ECU Alums, Student Among Finalists for Salt Spring Art Prize


Top (L to R): From Rydel Cerezo's photo series, Back of My Hand, 2020. (Image courtesy Rydel Cerezo) | Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Forecast, 2019. Charcoal monotype. (Image courtesy Sara-Jeanne Bourget) | Laura Rosengren, Sending Signals, 2023. Oil and felt on canvas. (Photo by Brian Dauncey / courtesy Laura Rosengren) | Bottom: A still from Cheyenne Rain LeGrande's video installation, Nehiyaw Isko ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ. (Image courtesy BMO 1st ART!)

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By Perrin Grauer

Posted on September 07, 2023 | Updated September 22, 2023, 10:03am

The artists are among 52 finalists from across Canada who are eligible for awards totalling $50,000.

Artists and ECU alums Sara-Jeanne Bourget (MFA 2019), Rydel Cerezo (BFA 2019) and Cheyenne Rain LeGrande (BFA 2019) are among the artists shortlisted for the 2023 Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP). Current ECU MFA student Laura Rosengren was also among the shortlisted artists.

Finalists for the juried, biannual competition are selected from among thousands of applicants. According to SSNAP, the 2021/22 competition received 2,756 submissions from Canadian artists.

“I am very excited with the 52 finalists selected by our esteemed jury for SSNAP 2023/24,” Ronald T. Crawford, founding director of the not-for-profit SSNAP Society, says in a statement. “While amazingly diverse, the exhibition reflects the post-Covid Canada we are all facing today. The artists chosen are exploring their personal and social place, reinventing themselves as artists and reevaluating the role of art in today’s times. I cannot wait to see the actual work.”

The esteemed biannual competition distributes prizes totalling $50,000 to “recognize, showcase and advance the accomplishments of Canadian visual artists,” according to SSNAP.

The work of all 52 finalists will be exhibited on Salt Spring Island from Sept. 23 to Oct. 23. Four People’s Choice Awards totalling $8,000, four Juror’s Choice Awards totalling $16,000, a SSNAP Residency Award worth $6,000 and the Salt Spring Prize Joan McConnell Award worth $20,000 will be announced at the SSNAP Closing Gala and Awards event on Oct. 21.

The SSNAP is unique among art prizes for anonymizing the submissions of entrants. Names and other identifying information are redacted during the jury process. Finalists are selected solely based on images, titles and an artist statement.

The 2023 jury is composed four eminent Canadian artists, curators and collectors, operating independently from the SSNAP Society. After finalists have been selected, jurors travel to Salt Spring Island to select the winners of the Salt Spring Prize and the Juror’s Choice Awards at an in-situ viewing of the exhibition.

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