The Art Gallery of Alberta
(AGA) announce that Robin Arseneault and Paul Jackson have been chosen as the winners of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts
(AFA) / Art Gallery of Alberta Sculpture Commission. The two Albertan artists will create a new sculptural installation for the AGAs City of Edmonton Terrace, which will be unveiled to the public in August 2011.
The AFA / AGA Sculpture Commission was launched earlier this year as a province-wide juried competition, open to all Alberta artists. The winning work, which will be displayed on the AGAs third floor terrace for the next five years, will become part of the AFAs permanent art collection. The selection jury was comprised of national arts professionals, AGA and AFA representatives. The successful applicants will receive $100,000 for the creation of their work, which will be funded entirely by the AFA.
"This project is another important demonstration of the AGA's commitment to supporting and presenting work by Alberta artists. In commissioning this site-specific work, we are able to provide the wining artists with an opportunity to work on a large scale, to produce a major installation for this public space that is in dialogue with the architecture of the Gallery, said Catherine Crowston, AGA Deputy Director / Chief Curator. "We are very happy to be able to collaborate with the AFA on this project, as we share the goal of supporting artistic production within the province, and maintaining it through our collecting activities. It is only fitting that this work will become part of the AFA collection after its long-term exhibition at the AGA.
The winning project by Arseneault and Jackson, entitled Hunting Blind, is comprised of three sculptural elements: a tower, perches and five reflective shields. Using the terrace as a stage and the art works as props, Arseneault and Jackson will create an active space of interaction between these objects and AGA visitors, engaging them in the construction of the works narrative. The title refers to the shelter used by hunters to conceal themselves, but can also be interpreted more actively, as hunting while being blind, and addresses futility and isolation, the quest for success and the possibility of heroic failure.
Robin Arseneault graduated with distinction from the Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland (MFA, 2005) and the Alberta College of Art + Design, (BFA, 1998). She has completed residencies at The Banff Centre and the Gushul Studio in Blairmore, Alberta, and has been the recipient of several awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She was a recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award in 2008 and a Nominee for the Sobey Art Award in 2007. Arseneault has exhibited internationally, including Canada, USA, Scotland, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Iceland.
Paul Jackson completed his undergraduate studies at the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) before receiving his MA in Fine Arts at the Chelsea College of Art and Design in London in 2004. Upon graduation, he was named one of London s top 25 new artists by Art Review Magazine. The recipient of a variety of Canada Council and Alberta Foundation for the Arts project grants, Jackson has also participated in residencies at The Banff Centre and taught sculpture, drawing and photography at ACAD. Jackson is currently represented by Paul Kuhn Gallery in Calgary and has work in the collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, University of the Arts London and a variety of corporate and private collections.