the Salt Spring Artist Award), Atefeh Baradaran, Jim Holyoak, Karin Millison, Donna Hall, as well as local artists David Ellingsen and Liam Topfer.

Though the prize, and as a result the selection of winners, is national in scope, what’s nice about this focused showcase is that it places a number of artists from Vancouver Island in concert with their national counterparts. This reflects the elected jury of SSNAP 2019: David Balzer, a art critic based in Toronto; recently retired UVic professor and Governor General Award-winning artist Sandra Meigs; and cheyenne turions, a curator based in Vancouver.

The Salt Spring Island National Art Prize winners showcase will open with a public reception at the Victoria Arts Council (1800 Store St.) on Friday, Jan. 10 from 6-9 p.m., with the show continuing through Feb. 22. Don’t miss this chance to see work by some of the artists being talked about across this country.

Kegan McFadden is executive director of the Victoria Arts Council.

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