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Winnipeg Art Gallery receives first Canada Council for the Arts York Wilson Endowment Award
Ottawa, 1 April 1998 --The Canada Council for the Arts today announced that the Winnipeg Art Gallery is the recipient of the first York Wilson Endowment Award toward its purchase of the painting Rotterdam Pioneers: New Technologies for a Subterranean Eco-Suburb, an Environment with Clean Air, Clean Water and Abundant Daily Sunshine, by Manitoba artist Eleanor Bond. The work will be unveiled and the award presented on Sunday 19 April 1998 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, in the context of the opening of the exhibition of Rotterdam artist Willem Oorebeek.
Created last year, the Award, worth up to $10,000, is given annually to an eligible Canadian art museum or public gallery to allow it to purchase an original artwork that will significantly enhance its collection.The York Wilson Endowment Award is the result of a gift of $250,000 from Lela Wilson and the late Maxwell Henderson and honours the contribution of Canadian painter York Wilson in the field of visual art by funding the acquisition of works of art by living, contemporary Canadian painters or sculptors.
The Peer Selection Committee for the award comprised Greg Bellerby (Vancouver, British Columbia); Gerney Kelly (Sackville, New Brunswick); Sandra Grant Marchand (Montreal, Quebec); Illi-Maria Tamplin (Peterborough, Ontario); and Dan Ring (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan). In explaining its choice, the Committee applauded the Gallery's vision to collect, in depth, the work of key artists from Manitoba. The Committee also strongly supported the Gallery's curatorial commitment to provide a national and international context for the scope of the artist's career in upcoming exhibitions and other future programming.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
The Winnipeg Art Gallery's mandate is to collect, preserve and communicate the artistic and cultural heritage of Manitoba within a context of Canadian and international perspectives. More than 20,000 works of art constitute the Gallery's permanent collection, which is renowned for its strengths in contemporary and historical Manitoba art, international contemporary art and photography, contemporary Inuit art and European decorative arts. Increasingly, the Gallery is focusing on initiatives that will create new synergies among these collections, exhibitions, and educational and audience development programs.
This acquisition will build the representation of Eleanor Bond's work in the WAG's permanent collection, contributing to a comprehensive record of her artistic development. As a senior Manitoba artist, she offers an additional point of view to that of other Canadian contemporary artists in the collection whose work deals with social issues, the environment and a millennial vision.
Eleanor Bond was born in Winnipeg and graduated from the School of Art, University of Manitoba, in 1976. She has been active in Winnipeg's visual arts community as an artist, lecturer and curator. Her work has been exhibited extensively, nationally and internationally, and is included in many public collections including the Stedilijk Museum, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery and Winnipeg Art Gallery.
For over a decade, Eleanor Bond has been exploring the concept of a "future world" in her paintings. She presents fictional narratives that cannot easily be separated from the harsh reality of living in a post-industrial, technological world. Rotterdam Pioneers: New Technologies for a Subterranean Eco-Suburb, an Environment with Clean Air, Clean Water and Abundant Daily Sunshine (1995) was produced during a five-month residency at Witte de With, a centre for contemporary art in Rotterdam. This painting demonstrates the artist's interest in re-examining and rehabilitating urban environments.
The Canada Council for the Arts, in addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, administers and awards a number of distinguished prizes in the arts, humanities, social sciences, natural and health sciences, engineering and communication technologies. Among these are the Glenn Gould Prize, the Killam Prizes, the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes and the Governor General's Literary Awards.
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