Founded in 1975 and committed to providing artists with unique opportunities for critical engagement, exploration, and risk-taking, the Inc. (as it is known locally) is one of Canada’s oldest artist-run centres, offering its 250 members an accessible and inclusive forum to address the social and professional needs of artists.
A unique artist-run centre located in Vancouver, Gallery Gachet provides cultural infrastructure for a resilient arts network in the Downtown Eastside of the city. The gallery is run by and for emerging and established artists whose artwork contends with mental health diversities, marginalization, dis/abilities, and mad arts.
Founded as a studio collective in 1994, by recent graduates from the Alberta College of Art, Untitled Art Society (UAS) has been a steadfast cultural hub in Mohkinstsis/Calgary, providing not only much-needed affordable, physical space in which artists can work, but also the non-material structures of community within which such work thrives.
The three-member independent jury comprised of Governor General Award-winning curator Glenn Alteen, National Gallery of Canada Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Nicole Burisch, and artist Louise Lacey-Rokosh were delighted with the number and quality of submissions for the inaugural prize, and identified four centres which they felt merited honourable mentions for the important work they are doing in their respective communities. Congratulations to:
Hamilton Artists Inc. is doing vital and ground-breaking work, as are many other artist-run centres across the country. These are models that we should be paying more attention to. The Lacey Prize recognizes this important work, and brings the National Gallery of Canada into closer dialogue with artist-run spaces across the country. My congratulations to this year's winner and runners-up!
Established in 2019 by Dr. John Lacey in association with the National Gallery of Canada, the Lacey Prize recognizes the critical role of artist-run centres and small arts organizations to support artists and foster emerging practices in Canada.
Unique in Canada, the Lacey Prize is funded by a $1.3 million gift from Dr. Lacey and his late wife Naomi Lacey and represents a total commitment of $90,000 CA. Hamilton Artists Inc., which celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2020, receives $50,000. Two runners-up, Vancouver’s Gallery Gachet and Calgary’s Untitled Art Society (UAS), receive $20,000 each.
Underscoring the National Gallery of Canada’s commitment to building strong relationships with smaller, incubator art organizations, a contemporary curator from the Gallery will visit the winning organization in the coming year to conduct in-person meetings and studio visits.
The winners were announced on December 4, 2019.
Nominations for the second biennial Lacey Prize will open in the summer of 2021.
The Lacey Prize is made possible thanks to the support of the Naomi and John Lacey Family and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.
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