Recognizing NSCAD students for their outstanding work.

The Starfish Student Art Awards highlights the work of exceptional NSCAD students across ten visual arts disciplines. Established by property developer and art collector Louis Reznick, the winning artist receives a $5,000 purchase prize and their artwork is added to a special section of the permanent President’s Collection. Nine finalists receive $1,000 each. 

Congratulations to Seamus Gallagher, grand prize winner of the 2018 Starfish Student Art Awards

During a lively, well-attended gala at the Port Campus, the Starfish jury awarded top honours (and a $5000 purchase prize) to Seamus for his submission, a photographic triptych called, a space and place for all of us.

Seamus Gallagher

Seamus Gallagher, a space and place for us all, digital inkjet Prints (3), 2018

The installations constructed in a space and place for all of us are virtual worlds he has rendered using gaming engine technology, which are then extracted into print form, encompassing the frame. In bringing these digital aesthetics to a physical space, he aims to create an environment that forces the viewer to question what is real and what is fabricated. By photographing himself inside these worlds, Seamus wants to explore what it means for the body to interact with digital, otherworldly spaces.

The photography faculty which nominated Seamus said, “Seamus’s self portraits are technically accomplished and visually playful, which he skillfully contrasts with cynicism and hopelessness. His performative gestures, expressions and contortions challenge the conventions of portraiture, all within a background of childlike, hyper-cheeriness.”

Juror Mireille Bourgeois, and Artistic Director, IOTA, acknowledged the decision was difficult, but, “As difficult as it was there was one student who stood out above the rest. This artist shows the most obvious promise, who is responding to the changes and challenges in their field and in contemporary art. It is the most sophisticated and fully-realized work that moves beyond the rest and this year.”

Nine other outstanding finalists were recognized and awarded $1000 each for their fine works in nine other disciplines. Congratulations also go to:

  • Sculpture: Isabelle Foisy (BFA 2017), Fortitude, 2017, steel, copper, mesh, wood, mirror; 8’x4’x39”
  • Painting: Cameron Roberts (BFA 2018), Ornamental Princess, 2018, oil paint, oil pastel, acrylic, airbrush; 8’x5’
  • Ceramics: Julian Covey (BFA 2018), The Space In-Between, 2018, porcelain; 80”x50”x27”
  • Intermedia: Carrie Allison (MFA 2018), 150, 2017, beads, wood, polyethylene filament; 91”x59”
  • Drawing: Cullen Bingeman (MFA 2019), Windmill Road, 2017, India ink on paper; 6’x8’
  • Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing: Anastasia Pindera (BFA 2018), Enclosure, 2017, brass; 77.5×38.1×59 cm
  • Textiles: Camila Salcedo (BFA 2018), Hamaca, 2017, weaving, approx. 10’x4’ varies in height when hung
  • Film: Olivia King (BFA 2019), For Emma, 2017, film; 16:9 (1080 p)
  • Printmaking: Erika Krueger (BFA 2018), What’s left of her. What’s left of her?, 2017, relief and screen print; 6ft diameter, 10ft height

This is the ninth year for the Starfish Student Art Awards, named for presenting sponsor Starfish Properties and supported by more than 30 corporate sponsors. Established by property developer and art collector Louis Reznick and NSCAD University to recognize and promote exceptional students, the awards provide emerging artists with vital visibility as they embark upon their careers.

2018 Starfish Student Award Nominees

(2018 Starfish Student Art Awards finalists top row: Anastasia Pindera; Camila Salcedo; Carrie Allison; Erika Krueger; bottom row: Olivia King; Cullen Bingeman; Cameron Robert; Seamus Gallagher; Photography by Katherine Nakaska. Individual photos: Isabelle Foisy, top right, photo provided by artist; Julian Covey, bottom right, photo by Erica Flake)

Members of the 2018 Starfish Student Art Awards jury are: Susan Charles, Director of the Mary E. Black Gallery; Jamie McLellan, Community Developer, Culture and Events HRM; Mireille Bourgeois, Program Officer Arts Nova Scotia; and Linda Hutchison, Associate Vice President, University Relations, NSCAD University. The Starfish Student Art Awards are coordinated by Melanie Colosimo, Director of NSCAD University’s Anna Leonowens Gallery.

Contact Information
902 494 8175 telephone

Award Archive

View the past nine years of winners and nominees.

Next Gala

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Presenting Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors