The National Gallery of Canada announced on Wednesday (Dec. 4) that Hamilton Artists Inc.is the first recipient of the Lacey Prize.
Established earlier this year by Dr. John Lacey in association with the National Gallery, the biennial prize recognizes the critical role artist-run centres and small arts organizations play in supporting artists and fostering emerging practices in Canada.
“We are incredibly honoured and humbled to be receiving the Lacey Prize!” said Julie Dring, Executive Director of Hamilton Artists Inc.
“One of the challenges for an artist-run centre like ours is that our aspirations are sometimes larger than our budgets. The Inc. has been quite ambitious lately, and we are eager to continue growing.”
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Hamilton Artists Inc., which celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2020, receives $50,000.
“Hamilton Artists Inc. are doing vital and ground-breaking work, as are many other artist-run centres across the country,” said Dr. Sasha Suda, Director and CEO, National Gallery of Canada.
A three-person, independent jury comprised of Governor-General Award-winning curator Glenn Alteen, National Gallery of Canada Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Nicole Burisch, and artist Louise Lacey-Rokosh, selected the winners and runners-up from among an impressive 51 submissions.
Hamilton Artists Inc. (The Inc.) is a charitable, not-for-profit artist-run centre housed at the very colourful gallery at the corner of James and Cannon. The group supports artists in all stages of their career.
“The Lacey Prize gives us some stability to keep listening and learning as we continue to engage with our communities, support our artists, and be responsive to change,” Dring said.
A contemporary curator from the National Gallery will be visiting The Inc. in the coming year to hold face-to-face meetings and conduct studio visits.
“The Lacey Prize recognizes this important work and brings the National Gallery of Canada into closer dialogue with artist-run spaces across the country,” Suda said.
Nominations for the second biennial Lacey Prize open in Summer 2021.
Main image: Emily Jan. After the Hunt, 2017. Hand-felted textiles and mixed media installation in the Inc.’s Cannon gallery. Photo by: Kristina Durka.