News Releases - 2004
Tom Sherman wins Bell Canada Award in Video Art
Ottawa, March 25, 2004 - The Canada Council for the Arts and Bell Canada announced today that artist and writer Tom Sherman is the winner of the 2003 Bell Canada Award for outstanding achievement in video art. A presentation ceremony will be held on Tuesday, March 30, 2004, at Toronto’s A Space Gallery.
Nalini Stewart, Acting Chair of the Canada Council, will present Tom Sherman with a framed certificate, and Terry Mosey, Executive Vice-President, Bell Canada, will present him with a cheque for $10,000.
Continuing its tradition of patronage of the arts, Bell Canada provides the Canada Council with an annual gift to fund the Bell Canada Award in Video Art. The $10,000 prize has been awarded annually since 1991 for exceptional contribution by a video artist or artists to the advancement of video art in Canada and to the development of video languages and practices (videotapes, installations or web-based video art). Past winners of the award are Robert Morin and Lorraine Dufour of Montreal (1991); Paul Wong of Vancouver (1992); Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak of Toronto (1993); Zacharias Kunuk and Norm Cohen of Igloolik, Nunavut (1994); Sara Diamond of Banff (1995); Colin Campbell of Toronto (1996); Jan Peacock of Halifax (1997); Luc Bourdon of Montreal (1998); Vera Frenkel of Toronto (1999); Richard Fung of Toronto (2000); General Idea of Toronto (2001) and Nelson Henricks of Montreal (2002).
Tom Sherman was selected by a peer assessment committee of professional video artists: Lorraine Dufour (Montreal), Paul Wong (Vancouver) and Lisa Steele (Toronto). He was selected from a list of finalists recommended by a nominating committee consisting of Nelson Henricks (Montreal), Peggy Gale (Toronto) and Val Klassen (Winnipeg).
Media representatives are invited to attend the prize presentation and reception, Tuesday, March 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at A Space Gallery, 110-401 Richmond Street West, Toronto. A compilation of Tom Sherman’s works will be screened. Please RSVP by calling 1 800 263-5588 ext. 4106 or 613-566-4414, ext. 4106, by March 29, 2004.
Tom Sherman was born in Michigan. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1970. In 1972 he immigrated to Canada, where he settled in Toronto, completing his post-graduate work on the job at A Space Gallery, one of the first artist-run centres in Canada. By 1974 he had begun writing to extend his concept-based work into publications, texts-as-visual objects, and video and performance. He lived in Toronto until 1981, working in video, performance, and concept-based, sculptural installations.
Sherman co-founded organizations such as A Space Video (1973, Toronto) and Fuse Magazine (1979, Toronto). During this same period he was a regular on-air contributor to Canada’s national radio network (CBC), appearing as a monologist on Peter Gzowski’s original This Country in the Morning, and on As It Happens, hosted by Barbara Frum. He was also a writer for TVOntario’s ground-breaking Fast Forward series, and produced some of the first music videos ever broadcast (1976-78) for TVO’s Nightmusic and Afterimage programs.
In 1981 he moved to Ottawa, taking a video officer position within the Visual Arts section at the Canada Council. In 1983 he founded the Media Arts section of the Council, becoming its first Head of section and establishing Council’s first grant programs for computer-integrated media. In 1988-89 Sherman worked with Simon Fraser University to develop a research institute, the Centre for Image and Sound Research (Vancouver). In 1991 he was appointed Director of the School of Art & Design at Syracuse University in New York.
Sherman was chosen to represent Canada in Canada Video at the Venice Biennale in 1980. In 1983 the National Gallery of Canada mounted Cultural Engineering, a 10-year retrospective of his video, installations and writing. In 1986 he was an international commissioner for the Art, Technology and Informatics exhibition in the central Italian pavilion of the Venice Biennale.
Over the past three decades his work has been featured in hundreds of international exhibitions, festivals and broadcast venues, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Musée d’art contemporain (Montreal), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Documenta X (Kassel), Ars Electronica (Linz), Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, LUX Cinema (London), Montevideo (Amsterdam), Tranz-Tech/Toronto International Video Biennal, Elektra 2001 (Montreal), and In Video 2003 (Milan).
Throughout the 1990’s he was a frequent contributor to Kunstradio, the weekly radio art program on Austria’s national radio network (ORF). In 1997 he released Personal Human, an audio CD of his voice/music work with composers Jean Piché and Bernhard Loibner. Sherman and Loibner have since formed a performance/recording duo called Nerve Theory, which remains active today. In 2003 Nerve Theory released Planetary Disorder, a DVD of their most recent music/video work.
Besides his performance and media art, Sherman actively publishes in periodicals, web-zines and Internet listserves. In 2002, The Banff Centre Press published his fourth book, Before and After the I-Bomb: An Artist in the Information Environment, a comprehensive anthology of his writing over the past 20 years.
Sherman is currently a Professor at Syracuse University, teaching video production, media history and theory in its Department of Art Media Studies/TransMedia. He splits his time between Syracuse, New York, and his Canadian home on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
The Canada Council for the Arts, in addition to its principal role of promoting and fostering the arts in Canada, administers and awards nearly 100 prizes and fellowships in the arts, humanities, natural and health sciences and engineering. Among these are the Killam Prizes, the Molson Prizes, the Petro-Canada Award in New Technologies, the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts and the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
For more information about these awards, including nomination procedures, contact Janet Riedel, Endowments and Prizes Officer, at (613) 566-4414 or 1 800 263-5588, ext. 4116. E-mail: email@example.com.
Bell Canada, Canada's national leader in communications, provides connectivity to residential and business customers through wired and wireless voice and data communications, local and long distance phone services, high speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband services, e-business solutions and satellite television services. Bell Canada is wholly owned by BCE Inc. For more information please visit www.bell.ca.
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Jacqueline Michelis (613) 785-1427