Alberta photographer Jenna Hobbs is one of 11 finalists for the Luxembourg Art Prize, the winner of which will be announced Saturday at an exhibition of their work. The prize, now in its fifth year and worth about $75,000, is intended to accelerate the careers of little-known artists, whether professional or amateur, and is organized by the Pinacothèque, a private art museum in Luxembourg.
Hobbs, 34, works as a commercial family and wedding photographer with an unusual style that features candid and relaxed images of her subjects, but she also maintains a fine-art practice with a particular focus on motherhood. The Luxembourg exhibition of the finalists’ work features two of Hobbs’s photographs, including Mama Tried, an image of Hobbs herself on the porch of her farm outside Edmonton surrounded by her five misbehaving children. (The title is taken from a Merle Haggard song.) Although Hobbs staged the scene for her camera using a delayed shutter, the image harkens back to the classic street photography of ordinary people created by such 20th-century American artists as Dorothea Lange or Vivian Maier. The second image in the exhibition shows Hobbs’s four-year-old son, shirtless and hugging the family donkey.
The finalists for the Luxembourg Art Prize include artists from Europe, Japan, the United States and Africa, ranging in ages from 28 to 71, and working in mixed media, painting and photography.
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