Fogo Island Arts-Sobey Art Award Residency


Fogo Island Arts and the Sobey Art Foundation are delighted to announce Kablusiak as the winner of the Fogo Island Arts-Sobey Art Award Residency. Now in its second year, this residency partnership awards one of the artists shortlisted for the annual Sobey Art Award a residency on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, as part of Fogo Island Arts’ international residency program.

“Through a variety of media including drawing, sculpture, performance and photography, Kablusiak engages with cultural identity and diaspora with humour and compassion,” said Nicolaus Schafhausen, Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts. “Reframing everyday objects and encounters, their work compels us to rethink perceptions of Indigeneity and speaks to human resilience. We are delighted to welcome Kablusiak as the Fogo Island Arts-Sobey Art Award artist-in-residence in 2020.”

The Sobey Art Foundation’s support is an important contribution to Fogo Island Arts’ Patrons Program, a major fundraising campaign launched in 2016 to support FIA initiatives. The partnership between Fogo Island Arts and the Sobey Art Foundation reflects a shared understanding of the critical role that contemporary art plays in enriching and revitalizing communities.

Kablusiak is an Inuvialuk artist and curator based in Mohkinstsis (Calgary), and a board member of Stride Gallery, Mohkinstsis. Awards include the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and the Primary Colours Emerging Artist Award. Kablusiak has recently exhibited work at Art Mûr (Montreal) as part of the Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone, and at the Athens School of Fine Arts in Greece, as part of the Platforms Project. In addition, Kablusiak and three other Inuit curators will be creating the inaugural exhibition of the new Inuit Art Centre in 2020. Kablusiak uses art and humour to address cultural displacement. The lighthearted nature of the artist’s practice extends gestures of empathy and solidarity; these interests invite reconsideration of the perceptions of contemporary Indigeneity.

The Sobey Art Award is the pre-eminent prize for Canadian artists aged 40 and under. Presented annually, the award celebrates some of our country’s most exciting young artists. In 2019 it presented $240,000 in prize money – including a top prize of $100,000 for the winner. Within little more than a decade, the Sobey Art Award and its attendant publicity have also boosted mainstream awareness and acceptance of contemporary art in Canada. Since 2015, the Award has been organized and administered by the National Gallery of Canada.

Photo: Elyse Bouvier