→ Jordana Levine Apr 27, 2011 – 6:00 PM ET | Last Updated: Apr 28, 2011 11:01 AM ET
Amanda Reeves’ honourable mention painting from 2008’s RBC competition
In 2008, artist Amanda Reeves submitted her work to the RBC Painting Competition with no real expectations. The now 36-year-old painter just wanted to get noticed.
But when her painting was selected as one of three finalists from nearly 600 submissions, things started to change. “To be an honourable mention, to have that kind of attention,” says Reeves, “it was overwhelming and it was wonderful.”
The competition, which began in 1999 and is currently accepting submissions for its 2011 edition until May 11, selects three new paintings each year to add to the 4,000-plus pieces in RBC’s art collection. The works are displayed in RBC buildings across the country, with the national winner receiving $25,000.
Partnered with the Canadian Art Foundation, the competition involves nine jury members — three each from Western, Central and Eastern Canada — who create a shortlist from the high volume of submissions. “We try and narrow down, keep narrowing and narrowing, until finally the jury is able to select five paintings from each region,” says Robin Anthony, who curates the RBC collection.
A winner and two honorable mentions are then selected, but all of the final 15 paintings travel in a show across the country. This year, for the first time, the show will begin in Edmonton. It opens in September and ends in Toronto in November.
For Reeves, “a lot of it comes down to networking.” Although the $15,000 that came with her honourable mention allowed her to spend more time focusing on her art, she says the connections made during the competition are more invaluable.
“When you’re an emerging artist, it’s tough to get noticed,” says Reeves, whose winning painting explores colour and shape, “dealing with perception and how your eye wanders around the painting.”
As the deadline for this yer’s submissions draws near, Reeves says it can’t hurt to apply. “Even if you’re not there for this year, [the jury] will see the name and the next time your work crosses their path they might remember it.” Even if you don’t make this cut this year, “maybe you’re a perfect fit for something else.”
The 2011 RBC Canadian Painting Competition’s call for submissions is open until 5 p.m. on May 11. Semifinalists will be posted June 30, with the winners announced Sept. 27. For more information, visit rbc.com/paintingcompetition.
(The Canadian Press) – 3 days ago
TORONTO — The Toronto subway system is not known as a venue for provocative art, but commuters may do a double take when they see what will be displayed in 60 stations next month.
Passengers will be confronted by “disquieting scenes” and “humorous tableaux with ominous overtones,” say organizers of Contacting Toronto, part of the annual Contact photography festival that runs May 1-31.
The works will appear in slide shows on 300 screens visible on subway platforms.
They include images by Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft, who uses iconic Group of Seven landscapes as backdrops for various forms of mayhem.
David Trautrimas of Toronto conjures up apocalyptic settings with photos of disassembled electronic objects.
Also participating in the exhibition are artists Bill Finger of Seattle and Alex McLeod of Toronto.
- Online: www.contactingtoronto.ca
◐ … fucking awesome!