The prizes, initiated by Charles Pachter in 2012 for a period of three years, are now supported by William and Meredith Saunderson. The $5,000 prizes are intended to nurture emerging talent in the visual arts in Canada.
Annie Beach is a visual artist who is currently acquiring a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Honours at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art. Beach is Cree and Saulteaux iskwew, with family from Peguis First Nation, Treaty 1. Her body of work addresses the over-sexualization of Indigenous women, and challenges these ideas with sex- and body-positive work. Her work also addresses stereotypes relating to Indigenous identity through counteraction, exaggeration and humour.
Beach is on the School of Fine Art Student Association as Co-President and holds an executive position with Canadian Federation of Students Manitoba component. She sits on the Flux Gallery and Ace Art Inc. boards and instructs art workshops, with a variety of non-profit organizations. Beach has also curated, designed, and executed a number of public mural projects throughout the city of Winnipeg with the help of community members and youth participants, and has had public art displayed nationally, with hopes to make art that involves community participation and to make art more accessible to the public.
“Being one of three recipients of the 2019 William and Meredith Saunderson Prizes for Emerging Artists has me at a loss of words. This generous gift, particularly as a current student at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art, will provide immense support in beginning my career as an artist. Ekosi to Daina Warren, for nominating me, and seeing the potential of myself and the work that I do in our city. I owe so much to my community, my kin, my peers, for being an integral part of my journey in learning my cultural identity, and for being support and inspiration in my life. This support is why I am passionate about accessible and public art, and positive representation, because art is such a powerful gift to share with others. I have been given so much that I only want to give in return. I want to continue with gifting art to those around me, through murals and public art projects, and that will be a possibility with the help of this prize.”
Evin Collis is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator who creates drawings, paintings, comics, sculptures and stop-motion animations that often investigate the complexities of history, identity, isolation and the degraded landscape. In 2016 he graduated with an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago.
He has exhibited his works across Canada, the United States and Italy and has been the recipient of various grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council.
“It is a great honour to be among the artists selected for this year’s Saunderson Prize. This prize shall undoubtedly provide assistance as I continue creating my artworks and experimenting with animation.”
Niamh Dooley is an Oji-Cree and Irish contemporary artist based in Winnipeg, Treaty 1 territory. She is a band member of St. Theresa Point First Nation in Treaty 5 territory of Manitoba, but grew up in Treaty 3 territory in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Manitoba’s Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (Honours) in 2017 and continues her relationship with the Winnipeg arts community through various artist-run centres. She predominantly focuses on the exploration of identity, cultural issues, and her interest in the relationships between Indigenous people, past and present, and connecting them with both traditional and contemporary materials in her art practice. Painting is her main discipline, but often combines different techniques such as integrating beadwork and natural elements, creating more sculptural pieces in the process.
“The impact of this prize will allow me to create more artwork and explore new ideas and techniques. I feel grateful to be nominated and will continue to become involved with my community.”