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Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2014 jury

AGO curator Sophie Hackett leads distinguished panel of jurors that includes Laurie Simmons and Okwui Enwezor

TORONTO — The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is pleased to announce the jury of experts who will award Canada’s largest photography prize this year. Sophie Hackett, associate curator of photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), will lead the 2014 Prize panel which will include luminaries Laurie Simmons, a New York photography and film-based artist, and Okwui Enwezor, director of Munich’s renowned Haus der Kunst.

One of the largest art prize programs in the world, the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize awards more than $85,000 CAD in cash prizes directly to artists working in photography each year, and each year’s winner is chosen by public vote. The Prize program is comprised of an annual exhibition, an online exhibition at, fully-funded artist residencies in Canada, public events and a national scholarship program.

“The AGO is committed to fostering an ongoing public dialogue about contemporary photography by connecting people with extraordinary images by Canadian and international artists,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, Director and CEO of the AGO. “We feel privileged to have Aimia as an equal partner in this endeavour, as our organizations share a meaningful passion for the advancement of photography and its artists both in Canada and globally. I’m delighted to welcome such distinguished jury members to this year’s prize, and I look forward to the many exciting moments to come. ”

“The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is a springboard for Canadian and international artists who have shown extraordinary potential in the course of the past five years,” says Vince Timpano, President and CEO of Aimia in Canada. “Aimia is dedicated to supporting a dialogue around contemporary photography by creating platforms for discussion and offering support to help artists achieve their goals.”

This summer the jury will select four finalists from a list of long-listed international artists nominated by a panel of photography experts. The finalists’ works will be exhibited at the AGO in an exhibition opening on Sept. 3, 2014, and each artist will receive a fully-funded six-week residency in Canada. The public is invited to vote on the finalists inside the exhibition and online beginning on Aug. 13, 2014 at The winner will receive $50,000 CAD.

The 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize jurors:

  • Sophie Hackett is the Associate Curator, Photography, at the Art Gallery of Ontario and adjunct faculty in Ryerson University’s master’s program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management. She is the lead juror for the 2014 AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, a role she also held in 2010 and 2012.
  • Laurie Simmons is a photography and film-based artist based in New York. Simmons’ work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to art making—transforming photography’s tendency to objectify people, especially women, into a critique of the medium. She has received many awards, including the Roy Lichtenstein Residency in the Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome (2005). She has also had major exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, participated in two Whitney Biennial exhibitions (1985, 1991) and was included in the 2013 Venice Biennial.
  • Okwui Enwezor is a Nigerian-born scholar, curator, and writer and has been director of Haus der Kunst since October 2011. Enwezor's extensive curatorial credits include exhibitions presented in museums and venues across the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, including Guggenheim Museum, Tate Modern, Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Gallery of Canada. He is the author of “Events of the Self: Contemporary African Photography from the Walther Collection,” among numerous other volumes. Enwezor has served as the artistic director of several leading biennials and international exhibitions, including documenta 11, 7th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea, and in December 2013 he was appointed as director of the Visual Arts Sector of the 56th Biennale di Venezia.

The four finalists from 14 long-listed artists were nominated by a group of leading Canadian and international experts in photography (curators, academics and artists). The nominators selected one photographer from their home countries or regions of expertise and one internationally.

This year’s nominators include:

  • Veronica Cordeiro, curator, Centro de Fotografía de Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Tamar Garb, Durning Lawrence Professor in the History of Art, University College, London, U.K.
  • Moyra Davey, artist and and nominee for the 2010 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize (then called the Grange Prize)
  • Marie-Josée Jean, director, VOX Contemporary Image Centre, Montreal
  • Mami Kataoka, chief curator, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
  • Kim Simon, writer and curator, Gallery TPW, Toronto
  • Jonathan Shaughnessy, associate curator, Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Jon Davies, associate curator, Oakville Galleries
  • Grant Arnold, writer, educator and Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
  • Gauri Gill, photographer and winner of the 2011 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize (then called the Grange Prize)
  • Gary Dufour, adjunct associate professor, University of Western Australia and former chief curator/deputy director, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
  • Brian Sholis, associate curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati
  • Beatrix Ruf, director/curator, Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich

The 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize long list will be announced on April 16, 2014. For updates on the prize and additional information please visit and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.


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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 2002 Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights 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 AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO’s Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, 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.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. 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.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:

Sabrina Bhangoo
Aimia I 647.329.5123 

Caitlin Coull
Art Gallery of Ontario I 416.979.6660 x 364

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