NSCAD prof wins Masterworks Award
October 30, 2012

Sculpture/installation artist Kim Morgan didn’t come with a prepared speech to the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Celebration on Saturday night—never expecting her name to be called.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” said the winner of the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Art Award. “Each of the finalists was nominated for a fabulous work of art. I really have no idea how the jury could pick a grand prize winner.”

The award goes to the NSCAD professor for her installation, Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI. Created in the summer of 2010 with the help of a crew of NSCAD students, the enormous work is a latex rubber imprint of the interior and the exterior of a decommissioned range light.  It acts as a memorial of sorts by representing a way of life that no longer exists but is still remembered—when ferries instead of the Confederation Bridge linked Prince Edward Island to mainland Canada.

“It’s been a very important project for me—it has meaning for me personally but it also has universal meaning. It signifies change, change through technology and globalization. The range light is really an iconic symbol on the coast and I wanted to make something that would relate to my new home. But I’m from Saskatchewan, and if not a range light, it could have been a grain elevator.”

Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI is currently on display as part of Oh, Canada, an exhibition of Canadian contemporary art at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Mass. It has also been exhibited at Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery in Halifax and Confederation Place Gallery in Charlottetown, PEI.

The work is amazingly detailed, capturing such minutiae as wood grain and flaking paint on shingles, even as it overwhelms with its size. Kim experimented with the latex rubber “skin” technique in two previous works—Fort Qu’Appelle Sanatorium, making imprints of the bedroom and living room of the doctor’s house at the sanatorium, and Weyburn Mental Hospital, a cast of a nurse’s dorm room. Both were made and inspired by abandoned places, which are reputedly haunted.

Kim would like to pay credit to the NSCAD students—now alumni—who assisted in creating Range Light. They are Aaron Sinclair, Sarah Robinson, Alistair Rance and Susan Wolfe.

The four finalists for the Masterworks Art Award were given prizes of $3,000 each. Sandra Brownlee, one of the finalists, teaches in NSCAD’s textiles/fashion department and was nominated for her handmade book The Deluxe Edition of Departures and Returns.

Sarah Maloney, who teaches part-time in NSCAD’s Foundation program, was recognized with a $5,000 Established Artist Recognition Award, which recognizes mid-career, established, professional artists. Sarah is a sculptor who graduated from NSCAD with a BFA in 1988.

Another big winner of the night was Thom Fitzgerald, filmmaker and playwright. The director of Cloudburst, 3 Needles, The Event and The Hanging Garden won the Portia White Prize, valued at $18,000. He studied at NSCAD from 1988 to 1990.

Kim Morgan's Range Light, Borden-Carleton PEI on display at the Confederation Place Gallery, Charlottetown. Detail above.