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RBC Emerging Artist People Choice Awards 2015

5 years ago

Breaking the Mould: RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award exhibition challenges preconceptions about ceramic art & celebrates new directions in clay

Five artists from across Canada vie for the $10,000 top prize

June 18 to August 30
Toronto, ON May 26, 2015—Taking inspiration from sources as varied as Japanese video games and the natural history museum, and using non-traditional materials like flowers and pickled vegetables, the work of the five artists vying for the $10,000 RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award, voted on by the public, promises to challenge visitors’ expectations and preconceptions about ceramic art.

The RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award, the Gardiner Museum’s featured summer exhibition, celebrates new directions in clay through the work of five rising stars of the contemporary art world who are redefining the ceramic medium. Each artist has been allotted eighteen square feet in the Museum’s main exhibition hall to animate according to their own unique vision.

The five artists—Derya Akay (Vancouver), David R. Harper (Toronto), Lisa Henriques (Vancouver), Veronika Horlik (Montreal), and Zane Wilcox (Regina)—have been nominated by a panel of established practitioners and experts that includes well-known contemporary art collectors Joe Friday and Ydessa Hendeles; aritsts Pascale Girardin and Sally Michener; and Chair of Craft at NSCAD University, Rory MacDonald.

“As Canada’s national ceramics museum, the Gardiner is in a unique position to introduce the public to the next generation of artists who are redefining what it means to be working in clay,” says Kelvin Browne, Gardiner Executive Director and CEO. “We are committed to fostering and celebrating new talent that will continue to set the bar for contemporary ceramics in Canada.”

The public will be able to vote on site and online to determine the winner of the $10,000 prize, who will be announced on August 14.

“The finalists are pushing the boundaries of ceramic art in creative and innovative ways,” says Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship of RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation. “We are proud to support the Gardiner Museum through this award, and extend our sincere congratulations to the finalists.”

An exhibition preview will take place on Tuesday, June 16, featuring a panel discussion with all five artist-nominees discussing their artwork, themes, and processes, moderated by Toronto Star art critic Murray Whyte. Tickets: $15 General; $10 Gardiner Friends. Visit www.gardinermuseum.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

On Friday, June 19, the Gardiner Museum Young Patrons Circle will celebrate the opening with TENSIONS, a new art party featuring the National Ballet School’s Creative Challenge, that invites guests to explore all corners of the Museum and curate their own cultural and culinary experience courtesy of the city’s most exciting up-and-coming artists, dancers, chefs, and musicians. Tickets: $75 General; $100 VIP. Visit www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/event/tensions for more information and to purchase tickets.

The festivities will continue throughout the summer with DOORS AT 6PM, a new Friday night series running from June 26 to July 24 inspired by the RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award exhibition. DOORS at 6PM showcases emerging talent across different arts forms in partnership with some of the city’s most vibrant cultural fixtures, including TIFF, Wavelength, TO Jazz Fest, The Afiara Quartet, The Writer’s Trust of Canada, and Summerworks Theatre Festival. Included with half price Friday admission.

For more information visit: www.gardinermuseum.com/emerging


Located in the heart of Toronto at 111 Queen’s Park Crescent, the Gardiner Museum is Canada’s only ceramics museum, and one of the world’s great specialty museums. The Gardiner is committed to making a contribution to the medium of ceramics, as well as the community it serves, and is an inviting destination that inspires and connects people, art and ideas through clay. The Gardiner’s permanent collection comprises several extraordinary collections from sophisticated, dedicated collectors, making it one of the most significant centres of ceramics in North America. The breadth of the Museum’s holdings include pottery from the Ancient Americas, rare examples of Meissen, Du Paquier and Chelsea porcelain, Chinese blue and white porcelain, Japanese and Japanese-inspired porcelain, to contemporary ceramics—including an exceptional donation from contemporary ceramics collector, Raphael Yu. For more information, details on exhibitions, events, workshops, clay classes, and more, please visit: www.gardinermuseum.com.


Rachel Weiner, Communications and Volunteer Assistant
416.408.5062 | rachelw@gardinermuseum.com

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