Five Salt Spring artists have been named as finalists for the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP). They are among the fifty or so artists from across Canada to have their work eligible to win one of nine awards, six selected by jurors and three selected by public vote. Local artists are also in the running to take home the prestigious Salt Spring Prize (Joan McConnell Award) of $20,000 as chosen by an independent jury. SSNAP provides both emerging and established artists an amazing opportunity to be part of the same Canadian artistic dialogue. With over 1,200 artists submitting original, two and three-dimensional works from coast to coast, here’s the list of Salt Spring artists selected as finalists:
- Bronwyn Austin
- Josephine Fletcher
- Krysta Furioso
- John David James
- Carol Narod
Salt Spring’s John David James is the only Canadian artist to be a finalist in all three SSNAP exhibitions. He says he’s thrilled to be able to push the boundaries of his work and continue to create art that is relevant today, “I always try to make something that is new that I have never created before. To me I never want to repeat myself, I’m always observing, expanding my skill, and in some ways looking at the history of art and trying to push it forward.” He also has high praise for the Art Prize, “The calibre of work in the SSNAP Exhibition is outstanding. It’s a point of pride to me to be included in new works that are contemporary, fresh and topical; it’s our supportive Salt Spring community that makes it possible.”
SSNAP Spokesperson and founding director, Ronald T. Crawford says Salt Spring artists continue to measure up against the best in the country, “The third biennial SSNAP exhibition exemplifies the best in Canadian art and it’s exciting to see a pattern of local artists being among Canada’s best.” Crawford adds, “We’re delighted that a diverse and inclusive selection of artists, representing every region of the country will participate in an exhibition that promises to be as inclusive, diverse and culturally rich as Canada itself.”
The inaugural and second SSNAP Exhibition’s featured works from ten, local Salt Spring artists. The current crop of island entrants submitted works in yam and threads on mesh canvas, C-Print Lightbox, glass beads, trees forest blue sky and coloured pencil on paper.
A panel of three SSNAP jurors chose works from a diverse representation, solely from the image of the art and a short artist statement. The jury is comprised of: David Balzer, Editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Canadian Art from 2016 to 2019; Sandra Meigs, Professor Emeritus at the University of Victoria; and cheyanne turions, Curator at SFU Galleries in Vancouver and sits on the Board of Directors at 221A.
Nine awards are available as follows:
- SALT SPRING PRIZE – THE JOAN McCONNELL AWARD + RESIDENCY FOR OUTSTANDING WORK – ($15,000 and a $5,000 Salt Spring Island artist residency) – $20,000
- JURORS’ CHOICE AWARDS – three awards of $3,000 selected by each juror – $9,000
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE – ROSEMARIA BEHNCKE AWARDS – three awards determined by a vote of visitors to the exhibition – 1st prize – $3,000, 2nd prize – $2,000, 3rd prize – $1,000 – $6,000
- SALT SPRING ARTISTS AWARD – for outstanding work by a Salt Spring Artist – $2,000
- SALT SPRING ISLAND PAINTERS GUILD AWARD – for outstanding two dimensional painted artwork – $1,000
- September 21, 2019: Gala Opening of Finalists’ Exhibition
- September 21 – October 21, 2019: Exhibition opens daily
- October 19, 2019: Winners announced at Gala Awards Night
The Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) is one of the largest visual arts competitions in the country. The intent of SSNAP is to encourage artists whose practice demonstrates originality; quality, integrity and creativity, resulting in significant work with visual impact and depth of meaning. In this third year, SSNAP offers $38,000 in awards, as chosen by an independent jury from across Canada. This exciting endeavour is an initiative of the Salt Spring Arts Council (SSAC), which represents the Arts for Salt Spring Island, one of Canada’s premier arts communities.