Audain Prize for Visual Art awards $100,000 to Dana Claxton

Ora Sawyers

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — At a luncheon held today in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, the Audain Prize for British Columbia’s most distinguished artists was awarded to Dana Claxton. Ms. Claxton works with film, video, photography, single/multi-channel video installation, and performance art. She has exhibited across Canada and internationally and her practice investigates indigenous beauty, the body, the socio-political and the spiritual.

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Dana Claxton is a member of Wood Mountain Lakota First Nations located in SW Saskatchewan and she resides in Vancouver. Among her many awards, Claxton received the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2020) and the YWCA Women of Distinction Award (2019). Claxton also is Professor and Head of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory with the University of British Columbia.

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“It is a great honour to be included with this group which includes esteemed B.C. artists like Susan Point, Jim Hart and Robert Davidson, all who have won the Audain Prize,” says Dana Claxton.

The Audain Prize, which was established in 2004, is one of the big three annual Canadian arts awards granting the winner a cash prize of $100,000. The Scotiabank Giller Prize (celebrating excellence in Canadian fiction) and the Sobey Art Award (for a contemporary Canadian artist) are in this rare company.

“Dana Claxton one of B.C.’s greatest artists,” says Michael Audain, Chairman of the Audain Foundation. “Besides having an outstanding international reputation, Ms. Claxton has had a considerable influence on younger artists and her UBC art students.

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“The Audain Foundation wants to see our leading artists have a higher profile. After all, British Columbia has many important visual artists who are not as widely recognized as they should be,” says Michael Audain. “With some of the world’s best contemporary artists, we believe they should be better known by all British Columbians.”

In addition to the $100,000 Audain Prize for Visual Art, the Audain Foundation funds five $7,500 travel grants for students in university-level visual arts programs. This year the winning recipients are:

Victoria Verge – University of British Columbia Okanagan
Nicole Mandryk – University of Victoria
Caitlin Ffrench – Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Noor Abouchehade – Simon Fraser University
Tiffany Law – University of British Columbia

“The Audain Art Museum is proud to be the managing institution for this prestigious visual arts award, as our permanent collection is exclusively focused on noteworthy historic and contemporary art production in British Columbia,” says Director & Chief Curator, Dr. Curtis Collins. “Selected by an independent jury composed of curators and artists, such a prize speaks to the ongoing vitality of creativity across the province.”

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The Audain Prize was established in 2004. Past Audain Prize recipients include:
Ann Kipling, Edward J. Hughes, Eric Metcalfe, Gordon Smith, Jeff Wall, Liz Magor, Robert Davidson, Rodney Graham, Marian Penner Bancroft, Takao Tanabe, Gathie Falk, Fred Herzog, Michael Morris, Paul Wong, Carole Itter, Susan Point, Stan Douglas, James Hart and Ian Wallace.

About The Audain Foundation
Established in 1997 to support the visual arts mainly in British Columbia, the Foundation has made over $160 million in grants, and recently announced a transformational gift of $100 million to the Vancouver Art Gallery.
In 2016, the Foundation expanded its scope to include wildlife conservation, with a special emphasis on grizzly bears.

About the Audain Art Museum
The Audain Art Museum is grateful to be on the shared, unceded territory of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation and Lil’wat (Lil̓wat7úl) Nation. It is located on Blackcomb Way adjacent to Whistler Village. Opened in 2016, the museum houses a large portion of the art collection that Michael Audain and his wife Yoshiko Karasawa amassed over the past 40 years. Their world-class Northwest Coast art collection is on permanent display, plus there are galleries for special exhibitions of Canadian and international art.

For media enquiries please contact:

Charley McIntyre
Associate Executive Director
Cell: 778.835.2876
[email protected]

Ross Sullivan
Media Relations for the Audain Prize
Cell: 604.802.7139
[email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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