A Visual Arts Alumna’s reviews of two Art Gallery of Windsor exhibitions won her the 2015 Canadian Art Foundation Writing Prize, a juried prize designed to encourage new writers on contemporary art.
Pearl Van Geest’s (MFA ’14) first review was on installation artist Bonnie Devines’ exhibition The Tecumseh Papers , which she wrote for ArtWindsor magazine founded by alumnus Arturo Herrara (BFA ’12) . The second was for the Possible Futures: What is to be done? exhibition.
“It is a great honour to receive this award,” says Van Geest, “I feel that it gave me affirmation that what I have been doing is worthwhile and that feels amazing!”
The artist, who has an active practice out of her Guelph studio, began exhibiting her paintings and installations upon graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1996, and was then introduced to UWindsor after working closely with professor emeritus Iain Baxter& on the ECOARTVAN project.
“Being connected to UWindsor has been very important to me,” says Van Geest,” The MFA program is very demanding and strong on expectations for reading, research and writing.”
She says that the close connection SOCA has with the Art Gallery of Windsor, the collegial atmosphere, and the opportunity to work with distinguished professors were all crucial to her experience at Windsor.
“We really helped, encouraged and critiqued each other,” she says, “The connection to the arts community and places to exhibit our MFA work such as SB Contemporary Gallery also added a professional context to the program.”
Currently teaching visual arts at the Toronto School of Art and at Brock University, the award winner will be commissioned to write a feature story for a future issue of Canadian Art and will receive a $3,000 award.
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