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2017 Sobey Art Award Exhibition

purple lighting and walls with a wood floor and a metal and wood pen-cage that scales the length of the room

Raymond Boisjoly, Jacynthe Carrier, Ursula Johnson, Divya Mehra, Bridget Moser

2017 Sobey Art Award


October 24 – December 9, 2017

Organized by the National Gallery of Canada and the Sobey Art Foundation in collaboration with the Art Museum at the University of Toronto

Curated by Sarah Robayo Sheridan

University of Toronto Art Centre

The prestigious Sobey Art Award provides visibility and support to young Canadian contemporary artists from coast to coast to coast. The award also offers an opportunity to exchange ideas and to learn about different artistic and curatorial practices from across the country.

The jury for the 2017 Sobey Art Award announced Ursula Johnson as the winner of Canada’s $50,000 prestigious contemporary art prize. She is the fourteenth Canadian artist under 40 to win the distinguished annual award.

Five artists, representing different regions across Canada, are shortlisted for the award, which was increased in 2017 by the Sobey Art Foundation to a total of $110,000 in prize money. $50,000 is awarded to the winner, each of the four finalists receive $10,000, and the longlisted artists win $1,000 each. Works by the five finalists are presented in the University of Toronto Art Museum exhibition from 24 October to 9 December 2017.

The finalists for the 14th edition representing Canada’s five different regions are:

From the Atlantic region: Ursula Johnson (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia)
From Québec: Jacynthe Carrier (Québec City, Québec)
From Ontario: Bridget Moser (Toronto, Ontario)
From the Prairies and the North: Divya Mehra (Winnipeg, Manitoba; Delhi, India; New York, New York)
From the West Coast and the Yukon: Raymond Boisjoly (Vancouver, British Columbia)

In their various practices the 2017 shortlisted artists question and challenge preconceived notions of diversity and identity and performance.

Raymond Boisjoly is an Indigenous artist of Haida descent whose photographic and text-based works reference pop culture to rethink representations of indigeneity. His work draws attention to the discourses that frame and delimit the work produced by Indigenous artists.

Using both photography and video, Jacynthe Carrier creates mesmerizing contemporary allegories that reimagine relationships between individuals and communities and the land they inhabit.

Ursula Johnson is a performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. Her work engages with strategies of duration and display to interrogate outdated ethnographic and anthropological approaches to understanding Indigenous cultural practices.

Winnipeg, Delhi and New York based artist Divya Mehra creates satirical and compelling work that questions the effects of colonization and racism and the construct of “diversity.” She appropriates and then represents references found in hip hop, literature and contemporary media.

Toronto-based Bridget Moser is a performance and video artist whose spoken monologues draw from prop comedy, experimental theatre, absurd literature and intuitive dance to create situations of pathos, humour, and awkwardness.

Please visit the Sobey Art Award website for additional information about the Sobey Art Foundation, the award, the nominees and the jurors.

Opening Reception

Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 6pm
University of Toronto Art Centre

Shortlist Panel Talk

Tuesday, October 24, 2017, 4:30-6pm
University College, Room 140
A live stream of the discussion will be available at

MVS Proseminar with Adam Budak

“Now It Lies Free of Cares in the Open Roses”
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 6:30pm
John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (1 Spadina Crescent )
Mediatheque,Room 200

Performances by Bridget Moser

Saturday, October 28, 2:00 pm
Wednesday, November 8, 7:00 pm
Friday,November 17, 3:00 pm
Saturday,November 25, 2:00 pm
University of Toronto Art Centre
Reserve Tickets

Curator’s Tour: Sarah Robayo Sheridan

Saturday, October 28 2017, 3pm
University of Toronto Art Centre