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Vancouver's Rebecca Brewer wins RBC painting prize

Vancouver artist Rebecca Brewer poses next to her award-winning painting.

Hand-out/Canadian Art Foundation

Vancouver-based artist Rebecca Brewer has won this year's RBC Canadian Painting Competition, taking home $25,000 for her oil-on-panel work entitled Beuys painting.

"It's going to change my year completely," Brewer said Wednesday. "I'm in between studios right now and I need a new space and it means I'm going to be able to have the option of really having a serious, large studio which I've just been dreaming of."

An MFA student at New York's Bard College, Brewer, 28, divides her time between Brooklyn and Vancouver, where she was raised (she was born in Tokyo).

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The work was inspired by Brewer's "love-hate relationship" with the mythologized German artist Joseph Beuys, who died in 1986. "I actually felt that he was sort of a cheesy figure in a way," she said, but later added "his influence is still kind of ricocheting out."

Honourable mentions went to Vancouver's Deirdre McAdams for her work Blotto and Toronto's Beth Stuart for her painting 02 from the Doppelbanger series. Both were awarded $15,000.

More than 500 entries were received from emerging artists from across the country.

The announcements were made Tuesday night at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton, where the 15 semi-finalist works are installed until Oct. 10. The paintings will then move to the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Oct. 19-Nov. 3) and The Power Plant in Toronto (Nov. 12-19).

They can be viewed online at www.rbc.com/paintingcompetition.

With files from CP

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