University of Manitoba alumni receive Governor General arts awards
Three visionary artists who are alumni of University of Manitoba will be honoured with the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
For nearly 20 years the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts have celebrated Canada’s boldest artists, recognizing the remarkable talents that enrich our culture, stir our imaginations, and jolt our perceptions of who we are as a nation.
Three University of Manitoba alumni, Robert Houle, Micah Lexier and Reva Stone have achieved this feat and will be honoured at the upcoming awards later this month.
“The University of Manitoba’s School of Art is one of the oldest and most respected in our country. For over 100 years it has nurtured the creativity of visionary artists who challenge our world views, and remind us how beautiful life is,” says David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Manitoba. “The University of Manitoba is proud of the exceptional accomplishments of our alumni and we congratulate and thank them for all their important works.”
“I’m a little bit overwhelmed with all this attention. One doesn’t expect these things,” says Robert Houle. “When I was studying at the U of M in the 70s I was studying romantic poets and I took a course in art history, which began my interest in art and changed the course of my career.”
Robert Houle has significantly shaped Indigenous art history. Exhibited nationally and internationally, his art is a force that compels and disarms, and through it he opens a direct dialogue on the toughest issues in Canada’s history and contemporary society – his recent work examines his own Residential School experiences, acting as a testament to the survival and strength of Indigenous people. Houle is a member of Sandy Bay First Nation, Manitoba, who graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in Art History in 1972.
Reva Stone’s work explores how technology alters the way we interact with our surroundings and how it is changing our human nature. Her interactive and provocative installations have been exhibited across Canada, and since graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1985 with a BFA(Hons.) she has been a vital member of Winnipeg’s arts community, serving on boards such as Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art,Video Pool Inc., and the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art. One of her most well known installations, Imaginal Expression, uses imagery of protein molecules to explore how science and technology are changing what it means to be human.
Micah Lexier is a Toronto-based multimedia artist who graduated with a BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1982. Internationally renowned, Lexier has had more than 100 solo exhibitions, participated in over 200 group exhibitions, and produced numerous permanent public commissions. One of his better-known and thought-provoking works is the photographic collections David: Then and Now (2005). It shows the effects of aging on 75 men named David, each shown at a different age from one to 75.