British Columbia carver James Hart, hereditary chief of the Eagle Clan of the Haida Nation, has won the $100,000 Audain Prize for Visual Art as the province’s most distinguished artist.
Michael Audain, chairman of the Audain Foundation, described Hart as “one of B.C.’s greatest living artists” and “a carver in a long line of Haida artists.”
Hart was born in 1952 in the Delkatla community of Masset, on Haida Gwaii, and spent time in the fishing industry before turning to art in 1978 when he was hired to assist artist Robert Davidson in creating the Charles Edenshaw Memorial House in Masset.
Hart studied Haida language, ceremony and cultural values and inherited the traditional title Chief 7idansuu, which had previously been carried by master carver Charles Edenshaw.
The Audain Foundation also announced five winners of $7,500 travel grants for university students in visual arts programs: Pip Dryden of the University of B.C. Okanagan; Carly Greene of the University of Victoria; Erick Jantzen of the Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Homa Khosravi of Simon Fraser University and Romi Kim of the University of B.C.
The Audain Prize was established in 2004 to raise the profile of B.C. visual artists who are internationally renowned but not as widely recognized at home.
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