The Georgia Straight

VIVA and Max Wyman awards announced for 2022

- By Martin Dunphy

The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation has announced the winners of 2022’s VIVA and Max Wyman awards. This year’s two VIVA prizes have been awarded to artists Jan Wade and Charles Campbell; UBC professor and contempora­ry-art curator Scott Watson received the Max Wyman Award for Critical Writing.

The VIVA Awards—founded in 1988 to advance visual arts in B.C.—are worth $15,000 and are granted annually to mid-career B.C. artists who display “outstandin­g achievemen­t and commitment” in their work.

(In years that the Shadbolt Foundation bestows the biannual Alvin Balkind Curator’s Prize, one VIVA prize is awarded; two are awarded in the subsequent year.)

The Max Wyman award carries with it a $5,000 prize as well as a special emeraldand-gold pin designed by Robert Chaplin, a Vancouver artist and jeweller. It has been awarded by the Yosef Wosk Family Foundation in collaborat­ion with the Shadbolt Foundation since 2021 and was founded by philanthro­pist Wosk in 2017 to honour Vancouver journalist, arts critic, and author Max Wyman.

A Shadbolt Foundation release said that the award recognizes “informed and compelling writing that stimulates critical thinking, fosters ongoing discussion about the role of arts and culture in contempora­ry society, and demonstrat­es the value of creative commentary in our understand­ing of the world around us”.

Wade, an African Canadian painter and textile artist who creates mixed-media assemblage­s as well as text pieces, moved to Vancouver from Hamilton, Ontario, in 1983.

The foundation release noted that her works—often made of recycled and found materials such as “antique buttons, coins, shells, Scrabble tiles, pop-culture figurines, and religious symbols”—are heavily influenced by the musical traditions of blues and jazz.

Before Wade’s recent solo Vancouver Art Gallery show, Jan Wade: Soul Power, she exhibited mainly in small public galleries throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Victoria-based multidisci­plinary artist and writer/educator Campbell is a former chief curator of the National Gallery of Jamaica and presently holds the title of adjunct curator with Charlottet­own’s Confederat­ion Centre Art Gallery.

Historical slavery and colonialis­m in the Caribbean region informs much of his work. Campbell, who was born in Jamaica and raised on Prince Edward Island, is presently studying B.C.’s Black pioneers.

UBC professor, writer, and curator Watson—who is a director emeritus and research fellow at UBC’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery—has won curatorial and writing awards, among other distinctio­ns, during his more than three decades of profession­al work.

The Max Wyman jury citation reads, in part, “...his informed and accessible curatorial commentari­es lead the viewer not only to fresh insights about the work under discussion but also, more generally, fresh understand­ing of art’s relationsh­ip with contempora­ry society”

 ?? Photo by Thelonius Dule Mthombeni. ?? Artist Jan Wade’s work was recently shown at the VAG.
Photo by Thelonius Dule Mthombeni. Artist Jan Wade’s work was recently shown at the VAG.

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