Arts & Culture | SPONSORED

5 Western Canadians named finalists in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition

15 emerging artists compete for $85,000

October 4, 2016

By RBC Emerging Artists Project

The jury has spoken, and for five Western Canadians that means the chance at a prestigious spot in RBC’s corporate art collection.

Now in its 18th year, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition invites emerging artists from across the country to submit their work. This year’s competition saw a total of 568 entries, which demonstrate the strength of up-and-coming artists in Canada. “Each year, RBC’s Canadian Painting Competition attracts a diverse group of young artists and each submission is a strong reflection of the artistic excellence we have in the Canadian arts community,” said Robin Anthony, the curator for RBC.

Winners will be announced on September 20, 2016 at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, with the top three paintings earning a spot in RBC’s offices, reception areas and boardrooms around the world. The top spot will receive a cash prize of $25,000, two honourable mentions will each receive $15,000 and all remaining finalists will receive $2,500. The annual competition is a part of the RBC Foundation’s commitment to invest in local artists and further the Canadian art scene.

Here’s a quick breakdown on the Western Canadians still in the running for the top spot:


M.E. Sparks – Vancouver, BC

“The repeated blocks in my work function as confrontational and generative forms that both obstruct and actively construct the space of the painting,” says Sparks.


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Angela Teng – Vancouver, BC

Teng’s works address the materiality and tactile qualities of paint through the application of oil paint to crocheted surfaces and the crocheting of acrylic paint.


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Cameron Forbes – Saskatoon, SK

“My paintings are a way of contemplating place,” says Forbes, who paints en plein air in order to translate the spatial experience to viewers.


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Brian Kokoska – Vancouver, BC/New York, NY

Brian Kokoska describes his work as poetic, playful and distorted. “My work offers a challenging take on contemporary painting,” he says.


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Brian Hunter – Winnipeg, MB

“I’m interested in how the power and importance of an object can be transformed through time,” says Hunter, who depicts artifacts empty, emphasizing their simultaneous mystery and nostalgia.


For more information on the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, visit rbc.com/paintingcompetition. To learn more about all 15 finalists and to view their paintings, visit canadianart.ca.

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