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Media Release


Jeremy Shaw wins the 2016 Sobey Art Award
Representing the West Coast and Yukon region,
he takes home CA$50,000
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The jury for the 2016 Sobey Art Award chose Jeremy Shaw, representing the West Coast and Yukon region, as the winner of the CA$50,000 top prize. He is the thirteenth Canadian contemporary artist under the age of 40 to win the annual award. The announcement was made during a gala event held last night at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The Award was presented to Shaw by last year’s winner, Abbas Akhavan. The jury issued the following statement about Jeremy Shaw’s achievement:

“Jeremy Shaw’s work speaks to a fundamental longing for transcendence. He creates and reflects extraordinary experiences and shows us how art can translate what is challenging to articulate. We are pleased to announce Jeremy Shaw as the winner of the 2016 Sobey Art Award.”

Jeremy Shaw’s work is on display in the 2016 Sobey Art Award Exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada until February 5, 2017 along with works from the other shortlisted artists for this year’s award. The four finalists, who each receive a CA$10,000 prize from the Sobey Art Foundation are:

  • Brenda Draney (Prairies and Northern Canada)
  • Charles Stankievech (Ontario);
  • Hajra Waheed (Québec);
  • William Robinson (Atlantic).

The 2016 Sobey Art Award Curatorial Panel was chaired by Josée Drouin-Brisebois, Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada, and composed of:

  • Barbara Fischer, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Art Museum at the University of Toronto - for the Ontario region;
  • Jonathan Middleton, Director and Curator of the Or Gallery - for the West Coast and Yukon regions;
  • Naomi Potter, Director and Curator of the Esker Foundation in Calgary - for the Prairies and Yukon region;
  • Marie-Justine Snider, Curator of the art collections of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec - for the Quebec region;
  • Pan Wendt, Curator of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown - for the Atlantic Provinces; and
  • international juror Nicolaus Schafhausen, Director of Kunsthalle Wien and Strategic Director of Fogo Island Arts in Newfoundland.

“On behalf of The Sobey Art Foundation and the Sobey Family, congratulations to Jeremy Shaw this year’s winner of the Sobey Art Award,” said Rob Sobey, Chair Sobey Art Foundation. “We are humbled by the excellence of his work, as we are with the work of each of the short and long-listed artists in this year’s exhibition. It is because of their contributions and creativity, the caliber of contemporary Canadian Art ranks among the best in the world. I wish to convey our deepest gratitude for the passion these artists have for their practice and how, through their work, they enhance and transform our collective perspective of ourselves.”

In 2016, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) became the organizing institution for the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s prestigious contemporary art prize. Building on the success achieved by the award’s founding partner institution, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the new partnership will foster and celebrate excellence in contemporary Canadian art nationally and abroad.

About Jeremy Shaw
Jeremy Shaw works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to map transcendental experience. Find out more about his work at High-resolution images are available by writing to

About the Sobey Art Award: The Sobey Art Award

About the Sobey Foundation: The Sobey Art Foundation

About the National Gallery of Canada:


Media contacts:
Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada
613-990-6835 or

Bernard Doucet
Sobey Art Foundation
902-921-1755 or