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Group photo of Governor General's Award recipients in Rideau Hall.

Four cohorts of GGArts Award in the Visual and Media Arts winners (2020 to 2023), December 8, 2023. Photography: Sgt Anis Assari, Rideau Hall © OSGG, 2023

Celebrating success at the School of Art – 2023 in review

December 19, 2023 — 

It was another phenomenal year for the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. Here are a few stories of the artists that broke new ground and filled us with pride in 2023.

Professors Grace Nickel and Lori Blondeau receive Governor General’s Awards

Congratulations to School of Art professors Grace Nickel and Lori Blondeau.

Nickel is the recipient of the 2023 Saidye Bronfman Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

A highly respected sculptural ceramic artist, arts mentor, lecturer, teacher, and curator, Nickel has been an important fixture in the Manitoba arts and UM School of Art community for more than 40 years. Learn more about Grace Nickel and the Saidye Bronfman Award.

Fellow School of Art professor Blondeau was also the recipient of the 2021 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts. Find out more about Lori Blondeau’s art.

Due to complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony for recent Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts winners was held on Dec. 8, 2023, where both professors were presented their awards at a special ceremony held at Rideau Hall with the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon.

The awards represent the most prestigious distinctions for artistic merit and outstanding contribution to Canada’s visual and media arts.

We are so proud to see these inspiring professors and artists receiving this much-deserved recognition.

Graduate named UM’s 100th Rhodes Scholar

Congratulations to School of Art graduate Joel Nichols.

This fall, Nichols was selected as a recipient of the 2024 Rhodes Scholarship, becoming UM’s 100th Rhodes Scholar, and the first successful finalist from the School of Art.

Joel Nichols

Joel Nichols.

Considered one of the most prestigious scholarships in the world, the Rhodes Scholarship provides funding for two years of full-time post-graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England.

Nichols is an interdisciplinary artist incorporating ceramics, drawing, painting, and printmaking into their work. Raised in Winnipeg, Nichols tackles topics pertaining to identity, queer theory, bodily autonomy, and the soul through art.

Edward Jurkowski, Director of the School of Art says: “We are extremely proud of Joel’s accomplishment. Along with his talent as a creative artist, Joel is a natural and gifted leader who did a remarkable job as co-president of the School of Art’s Student Association and with the various advocacy work that he oversaw. He is well-deserving of the honour as the first School of Art student to receive this prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.”

Visiting Curator Program continues to help developing curators find their voice

Since launching in 2021, the Visiting Curator Program has provided students, faculty and community members meaningful opportunities to engage with up-and-coming arts curators who are actively exploring new territories in their field.

Generously supported by Dr. Michael F.B. Nesbitt, the program has been providing mentorship for young curators as they produce three international-calibre exhibitions which they are hoping will help define contemporary art and its attendant discourses on the Prairies.

The latest exhibition, To Broadcast is to Scatter, curated by Visiting Curator Program mentee Shalaka Jadhav, features art works by seth cardinal dodginghorse, Cadence Planthara, Diana Sofia Lozano, and Natalia Villanueva Linares, with projects by June Canedo de Souza and Larissa Sansour & Søren Lind.

The exhibition is an exploration of the cycles of rot and regeneration, illuminating memory-marking within the human insistence on organizing time. As part of exhibition programming, artist seth cardinal dodging horse will perform their new work Dirt Dance #3 live on Thursday, January 25 at 7:00 p.m.

To Broadcast is to Scatter is the third and final exhibition presented as part of the School of Art Gallery’s Visiting Curator Program. This initiative supports curatorial research, exhibitions, events, and publications by emerging and established guest curators alike.

To Broadcast is to Scatter runs until Feb. 10, 2024.


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