Two OCAD U alumni win 2018 Governor General's Award

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced that Spring Hurlbut (AOCA, 1973) and Midi Onodera (AOCA, 1983) are among this year’s winners of the $25,000 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

The prestigious $25,000 awards are funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, recognizing artistic achievement in visual and media arts and fine craft.

Onodera, a Toronto media artist, has been making films and videos for over 30 years. She has more than 25 independent short films to her credit as well as a theatrical feature film and short videos. Beginning in 2006, Midi created some 500 short videos or “Vidoodles” for various projects. She has published two essays on mobile cinema for the media journal Jump Cut.

Tanya Mars, a performance artist who nominated her says:

“Midi Onodera gained critical acclaim very early in her career with two remarkable films: Ten Cents a Dance (Parallax) (1985) and The Displaced View (1989) which launched her reputation as a thoughtful, daring filmmaker at a time when there was very little diversity in Canadian art.”

Hurlbut is known for her photography, large-scale installations and sculptures which sometime feature bones, claws and eggshells. She also makes large-scale installations, at times incorporating museum artifacts. Hurlbut was included in the 2010 Canadian Biennial and has exhibited in New York, Mexico City and Stuttgart, among other cities. Her art has been collected by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, among other institutions.

Hurlbut was nominated by curator Jessica Bradley, who stated:

“Spring Hurlbut’s contemplative and eloquent works unsentimentally address mortality and our inevitable destiny in death. Her dedication to a subject so commonly avoided in contemporary Western culture is singular and courageous.”

The other winners are:

  • Glenn Alteen, curator, director, Vancouver (Outstanding Contribution Award)
  • Bruce Eves, visual artist, Toronto
  • Wyn Geleynse, media artist, London, Ont.
  • Spring Hurlbut, visual artist, Toronto
  • Jessica Bradley, curator (nominator)
  • Sandra Semchuk, photographer, Vancouver
  • Adrian Stimson, visual and performance artist, Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in Alberta
  • Jack Sures, ceramic artist, Regina, Sask. (Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in fine crafts)

The recipients will be presented their medallions by the Governor General of Canada, Julie Payette, on Wednesday March 28 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.