The 2019 Audain Prize for Visual Art has been awarded to Vancouver artist Stan Douglas – the first recipient since its value was increased to $100,000, making it one of the richest prizes for the arts in Canada.
Mr. Douglas, 58, is an internationally celebrated contemporary artist. He has exhibited his photography, film and video installations around the world – including at the Venice Biennale, Documenta and the Tribeca Film Festival, where his interactive installation Circa 1948 premiered. His long list of prizes includes the Hasselblad Award and the Scotiabank Photography Award.
On Monday, he called it a “great honour” to be the recipient of the award (also known as the Audain Prize for the Visual Arts).
Michael Audain, the philanthropist and art collector who funds the prize through his foundation, says British Columbia has some of the world’s best contemporary artists, but the average person in B.C. might not be familiar with people such as Mr. Douglas or previous Audain Prize winner Jeff Wall.
“We’re trying to spread the word about the amazing artists that we have in our province, and I think there was a need to,” Mr. Audain told The Globe and Mail in an interview this year. “I think changing the amount of the award helps people understand its significance.”
The Audain Prize was established in 2004 and was originally managed by the Audain Foundation and later by the Vancouver Art Gallery. As of this year, it is managed by the Audain Art Museum, the gallery Mr. Audain built in Whistler to house his collection of B.C. art.
In addition to the $100,000 prize, the foundation announced $7,500 travel grants for five postsecondary visual arts students in the province.
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