The prizes, initiated by Charles Pachter in 2012 for a period of three years are now supported by William and Meredith Saunderson and will continue through 2017. The $5,000 prizes are intended to nurture emerging talent in the visual arts in Canada.
Maya Beaudry is an artist from Vancouver, whose practice is centred around a subjective experience of material and a sensitivity to its affective qualities. Her work is primarily installation-based, and extends into painting, textiles, sculpture, video and design. In 2013 she founded Sunset Terrace, a shared studio and exhibition space, which she operates alongside and in dialogue with her studio practice. Much of her work concerns the psychological implications of interior space, aiming to find an intersection of the mystical and the practical and to consider the inherent conflicts that arise between the aesthetic and the pragmatic. She received a BFA from Emily Carr University in 2013, and was the recipient of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art CD Howe Scholarship.
In her interdisciplinary art practice, Jessie McNeil addresses themes of place and memory with an emphasis on cultural history, identity and language. Her figurative paper-based collages, which she calls "portraits of place" are made with the eye of a street photographer while fulfilling the artist’s need to cut, paste, smudge and assemble. McNeil holds a BFA from Emily Carr University, has exhibited locally, nationally and most recently, completed an artist residency project at the Estonian Printing Museum in Tartu, Estonia.
Bridget Moser is a Toronto-based performance and video artist whose work is suspended between prop comedy, experimental theatre, performance art, absurd literature, existential anxiety and intuitive dance. She has presented work in venues across Canada, including La Centrale, Montreal; VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver; Video Pool, Winnipeg; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Gallery TPW, and Mercer Union, Toronto; The National Arts Centre and Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville; and Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax. She has presented projects throughout the US and Europe, and has been a resident artist at The Banff Centre and at Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como, Italy. Her work has been featured in Canadian Art, C Magazine and a recent publication by Mousse Magazine.
The winners of this year’s awards were chosen by Daina Augaitis, 2014 recipient of the Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence. Ms Augaitis is Chief Curator and Associate Director at the Vancouver Art Gallery.