They are sculptors, filmmakers, painters, video artists, photographers, or visionary administrators. Their works and reputations have reached beyond our borders to garner global attention. Today they are being awarded one of the highest national distinctions for their exceptional careers and remarkable contributions to the visual and media arts. They are the winners of the 2010 Governor Generals Awards in Visual and Media Arts, and their pioneering works will be presented to the public starting this Saturday, until June 20, in a special exhibition located in the contemporary galleries at the National Gallery of Canada
For the past decade, the NGC, in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts and the Governor General of Canada, has celebrated the contributions of the recipients by hosting an annual exhibition of their works. These artists are standard bearers of Canadian culture and it is with great pleasure that we invite the public to celebrate their extraordinary careers, said Marc Mayer, NGC Director. I am also happy to point out that a majority of works in the exhibition are from our own collection.
The exhibition includes works by Robert Davidson, an iconic figure in the renaissance of Haida culture; films by the great Quebec filmmaker André Forcier; trailblazing paintings by Rita Letendre; videos by Tom Sherman, a major influence in video art; superb photographs by Gabor Szilasi, a central figure in Canadian photography; and paintings by Claude Tousignant, a leading force in abstraction. Fascinating glass sculptures by the Manitoban artist Ione Thorkelsson, recipient of the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts, are also featured. The exhibition also highlights the exceptional contribution of Terry Ryan in the development of Kinngait Studios, in Cape Dorset, and Dorset Fine Arts.