The Art Gallery of York University scoops industry awards

At a ceremony held in the Art Gallery of Hamilton on Friday, May 27, the Ontario Association of Art Galleries (OAAG) presented 31Juried Awards of Merit for 2005 to curators, educators, designers, volunteers, community partners and public art galleries all across Ontario. Approximately 200 people attended the reception and ceremony.

The annual juried awards distinguish prominent achievement in the visual arts in seven categories: exhibitions, writing, book design, exhibition design & installation, education programs, partnerships, and volunteers. This is the 28th year.

In recognition of the pioneering work undertaken by the Art Gallery of York University, the OAAG awarded the dynamic gallery four of these prestigious awards and an honourable mention in the category of art writing.

OAAG Exhibition of the Year Award went to The Atlas Group and Walid Raad exhibition which was featured at the AGYU from Sept. to Nov. 2004. Curated by Philip Monk, the multi-faceted exhibition was featured at a number of venues and provided one of the most comprehensive looks at the work of Lebanese-born, New York-based artist Walid Raad and The Atlas Group. NOW Magazine rated The Atlas Group and Walid Raad as the number one exhibition of 2004. The sprawling exhibition, which took place at the AGYU and Prefix Institute for Contemporary Art (AGYU@Prefix ICA, was complemented by a video program at Vtape, curated by The Atlas Group and Walid Raad) and a performance/lecture by the artist at Ryerson University’s Kodak Lecture Series. The exhibition also travelled to the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston, Ont. (See the Aug. 27, 2004 issue of YFile.)


Above:  Walid Raad, My Neck Is Thinner Than a Hair, 1996-2004. Archival inkjet prints, each 24 x 34 cm. Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery and Galerie Sfeir Semler 

OAAG Exhibition Design and Installation Award (Multi-Institutional) also went to The Atlas Group and Walid Raad. Jurors affirmed the exhibition’s assertion: that the situation of the public art gallery, like the archive, is one more form that Walid Raad’s brilliant work inhabits, contests, and ultimately critiques. The timing of the exhibition, a considered move, was also recognized as a political affirmation of the work’s content.

OAAG Exhibition Design and Installation Award (Temporary) went to True Love Will Find You In the End: Video-Embroidery by 640 480. This exhibition, curated by Emelie Chhangur, assistant curator of the AGYU, was one of the gallery’s most popular satellite exhibitions. The exhibition took place in the storefront style gallery Zsa Zsa, in downtown Toronto (AGYU@Zsa Zsa). Over the course of the exhibition, the “640 480 video collective” screened and embroidered a one-minute video using computer technology and an electronic embroidery machine. The exhibition was rated as the fifth best exhibition of 2004 by NOW Magazine.

OAAG Samuel E. Weir Partner Award (Corporate Sponsor) recognizes and celebrates community partnerships between businesses, foundations and individuals and public art galleries. This year the AGYU won the partner award in the corporate category for their unusual and creative collaboration with Barudan Canada Inc. who donated the electronic embroidery machine for the exhibition True Love Will Find You In the End: Video-Embroidery by 640 480 and provided training for the artists, technical support and computer programs, and supplied all other necessary materials required to realize the project.

In the category of Art Writing (contemporary essay), an honourable mention went to AGYU’s curator, Philip Monk, for his article “Paint it Black: Curating the Temporal Image”, which appeared in Prefix Photo Magazine, Volume 5, Number 1.

With files from the Art Gallery of York University and the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.