AHVA Alumna, Jeneen Frei Njootli Is Shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award

Photo courtesy of Emmanuel Etti



Jeneen Frei Njootli (MFA 2017) is one of five Canadian artists shortlisted for the prestigious Sobey Art Award, representing the West Coast and the Yukon region.

The Sobey Art Award honours Canada’s most exciting young artists. It is awarded to a visual artist age 40 and under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. The winner receives the top prize of $100,000 while the four shortlisted finalists receive $25,000 and longlisted artists receive $2,000 each.

In her juror’s statement, Melanie O’Brian says Frei Njootli’s work “engages her cultural history and personal experience through performance, sound and installation. Her Gwich’in territory (Old Crow, Yukon) and culture are taken up in her approach to land and social networks, and her work interrogates the histories of her materials, their relationship to trade, ceremony, politics and the body, particularly her own.”

The 2018 jury is comprised of Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous art history and community engagement Heather Igloliorte; Musée d’art de Joliette Chief Curator Jean-François Bélisle; Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada Director of Programs November Paynter; independent curator Kristy Trinier; Simon Fraser University Galleries Director Melanie O’Brian; and Salzburger Kunstverein Director Séamus Kealy (BFA 1996; MA, CCST 2005).

The winner will be revealed on November 14 at the National Gallery of Canada, which will host an exhibition of the five shortlisted finalists opening October 3, 2018.

Frei Njootli received the Hnatyshyn Foundation, William & Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Canadian Artist in 2016 and was recently awarded the 2017 Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver Artist Prize. Find out more about her artistic practice.

Read more about the Sobey Art Award and the shortlisted artists.