On May 3, The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada announced the long list for the 2022 Sobey Art Award. The visual art prize was first given in 2002, and previous winners include renowned artist like Brian Jungen, Ursula Johnson and Kapwani Kiwanga.
The list is broken down by region — Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and the North, and West Coast and Yukon — with each region having five nominees.
Twenty of the longlisted artists will receive $10,000, four shortlisted artists will receive $25,000, and the grand prize winner will receive $100,000. That makes it one of the most generous prizes in Canada, and also impressive by global standards. (For comparison, the U.K.’s Turner Prize, to which the Sobey Art Award is sometimes compared, has a grand prize of £25,000, or roughly $40,000.)
In addition, the five shortlisted artists will take part in an exhibition at the National Gallery.
“The Sobey Art Award underscores the importance of contemporary art in Canadian society at large,” says Dr. Sasha Suda, Director and CEO of the National Gallery of Canada in a press release. “As Chair of the Jury, I was excited to see so many courageous and exciting artists nominated. Narrowing the slate down to a long list was hard work, and I am extremely grateful to the jurors who had the great task of making this selection. The 2022 Sobey Art Award invites us to celebrate what contemporary artists contribute to Canada today, while offering us optimism for tomorrow.”
The longlist was selected by an independent jury consisting of curators from five regions, as well an international juror. The same jury will continue to participate for the remaining deliberation rounds.
The 25 visual artists longlisted for the 2022 Sobey Art Award from across the five regions of Canada are:
Stephanie Temma Hier
Timothy Yanick Hunter
Azza El Siddique
Prairies & North:
Anna Binta Diallo
tīná gúyáńí (Deer Road) collective
West Coast & Yukon:
Manuel Axel Strain
In 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee opted to give each of the longlisted artists $25,000, as what Suda called an effort to ensure “the short and long-term preservation of Canada’s contemporary art ecosystem in the face of the unknown.”
Until 2021, the Sobey Art Award was restricted to artists under 40, but that age limit was removed last year by the prize’s administrators. The 2021 prize was claimed by 42-year-old Nunavut artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory.