Starfish finalists announced
April 1, 2014

The names of the finalists are in and excitement is building!

Just a month away, the countdown to the Starfish Student Art Awards has begun, with 11 student finalists in the running for the grand prize: $5,000 and inclusion of their work in NSCAD University’s permanent collection.

Generously supported by local and national corporate sponsors, the Starfish Gala takes place Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m. at NSCAD’s Port Campus.

Finalists are selected by faculty members in 10 categories of artistic endeavor, from drawing to film and ceramics. So, without further ado, here are the names of the finalists:

  • Semina Baek: From South Korea, Semina is a finalist in the jewellery and metalsmithing category for her Citron Tea Brooch, one of the pieces recently on view at the Anna Leonowens Gallery during her show, I SAW DUST. Semina enjoys repurposing unconventional materials such as sawdust and used tea leaves and creating pieces of beauty and wonder.
  • Kristy Depper: Originally from Ottawa, Halifax resident Kristy is a finalist for her photographic series By Some Miracle. In her artistic investigation of infertility, the MFA student documents the daily hormone shifts of a woman’s menstrual cycle from saliva samples (the artist’s own) and blows up the microscopic pictures to large-scale photographs.
  • Josianne Desrochers: A transfer student from John Abbott College near Montreal, Josianne represents the ceramics department with her complex, three-dimensional wallpiece, Carnal Object 1. Handbuilt, slipcast and glazed, the Carnal Object series comments on the sexualized representations of women in the media, which are now so commonplace and omnipresent.
  • Conor Fagan: A Master of Fine Arts student from Baltimore, Maryland, Conor is a finalist in the painting category for Gestation, a work of “biomorphic abstraction.” The painting was inspired by his wife’s pregnancy and what he imagined it was like for his infant son in the womb.
  • Beck Gilmer-Osborne: Representing the intermedia category, the piece TUCK consists of video documentation and sculpture as ephemera from a performance in which the artist wears a chest binder constructed of plastic, fills it with milk, and drinks all of the contents. The video remarks on the artist's identity as a "non-binary trans" individual subverting concepts of "transition narratives." 
  • Hesameddin Hanafialamdari: Hesameddin is the finalist in the film category for his video short, EXI(s)T, based on a poem he wrote in his native Iran.
  • Merle Harley and Elyse Moir: Merle and Elyse are nominated as an artistic team for the collaborative printed work, Cancon: A Practical Guide to Canada, Volume I.  The volume consists of 11 prints gathered in a cloth-bound book which looks back nostalgically to reflect in a tongue-in-cheek way on nationalism, cultural icons and contemporary politics.
  • Jin Li: A graduating student from China, Jin is the textiles/fashion finalist for her woven work entitled Silent Voice. Jin weaves emotion and expression into images of raindrops on a window.
  • Lee Roth: A fourth-year student from Edmonton, Alberta, Lee is nominated for his sculpture, Water Bottles. It consists of 841 Pure Life water bottles arranged on the floor in a diamond shape.
  • Jack Wong: From Vancouver, B.C. Jack is nominated for his large-scale drawing, Rivers Grow Small. Drawn using charcoal and conte in shades of grey, it is a study of textures and is based on a painted self-portrait.

An exhibition of the finalists’ work will be on display during the Starfish Gala at NSCAD’s Port Campus and the announcement of the winner will be made during the event. Nine finalists will receive $1,000, with the $5,000 purchase price going to the winner, who is chosen by a four-member jury.

SEE:A photo gallery of the finalists and their work

This year, there will also be an opportunity to purchase NSCAD student work, including jewellery, paintings, prints, sculpture and photography, at the Starfish Student Art Sale.

NSCAD is grateful to Lou Resnick and Starfish Properties for their generous support of the Starfish Student Art Awards over the past five years.