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UM alumnus recognized with Sobey Art Award

April 28, 2020 — 

Luther Konadu [BFA(Hons)/2019] , one of 25 exceptional Canadian artists on the jury-selected 2020 longlist, received $25,000 from the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s most prestigious contemporary art prize.

The Sobey Art Award, established in 2002, aims to promote new developments in contemporary Canadian art while providing opportunities for artists.

This year, the awards jury elected to award all nominees the money because of the impact of COVID-19. Konadu was a nominee in the Prairie Region.

“We are so proud to be able to celebrate the work of these 25 talented artists,” said Rob Sobey, Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation. “These extraordinary, historic, and challenging circumstances will have a profound impact on the livelihoods and practices of artists across Canada and around the world. As we all adjust to the changes in our every-day lives, we recognize how artists and their art can bring us together. Our sincere wish is that this year’s longlist artists will utilize this additional support to continue to do so,” he added.

“It’s an unexpected respite of sorts amid our current backdrop,” said Konadu about the times we’re all living in now. “I feel very blessed and validated by the prize.”

In previous years, the longlist nominees would be awarded only $2,000. That would be followed by a top five shortlist who receive $25,000. Following that, a single winner would receive $100,000.

“The foundation responded to our current state of affairs tunefully and distributed the prize to each artist equally,” he said.

Konadu was nominated for his photographic art practice.

“I’ve been gradually developing pieces for the last five years,” said Konadu. “At the heart of my work, I’m interested in contesting the idea of photography as a tool for knowing and understanding what it depicts.”

The 2020 Sobey Art Award is jointly administered by the National Gallery of Canada and the Sobey Art Foundation.

Konadu has also been recently recognized by the Salt Spring National Art Prize and won the BMO 1st Art! Prize while he was still a student in the School of Art.

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