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National Gallery of Canada unveils finalists in its art contest for teens So You Want to Be an Artist?

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SOURCE National Gallery of Canada

OTTAWA, July 17, 2014 /CNW/ - The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) announced today the finalists in its contest for teens aged 16 to 19, So You Want to Be an Artist? The 15 finalists were selected from 117 youths who submitted their artworks. Twelve pieces were selected by the public, who voted online for their favourite ones.  For the first time since the contest was launched in 2011, three additional young artists saw their works selected by a NGC expert for their artistic qualities. The finalists' artworks are on view at soyouwantobeanartist.ca. Support for this contest is made possible thanks to the generosity of the RBC Foundation, a longstanding partner of the NGC and the visual arts in Canada.

"We congratulate all of our contestants," said Gary Goodacre, NGC Manager of Youth and School Programs. "The contest provides a great opportunity for youths to showcase their talent to a large and diverse audience. We hope this also helps them to develop useful skills that will serve them well in the future, no matter what career they may choose."

"It is inspiring to see talented artists coming out of high schools across the country," said Shari Austin, vice president, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and executive director, RBC Foundation. "At RBC we are committed to supporting artists in the early stages of their careers through the RBC Emerging Artist Program. Congratulations to all of the finalists, it is quite an accomplishment to be recognized by the National Gallery of Canada."

Talent from coast to coast to coast
Submitted artworks were created in a variety of media, including drawing, painting, photography, and digital art. The 12 artists whose works garnered the highest number of votes are: Kevin Nguyen, from Toronto, ON; Antonia Kallaur, from Montreal, QC; Gui-Anne Fauvelle, from St-Jérôme, QC; Jin Cheng, from Toronto, ON; Evelyn Zhang, from Markham, ON; Hannah Franes, from Ashcroft, BC; Megan Hazen, from Ottawa, ON; Florence Yee, from Montreal, QC; Kirollos Kilada, from Mississauga, ON; Annika Babra, from Brampton, ON; Matthew Walton, de Pasadena, NL; and Monica Bulos, from Missisauga, ON.

While an important part of becoming a successful artist is learning how to promote yourself and get your artwork seen, the Gallery wanted to ensure that talented youths who may not have large networks on social media were not overlooked. This is why it asked one of its experts, Associate Curator of European, American and Asian Prints and Drawings, Sonia Del Re, to select three additional artworks. The three artists whose works were selected are: Frédérik Giguère, from Sherbrooke, QC; Chris Donovan, from Hampton, NB, and Anna Weyant, from Calgary, AB.

Fifteen artworks on view
NGC visitors will be able to see the 15 finalists' artworks displayed on the Artissimo Gallery wall, next to the Special Exhibition galleries, from July 28 to September 1st, 2014.

Final Phase
On July 30, the jury will select the three grand prize winners, who will be announced in mid-August. The panel of judges will evaluate the 15 finalists' artworks on clarity of theme and message; originality and imaginativeness; and thought and feeling provoked in the viewer.

Members of the jury include Mélanie Boucher, teacher of museology and heritage at the École multidisciplinaire de l'image of the Université du Québec en Outaouais; Rachelle Dickenson, Curatorial Assistant, Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada; Christine Faucher, teacher at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques of the Université du Québec à Montréal; Jennifer Lefort, recipient of the prestigious Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award, and finalist in the 2007 RBC Canadian Painting Competition; Alex Livingston, Professor in Painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD); and Luke Painter, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Contemporary Painting and Printmedia department at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

Prizes that provide an opportunity
The artist who wins first prize will enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit to the NGC that will focus on careers in the visual arts, as well as a studio visit with Jennifer Lefort, the 2007 RBC Canadian Painting Competition finalist and recipient of the prestigious Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award. The first prize winner will also receive expert advice on his or her art portfolio and a $500 online gift certificate for art supplies.

The second prize winner will receive a $1,000 online gift certificate for art supplies, and the third prize winner will receive a $500 online gift certificate for art supplies.

Connect with the Gallery
Follow the Gallery's latest news on its social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

About the National Gallery of Canada 
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and internationally renowned collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art exhibition programme. For more information: gallery.ca.

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