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Quest Art 2018 Thor Wealth Management Art Prize – Winners Announced

Exhibition Dates: August 24 – October 20, 2018

Quest Art Upper Gallery
333 King Street, Midland, Ontario

Located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe peoples including the Ojibway/Chippewa’s and Potawatomi, and the ancestral home of the Huron-Wendat Nation, Quest Art Gallery is excited to announce the thirty-three artists from across Canada selected to show work in their Upper Gallery for the 2018 Thor Wealth Management Art Prize. Sponsoring $5000 to help make this art prize a huge success, Mike Thor was thrilled to learn our esteemed jurors received over 400 submissions from 245 artists nationwide.

Upon viewing entries, Stuart Keeler, the Senior Art Curator at TD Bank Group, Renee van der Avoird, the Assistant Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and Carol-Ann Ryan, an art advisor and project manager for Kalaman+Demetriou were impressed by the level and range of work being created in rural and urban centres across Canada.

After an amicable selection process, the exhibition was narrowed down to thirty-three works of art that demonstrated excellence through their explorations of media, methods and subject matter. When asked about the process, juror Carol-Ann Ryan shared,

“Contemporary art, for me, is thoughtful and well executed. When reviewing the works selected, both of these traits are apparent in the ideas represented and use of materials and/or media.

Stuart Keeler seeks to broaden the understanding of "Canadian Landscape" by focusing on works that contribute to a conversation within a social landscape lens.

“I think of art as a landscape of the mind, and how identity arrives in artists’ work through lived experience. How does Canada differentiate itself? The classic Canadian landscape school sought the uniqueness of Canada's physical identity, its natural landscapes. Now, landscape is who we are. How are the nation’s artists representing this complexity, visually and conceptually?”

Renee van der Avoird revealed, “I admire artists who take risks, confront paradoxes, experiment with materials, and imbed nuanced, authentic narratives into their work.”

Meera Sethi, Poonan Aunty (Upping the Aunty Series), International Merit Prize $2000

2018 Award Winners:

$2000 International Merit: Meera Sethi, Poonam Aunty (Upping the Aunty Series)

Upping the Aunty are a series of paintings that explore the iconic “South Asian Aunty”; her personal style and her unique role in our lives. The project is an example of transnational, diasporic cultural production that pays homage to the fabulousness of aunty style and her role in changing, shaping and performing social and cultural knowledge.

Meera Sethi is a Canadian visual artist whose practice encompasses a range of mediums to pose questions about the relationship between migration, diaspora, hybridity and belonging. Her work foregrounds contemporary histories on the edges of representation, especially queer, diasporic and post-colonial moments. Fashion and the politics of dress is a persistent theme.

$1000 National Merit - Alexandra Majerus, Dynasty

Dynasty is a series of photographs that explore family history and changing values. This series of still lifes documents objects found in my mother’s home in Barbados that carry histories of multiple generations of my family. The objects range from Caribbean objects, such as baskets and sea shells, to fine glassware that my grandmother and great-aunt received as wedding gifts. These items that would traditionally be passed down through generations, but as our family decreases in number, I am left with questions. How are objects deemed essential for any middle-class home in one era unnecessary in another? Yet have finer craftsmanship than the objects now frequently found in Western homes. What would I do with objects that I do not need yet have sentimental value? As a childless woman, what would I do with the objects after I die?

Recently completing her MFA at OCAD University, Majerus is a multidisciplinary artist who works in photography, video performance and installation. Her practice engages with the notion of western culture, its categorizations (and stereotypes), often to examine issues of hybridity and displacement. Majerus has exhibited in Toronto, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Trinidad, Bulgaria, and Paraguay and is the Director of Unpack Studio Art Projects & Havana Residency.

$500 Innovation Award - Tyler Durbano, Reading the Room

Reading the Room introduces ideas of vulnerability and exposure to my creative research. Replacing the graph paper with hair in the hygrothermograph, a device which normally records the temperature and humidity in a gallery, removes its original function and makes room for a metaphorical one. Many within the queer community persistently check and recheck their posture, pitch of voice AND consider who is watching them and how they are being perceived. It is a reminder that signifiers of identity are being perceived by others, and not always as desired.

Tyler Durbano is a queer Canadian artist and cultural worker. He earned a BA from Acadia University (2009), a BFA from NSCAD University (2013), and a MFA from Western University (2018). He has exhibited in artist-run centres and galleries throughout Ontario and Nova Scotia, including Eyelevel Gallery (Halifax), Forest City Gallery (London), Satellite Project Space (London), and MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie). In 2013-14, Durbano was a NSCAD University Community Studio Resident in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

Left: Alexandra Majerus, Right: Tyler Durbano

Congratulations to the 2018 Selected Artists:

K.I.A (Toronto)
Peter Adams (Creemore)
John Anderson (Stayner)
Betty Bishop (Barrie)
David Brandy (Toronto)
Yael Brotman (Toronto)
Courtney Clinton (Montreal)
Tanya Cunnington (Orillia)
Michael Drolet (Whitby)
Tyler Durbano (Barrie)
Elizabeth Fearon (Belleville)
Midori Fullerton (Tottenham)
Margriet Hogue (Red Deer)
Phil Irish (Elora)
Ana Jorge-Moore (Toronto)
Andrew Maize (Oro Medonte)Alexandra Majerus (Toronto)
Larissa Mattwich (Toronto)
Justin Mencel (Toronto)
Giuseppe Morano (Toronto)
Shawna Munro (Windsor)
Addae Nurse (Brampton)
Rod Prouse (Tiny)
Ronald Regamey (Oro-Medonte)
Meera Sethi (Richmond Hill)
Sage Szkabarnicki-Stuart (Toronto)
Joseph Thomson (Hamilton)
Kimberly Tucker (Apsley)
Bob Tunnoch (Marmora)
Katja van den Enden (Newmarket)
Erin Vincent (Toronto)
Isaac Watamaniuk (Kitchener)
Nelson White (St. John’s)

For more information, please contact Curator Jill Price at





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