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Public vote awards U.K. artist Jo Longhurst $50,000 Grange Prize 2012 for contemporary photography
Born in Essex, U.K., Longhurst has gained international recognition for her photographic work.
TORONTO.- The Art Gallery of Ontario and Aeroplan, an Aimia company, are pleased to announce that the public has chosen British photographer Jo Longhurst as the winner of The Grange Prize 2012.

Longhurst was selected over fellow contenders Emmanuelle Léonard (Montreal), Annie MacDonell (Toronto) and Jason Evans (U.K.). Voting began 10 weeks ago online at Members of the public have also had the opportunity to vote in person at Canada House in the U.K. and at the AGO, where exhibitions of the nominees’ work are on display until Jan. 6, 2013. The Grange Prize is Canada’s largest photography prize and the only major Canadian art prize determined by public vote.

Born in Essex, U.K., Longhurst has gained international recognition for her photographic work, having exhibited in London, Paris and Berlin, as well as at this year’s Documenta (13). A PhD graduate from the Royal College of Art, Longhurst's two primary bodies of work investigate the ways we strive for perfection and the role photographs play in upholding these ideals, be they in breeding whippet show dogs in The Refusal (2003-2008) or performing classic poses in elite gymnastics in Other Spaces (2008-2012).

Longhurst receives the $50,000 cash prize, while the three other finalists each receive a cash honorarium of $5,000 dedicated to the research, creation and production of new work. All four finalists will receive an artist residency, one of the unique features of The Grange Prize. Longhurst begins her residency at the AGO on Nov. 4, 2012, and will occupy the Anne Lind Artist-in-Residence Studio inside the Weston Family Learning Centre until Dec. 15, 2012. Jason Evans will be in residence at the AGO in spring 2013, and Emmanuelle Léonard and Annie MacDonell will travel to the U.K. to conduct research and explore new avenues of practice next year.

“The Grange Prize is unique amongst international art prizes,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, director and CEO of the AGO. “In partnership with Aeroplan, we have built something truly innovative in its accessibility and support, and we are thrilled to see the response from the public, who are voting by the thousands and sharing their love of art with us. I offer my sincere congratulations to Ms. Longhurst and to all of the shortlisted artists.”

“There is an incredible amount of talent amongst this year’s shortlisted artists and we are pleased to showcase their inspiring work,” said Vince Timpano, president and CEO of Aimia Canada. “Together with the AGO, we are committed to raising awareness of contemporary photography and the artists who create it here in Canada and around the world.”

Previous winners of The Grange Prize include Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canadian photographer Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canadian photographer Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).

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