The Tanabe Prize is an annual award given to artists whose primary medium is painting and who are residents of British Columbia. In addition to being painters, recipients must be emerging artists. Emerging is defined as an artist who is at the early stage of their artistic career having already completed their formal education.
Artists are selected by contemporary art curators who are connected to art museums and galleries in British Columbia. Selection is based on exceptional creativity coupled with a promise of future achievements. Names of the selectors are kept confidential. There is no application process for either the curators or artists. The Tanabe Prize for BC Painters is a cash award in the amount of $7,500, and is administered by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.
Takao Tanabe was born in Prince Rupert and currently lives on Vancouver Island. He studied at the Winnipeg School of Art and the Brooklyn Museum Art School with Hans Hoffmann, Central School of Art in London with Ikuo Hirayama and Yanagida Taiun in Tokyo. Tanabe taught at Emily Carr University of Art + Design for several years in the 1960s. Tanabe's painting reflects his interest in abstraction and the landscape.