Former art profs win Governor General’s awards

Two former York faculty members are among the seven winners of the 2006 Governor General’s Awards in visual and media arts.

Multidisciplinary artist Vera Frenkel, professor emerita of visual arts, and painter Kenneth Lochhead, who taught art at York from 1973 to 1975, will each receive a $15,000 prize from Governor General Michaëlle Jean at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on March 22.

The Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, recognize distinguished career achievement in the visual and media arts.

Vera Frenkel (left) is an internationally-recognized multidisciplinary artist. Her videos, drawings, audio works, installations and new media projects have appeared at galleries and festivals around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Venice Biennale. She has been artist-in-residence at major art institutions in London, Vienna, Chicago and Stockholm. Her recent project, The InstituteTM: Or, What We Do for Love, is both an installation and Web-based work . Frenkel’s writings have been much anthologized and appeared in such publications as artscanada, Canadian Art, Descant, FUSE, Intermédialités, Public and Vanguard. Frenkel has won the Canada Council Molson Prize and the Bell Canada Award in Video Art.

Right: A scene from Vera Frenkel’s The InstituteTM: Or, What We Do for Love


Kenneth Lochhead

Kenneth Lochhead (left) was one of the famous Regina Five, a group of Canadian abstract painters who achieved renown in 1961 for a landmark exhibition presented at the National Gallery of Canada that subsequently toured across the country. Born in Ottawa in 1926, Lochhead studied art at Queen’s University, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania. In 1950, he was appointed director of the school of art at the University of Saskatchewan. While there, he founded the visiting artist workshops at Emma Lake, which helped connect Regina with the wider art world. After stints teaching in Regina, Winnipeg and Toronto, he taught at the University of Ottawa from 1975 until 1989. Since 1953, Lochhead has shown his varied work (his recent focus is on landscape painting) in numerous solo and group exhibitions in both public and private galleries in Canada and abroad.

Right: Break-Up, a 2001 painting by Kenneth Lochhead