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Sobey Art Award Announces 2008 Shortlist

TORONTO.- The shortlist for the 2008 Sobey Art Award, presented by Scotiabank, was announced today by the Curatorial panel, naming five exceptional Canadian artists contending for the 2008 Sobey Art Award, a prize of $50,000:artists contending for the 2008 Sobey Art Award, a prize of $50,000:

The five finalists are:

Tim Lee, West Coast and Yukon region;
Daniel Barrow, Prairies and the North region;
Terence Koh, Ontario region;
Raphaelle de Groot, Québec region;
Mario Doucette, Atlantic region

"The Sobey reminds us all, curators and casual viewers alike, that Canadian artists are at the forefront of defining our communal identity and envisioning our cultural values." said David Moos, Curator of Contemporary Art, AGO and member of the 2008 Curatorial Panel "Participating in the process of selecting artists for the Sobey Art Award confirmed the high quality of art being produced in Canada, both in the major art centres as well as in remote locations."

Selected work from the shortlisted artists will be featured in an exhibition hosted by the Institute for Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum and will run from August 30 to October 13 of 2008.

"The 2008 Sobey Art Award shortlist is very strong and the works produced by this group will certainly make for an engaging and dynamic exhibition, where we will all be able to celebrate the artistic talent of young Canadians," said Ray Cronin, Acting Director and Chief Curator Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. "I am very much looking forward to working with all five artists this fall."

The winner of the 2008 Sobey Art Award will be announced during a gala event at the Royal Ontario Museum on October 1, 2008.

The 2008 Sobey Art Award Curatorial Panel comprises: Scott Watson, Director/Curator, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, UBC; Anthony Kiendl,
Director, Plug-In ICA; David Moos, Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of
Ontario; Nathalie de Blois, Conservatrice de l'art actuel, Musée National des
beaux-arts du Québec; Gemey Kelly, Director/Curator of the Owens Art Gallery.

The Sobey Art Award, created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation, is an annual prize given to an artist under 40 who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. Since its inception the Sobey Art Award and accompanying exhibition have been organized and administered by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Since 2006, thanks to an on-going partnership with Scotiabank, the Sobey Art Award and exhibition are celebrated annually.

The Sobey Art Award curatorial advisory panel is made up of five distinguished representatives from a Canadian art gallery in each of the five regions. A panel of curatorial advisors, consisting of a representative from a noted gallery in each of five regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies/North, and West Coast), develops the shortlist for the Award. The curatorial panel creates a list of five artists from each region; these are selected from the list of nominated artists, and based on their professional knowledge of their regions and of the national art scene. The curatorial panel then meets and chooses one representative from each region to be included on the national shortlist. The panel will choose the winner on October 1, 2008.

The Sobey Art Foundation was established in 1981 with a mandate to carry on the work of entrepreneur and business leader, the late Frank H. Sobey, of collecting and preserving representative examples of 19th and 20th century Canadian art. One of the finest private collections of its kind, the Sobey Art Foundation has assembled exemplary examples from Canadian Masters like Cornelius Krieghoff, Tom Thomson and J.E.H MacDonald. The collection is housed in an intimate setting at Crombie House, the former home of Frank Sobey and his wife Irene in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. Tours are regularly scheduled throughout the summer months and by appointment year round.

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