Call for Applications: Ellen Neel & Beau Dick Award in Art History, Visual Art & Theory

Image credit: Ellen Neel in her studio, 1958, Photo: Gar Lunney/Library and Archives Canada /National Film Board Fonds/e011176933

The Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory is now accepting applications for the 2023/2024 Ellen Neel and Beau Dick Award in Art History, Visual Art and Theory,

Award Details:

Awards totalling $2,000 have been made available through an endowment established by the Audain Foundation, the Faculty of Arts, and  friends and family in memory of Ellen Neel and Beau Dick, for Indigenous students enrolled in a major, minor or graduate program in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory (AHVA) who are in good academic standing. Ellen Neel (1916-1966) was a Kwakwaka’wakw artist and the first woman recognized for carving poles on the Northwest Coast. In 1948 Neel presented the Victory Through Honour pole to the UBC Alma Mater Society in front of a crowd of six thousand people. Chief Beau Dick, Walas Gwy Um (1955-2017) was a master carver and knowledge keeper of Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial tradition who activated ceremony as a way to engage contemporary politics. He was AHVA Artist in Residence from 2013-2017. Neel and Dick were known for their powerful advocacy on behalf of their communities. 

We are also dedicating the award to Linnea Jericho Watts (1991-2023), who was instrumental in establishing this award on the passing of her father, Beau Dick in 2017.

Image credit: Beau Dick in his studio, Audain Art Centre, 2016, Photo: Rob Bos


  • Indigenous Graduate students, undergraduate majors/minors currently enrolled full-time (cannot be on leave) in the Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory

Terms of Award: 

  • This award is intended to recognize Indigenous students within the Department who embody the community spirit exemplified by Ellen Neel and Beau Dick
  • A student may hold this award once per academic year.

Application Procedures:

Please complete an application form at this link Ellen Neel and Beau Dick Application and include a statement (250 words) which outlines how you are involved and the types of service you provide in your community by Monday 8 April, at 4:00 PM

We regret that late applications will not be accepted.