How to become a professional artist

2015 Kingston Prize for Canadian portraiture winner Jen Mann (BFA, Printmaking, 2009) talks about how she's made it as a professional, full-time artist.

Embed Video: 
Admissions Segment: 

Alumna Jen Mann wins $20,000 prize

Realistic painting of a woman in front of crumpled foil
Monday, November 16, 2015 - 6:45pm

The winner of the 2015 Kingston Prize for Canadian portraiture was announced at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery on Saturday November 14. The $20,000 prize, presented by the W. Garfield Weston Foundation, was awarded by the jury to Jen Mann (BFA, Printmaking, 2009) of Mississauga, Ontario for the portrait entitled Self-Portrait as a Reflection.

Excerpt from the artist’s statement:

“The work deals with existential issues, specifically what makes something good or bad, who am I to you, and are we not the same thing inside. The painting from a distance looks hyper realistic, and in a sense it is, this realness is dealing with ideas of ‘what is reality’. When we look up close the painterly lines emerge and the piece looks more abstract, as the tinfoil devolves into geometric shapes.” Winners of the two Honourable Mention awards of $2000 each are Jessie Babin of Dalhousie, New Brunswick, and Leslie Watts of Stratford, Ontario. A total of 414 entries were received from all 10 provinces and one territory.

Jury members:

Stephanie Dickey, Professor, Bader Chair in Northern Baroque Art, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario

Glenn Priestley, artist, Fredericton, New Brunswick

Tom Smart, Curator, Peel Art Gallery, Brampton, Ontario

The Kingston Prize has been held every two years beginning in 2005. The mandate of the project is to promote excellence in contemporary portraiture and to raise public understanding and appreciation of the work of Canadian artists.