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Art Gallery of Ontario and Aeroplan Collaborate with the U.K.
for The Grange Prize 2012

Canadian and U.K. photography experts form nominating jury

(TORONTO/MONTREAL – March 8, 2012) The Art Gallery of Ontario and Aeroplan will collaborate with the United Kingdom for The Grange Prize 2012. The Prize will bring together artists and curators from both countries to form the nominating jury, who will each bring forth a selection of artists from their home country for consideration.

Four visionary photographers, two each from Canada and the United Kingdom, will be selected by the jury to enter in the running to win Canada's largest cash award for photography and the only major Canadian art prize whose winner is chosen by the public. In addition to the $50,000 awarded to the winner, the three remaining shortlisted artists receive an international residency and $5,000 each toward the creation of new work, bringing the total amount of cash granted to photographic artists to $65,000.

This year's jurors are:

  • Sophie Hackett, assistant curator of photography at the AGO; her projects have included Rhythm of a True Space (2008) and Songs of the Future: Canadian Industrial Photographs, 1858 to Today (2011). In partnership with the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival in 2010, she commissioned Barbara Kruger to create an untitled installation for the front façade of the AGO, marking the first time it had been used as a site for art.

  • Sara Knelman, a writer and curator based in London, U.K.; she is also a PhD candidate at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where she researches photographic exhibition in mainstream art institutions in recent decades. Between 2006 and 2009, she was curator of contemporary art at the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

  • Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, a U.K.-based artist duo whose work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Photographers' Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery in London, among other prominent international institutions. They are the recipients of the Vic Odden Award from the Royal Photographic Society, and are trustees of the Photographers' Gallery and Photoworks.

  • Charlotte Cotton, who has held the positions of curator and department head of photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, curator of photographs at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, and head of programming at The Photographers' Gallery in London. She is the author and editor of several books, including Then Things Went Quiet (2003), Guy Bourdin (2003) and The Photograph as Contemporary Art (2004).

"The AGO strives to create opportunities for the public to engage with art in meaningful ways. The Grange Prize gives our visitors, members and the international public a chance to participate in a dialogue about contemporary photography, and have a stake in the process," said Matthew Teitelbaum, the AGO's Director, and CEO. "The U.K. is well-known for its renowned photographers and holds a reputation as a global centre for contemporary art, and we're pleased to partner with Aeroplan for a fifth year to foster this essential cultural exchange and showcase the work of four fine artists."

"We are pleased to work with the AGO again on The Grange Prize and to help promote contemporary photography in Canada and around the world," said Vince Timpano, President and CEO, Canada, Aimia. "We look forward to celebrating the works of talented Canadian and British artists and we encourage the public to participate and vote for their favourite photographer."

The Grange Prize 2012 shortlist will be announced and online public voting will commence on Aug. 21, 2012. The AGO's exhibition of work by the shortlisted artists opens Sept. 5, 2012 with a public launch party that evening. Throughout the course of the exhibition, AGO visitors will also have the opportunity to vote in person at the Gallery. The winner will be announced at a gala reception at the AGO in November.

The Grange Prize, now in its fifth year, was awarded to Indian photographer Gauri Gill in 2011; Canadian artist Kristan Horton in 2010, when the partner country was the U.S.; Mexican photographer Marco Antonio Cruz in 2009; and Winnipeg-based artist Sarah Anne Johnson in 2008, when the partner country was China.

Updates, blog postings, and more information about The Grange Prize can be found at

Contemporary programming at the AGO is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aeroplan, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

Aeroplan, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program, is owned by Groupe Aeroplan Inc., doing business as Aimia a global leader in loyalty management. Aeroplan is a long-standing patron of the arts, with a history of supporting artists and arts initiatives across Canada. Of particular significance is the company's work, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, to develop The Grange Prize for contemporary photography. Aeroplan is committed to fostering a long-term, international dialogue about this important art form. Aeroplan has also joined the AGO in a partnership as the Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program, supporting planned AGO activities to engage visitors with photography, including special lectures and tours.

For more information about Aeroplan, please visit or

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2008 the AGO was redesigned by renowned architect Frank Gehry, resulting in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights of the transformed complex include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore the unique surroundings. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO's Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creativity programs for families, youth and adults. Visit to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

May 1, 2012: Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris

October 20, 2012: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.


For more images and more information, please contact:

Meagan Campbell, AGO, 416-979-6660 ext. 372,
Christa Poole, Aeroplan, 416-352-3745,

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