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Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) Announces Winners Calgary’s Judy Anderson Wins the Salt Spring Prize: The “Joan McConnell Award”

    Art & Design    October 24, 2017

Judy Anderson’s “This one brings me the most pride” takes home the top prize, while Salt Spring artists Garry Kaye and Peter McFarlane also take home awards… 

The winners of the second Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) have been announced with Calgary artist Judy Anderson winning the Salt Spring Prize for her work, “This one brings me the most pride”.  Local winners of note include Garry Kaye for the Alliance of Salt Spring Artists Award, along with a People’s Choice Award and Peter McFarlane who was also selected for a People’s Choice Award.

The Salt Spring Prize went to Anderson for her mixed media work, hailed as a piece worthy of the National Gallery of Canada. The 3D installation, combined beads, moose hide, otter skin and a goalie mask and draws on Indigenous teachings, knowledge and ways of making to honour the people in her life, in particular her youngest son, Riel.

The Salt Spring Prize (The Joan McConnell Award) includes a $12,000 cash prize and $5,000 artist residency on Salt Spring Island, BC. Eight awards totalling $30,000 were presented at a gala awards event at historic Mahon Hall, on Salt Spring Island on Saturday, October 21.

Anderson was shocked to learn she had won, “When I visited the opening exhibition in September there were so many works I admired that I had no inkling I would win. I was at home in the evening when I learned I had won and I immediately shared the news with my family.”

An assistant professor in the Art Department at the University of Calgary, Anderson is Cree from the Gordon First Nation and teaches two dimensional, Indigenous art history, as well as beadwork and quilling to her students. Her practice includes installation, handmade paper, painting, three-dimensional pieces and collaborative projects. She describes her work as, “Deeply personal with a focus on issues of spirituality, family, graffiti and popular representations of Aboriginal people.”

She began working on the piece during a residency at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), New York’s most comprehensive international arts residency program. “I started working on the piece there in April of 2016, but I’d say in total it would have taken me three months full-time to complete it.”

SSNAP founding director, Ronald T. Crawford says the month-long SSNAP exhibition has showcased a diverse representation of what is relevant in Canadian art right now. “It’s exciting to see emerging and established artists’ works come together in one space.” He adds, “What I discovered is artists embracing a diversity of materials in their artwork for this exhibition.”  In total, forty of the forty-nine finalists attended the show.

Crawford says the response has been incredible, “The artists are thrilled to see their work exhibited in context with the other pieces from across Canada; it’s a very personal and welcoming experience. What we are witnessing is a growing movement of artists from across Canada coming together to share stories, and connect.”

The prestigious jury, who showcased the exhibition, chose the winning works in person. The jurors included, David Garneau, associate professor of visual arts at the University of Regina; Denis Longchamps, artistic director and chief curator of the Art Gallery of Burlington; and Naomi Potter, the director/ curator of the Esker Foundation of Calgary.

Juror, Naomi Potter says, “In only its second year, it’s exciting to see where the Salt Spring National Art Prize goes.”

Representing the best of contemporary work from across Canada, seven artists from Western Canada took home eight awards as follows:


$17,000 ($12,000 and a $5,000 Salt Spring Island artist residency)

Judy Anderson, Calgary, Alberta, for “This one brings me the most pride…”


Three awards of $2,000 selected by each juror;

Jan Little, Kaleden, British Columbia, for “Jael Suddenly Found Herself With That Beard She’d Long Dreamt Of”

Katherine MacNeill, Oliver, British Columbia, for “Offroad East of Oyama BC”

Diana Thorneycroft, Winnipeg Manitoba, for “Guard on the Edge (of the forest and the night)”

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS: THE ROSEMARIE BEHNCKE, three awards determined by a vote of visitors to the exhibition:

Garry Kaye, Salt Spring Island, BC, for “Roadside”

Peter McFarlane, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, for “Reclaim Saw”

Dave Parsanishi, Port Alberni, British Columbia, for “Mamaaɫni (A Transformation Mask)”

AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SALT SPRING ARTIST:  THE ASA (Alliance of Salt Spring Artists); $1,000

Garry Kaye, Salt Spring Island, BC, for “Roadside”

SSNAP 2017 – Judy Anderson – This one brings me the most pride

SSNAP 2017 – Garry Kaye

SSNAP 2017 – Peter McFarlane

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