Congratulations to Seamus Gallagher, grand prize winner of the 2018 Starfish Student Art Awards. Last evening 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.
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?, 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 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)
Thank you to the creative businesses supporting the 2018 Starfish Student Art Awards:
Gold Sponsors: EllisDon Construction, Halifax Seaport, Rockhead Wine and Beer Market, Scotiabank, Stewart McKelvey, TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Group
Silver Sponsors: AyA Kitchens and Baths, Bryant Realty Atlantic, CKG Elevator Ltd, The Coast, Coastal Entrance Solutions, Compass Commercial Realty, Dexter Construction, Floors Plus, Flynn Canada Ltd, Gordon Stirrett Wealth Management, KW Commercial Advisors, Lydon Lynch Architects, Medavie Blue Cross, Office Interiors, Rogers, SouthEast Drywall, Wacky’s Flooring, Windmill U-Store It
Supporters: Attica Furnishings Ltd, Easco Electric, Garrison Brewing, Greenwood Lane, Marco Group, Miller Waste Systems, Rhyno’s Heating Cooling Ventilation & Refrigeration
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.