(Fredericton, New Brunswick, June 19, 2023) – Out of an extremely strong field of nominated artists from across Atlantic Canada, the inaugural Theodore Prize is awarded to Newfoundland artist Will Gill.
Will Gill earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Mount Allison University in 1991, with a focus on sculpture. He has maintained a studio practice since graduation, evolving from a solely sculptural exploration, to one that encompasses photography, painting, sculpture and video work.
Career highlights of Will Gill include a commission for a large-scale installation at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche (2012), inclusion in a collateral exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), participation in The Arctic Circle Artist Residency in Svalbard Norway (2014) and a solo exhibition in the 2017 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto. In the summer of 2017, he installed a site-specific sculpture in Maberly, NL, as part of the inaugural Bonavista Biennale. A recent solo exhibition, From The Lion’s Den, stemmed from a Fogo Island Arts residency (2017) and was exhibited at The Grenfell Art Gallery Memorial University in 2020. The Scotiabank Photography Award longlisted his work for the 2021 competition. His works have been disseminated widely and are in many public, private and corporate collections throughout Canada. He lives and works in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
The recipient of the Theodore Prize is awarded by a jury of four arts professionals, including Jury Chair Ray Cronin, Independent Curator and Author, Nova Scotia, Dr. John Leroux, Director of the Marion McCain Institute for Atlantic Canadian Art at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Christeen Francis, Executive Director, St. Michaels Printshop, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Pan Wendt, Curator, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Prince Edward Island.
Jury Chair, Ray Cronin, says on behalf of the jury: “Will Gill’s work concentrates on moments between the sublime and the banal, the known and the unknown, presence and absence. He is doing something enigmatic and hard to pin down in his work, and as a result risks failure. But his risk-taking often succeeds, leading to a practice grounded in place, that is poignant and perceptive about life here. He works with and in the Newfoundland landscape in a unique way, making the picturesque strange. It is fitting that he ended up in Newfoundland, because he feels right at home on the edge.”
The Theodore Prize is a family-funded initiative led by the Throop Family Foundation to celebrate the professional accomplishments of an Atlantic Canadian visual artist. Stemming from a desire to give something back to the Atlantic Canadian Visual Arts Community, the prize is named for a special family member who exemplified generosity and good will. Administered by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Theodore Prize is an annual award of $20,000 given to an Atlantic Canadian artist whose work displays a high level of artistic and creative excellence, a command of the artist’s medium, and an acknowledged level of regard from the Atlantic Canadian curatorial/gallery community.
“The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is honored to administer the Theodore Prize on behalf of the Throop Family Foundation. It is very exciting to celebrate Atlantic Canadian artists, and we are very happy to see the Theodore Prize be awarded to an excellent artist from St. John’s Newfoundland who also has artwork in our collection.” says Beaverbrook Art Gallery Director, Tom Smart. “We look forward to highlighting Will’s accomplishments through this award and we encourage Atlantic Canadian artists to check next spring when applications open for the 2024 Theodore Prize.”
You can learn more about Will’s art by visiting his website at williamgill.ca.
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High resolution photos of Will Gill’s work are available upon request.
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