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Sobey Art Award – Atlantic
Tyshan Wright hails from the historical Maroon Town of Accompong in Jamaica. A “Keeper of the Heritage” (Jamaica Gleaner), Wright creates mixed-media representations of Jamaican Maroon instruments and ceremonial objects, examining the expulsion of Maroons from Jamaica to Halifax in 1796.
Wright’s work has been acquired by the Nova Scotia Art Bank, and has been presented in exhibitions and artist talks at Canadian galleries and museums, including the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax. He is a 2021–22 Artist-In-Residence Fellow at NSCAD University’s Institute for the Study of Canadian Slavery.
Tanya Busse is a visual artist working across the mediums of moving-image, installation and photography. Her practice explores the synthesis of nature, often combined with an industrial, post-human presence. She is interested in deep-time, invisible architecture, and how power is produced and articulated through material relationships and histories of place.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the Office of Contemporary Art in Oslo, the 13th Turku Biennial of Art in Finland, the Toronto Biennial of Art, the Nanaimo Art Gallery in British Columbia, Gallery 44 — Centre For Contemporary Photography in Toronto, and Röda Sten Konsthall in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Hannah Epstein works in textile and digital media. She received a B.A. in Folklore from Memorial University in 2009, and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2017.
Fascinated by the power of storytelling, Epstein uses a digital-folkloric lens to highlight the cultural negotiation between bottom-up storytelling (folk-to-commodity) and top-down storytelling (institution-to-mashup). Using traditional rug hooking as her primary medium, she finds resonance in archetypal figures of the collective unconscious, while also incorporating video, video games and interactive installations to explore story as foundational to our perception of reality.
Epstein’s work has been shown at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto, the Long Beach Museum of Art and the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles in California, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and The Rooms in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Letitia Fraser is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work centres around her experience as an African Nova Scotian woman, growing up in the province’s Black communities. She graduated with a BFA from NSCAD University in 2019.
As a painter, Fraser draws inspiration from her family and community history of quilting. She has participated in several group shows, the most recent of which was the two-artist show Family Patterns, held at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Fraser has also shown her work in the solo exhibition Mommay’s Patches: Traditions & Superstitions at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, and in a solo showcase at the Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery. She has also received numerous awards for her work, including the 2018 Nova Scotia Talent Trust RBC Emerging Artist Award.
Award-winning author and award-winning interdisciplinary Mi’kmaq/L’nu artist Michelle Sylliboy was raised on her traditional L’nuk territory in We’koqmaq, Cape Breton. While living on the traditional, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, Sylliboy completed a BFA at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and a Masters in Education at Simon Fraser University. She is currently a PhD candidate in Simon Fraser University’s Philosophy of Education program, where she is working to reclaim her original written komqwej’wikasikl language.
Sylliboy’s collection of photography and L’nuk hieroglyphic poetry, Kiskajeyi – I AM READY, was published by Rebel Mountain Press in 2019, and is now available as an e-book. She was recently made a tenure-track member of the faculty at Nova Scotia’s StFX University, in the departments of Education and Fine Arts.