2008 Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize emerging Vancouver artists

Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan and City Council recognized 10 emerging artists at the annual Mayor’s Arts Awards Monday night at the Vancouver Playhouse. The awards ceremony, hosted by the Mayor, paid tribute to the work of 13 honourees who have made a significant contribution to the arts and cultural life of Vancouver as well as the 10 emerging artists.
Each artist or community member was nominated by a jury of peers convened by the Alliance for Arts and Culture. Each honouree is invited to select an ’emerging artist’ in their discipline who demonstrates the promise of the next generation.
The 2008 emerging artists are:

Performing Arts
Jocelyn Morlock, Music; Jennifer Clarke, Dance; Jamie Nesbitt, Theatre.

The 2008 Honourees are:
Studio Arts
Bing Wing Thom, Craft and Design; Robert Le Crom, Culinary Arts; David Paperny, Film and New Media; Daphne Marlatt, Literary Arts; Liz Magor, Visual Arts; John Mitchell and Vincent Trasov, Public Art; Richard Tetrault, Community Arts.

Performing Arts
Denise Ball, Music; Peter Bingham, Dance; Bill Millerd, Theatre.

Support of the Arts
Yulanda Faris, Philanthropy; Odlum Brown Limited, Business Support; Rob O’Dea, Volunteerism.

Other artists recognized at the event included George McWhirter, Inaugural Poet Laureate for 2007-09; Michael Kluckner for Vancouver Remembered, the 2007 City of Vancouver Book Award Winner; and Kevin Schmidt and Rhonda Weppler, recipients of two Artist Live/Work Awards for 2005-08.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards recognize established and emerging artists in a wide array of disciplines, from literary to culinary to performing and visual arts, reflecting the wide reach of Vancouver’s creative sector.

For more information, visit www.mayorsartsaward.ca 

2008 Mayor’s Arts Awards:

Emerging Artists Biographical Information

Studio Arts

Craft and Design
Steven Cox is co-founder and design director of buildings, interiors and branded environments for Cause+Affect, a Vancouver-based multidisciplinary design agency he co-founded in 2004. While living in London, England from 1998-2003, he designed the award winning VXO House, and designed and branded environments for Selfridges and Virgin Atlantic Airways. In Canada, he spent almost two years in the office of Arthur Erickson designing international residential and museum projects. He has received numerous awards and been recognized as a design visionary and leader in his generation of designers. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Manitoba, and has professional qualifications as an architect in the UK.

Jane Cox is co-founder, creative director and brand strategist of Cause+Affect. While living in London, England, she led and designed projects for AOL/Time Warner, Global Crossings and Clifford Chance, and expanded the design services of Gensler’s retail focused design studio to include brand and business strategy. In addition to Cause+Affect, she co-founded Jorg&Olif, a sustainable lifestyle brand with global cachet. She received a Bachelor of Interior Design and was awarded the design thesis prize from the Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba.

Culinary Arts
Karen Gin started as Executive Sous Chef at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver in 2007, and a splash of Gin has proven to be the key ingredient in the Griffins and 900 West kitchens ever since. Karen began studying for a career in Marine Biology, but at the encouragement of her sister, who long recognized her passion for discerning cuisine, she changed her focus and enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at Vancouver Community College. After graduation in 1995, she was first cook at The Fairmont Waterfront, and has made remarkable progress in her career in just 13 short years–moving from first cook, to chef de partie, to sous chef and now executive sous chef.

Film and New Media
Born in the mountain metropolis of Chongqing, China, Yu Gu was raised in Vancouver. Fluent in French and Mandarin, she is currently pursuing an MFA degree in film production at USC. Nourished by fine arts and trained in film, she has a highly visual style of storytelling. Her experimental short The Pencil and the Curse was shown at many festivals and broadcast on AZN Television. The science-fiction short The Nothing Pill was shown in several festivals in the US and selected for the website jaman.com. This year, she was selected as a finalist in the Coca-Cola Refreshing Filmmaker’s Contest with her commercial short Boneyard Bash. Interested in culture and migration, she shot and directed City on the Verge, a 30-minute documentary about passionate Vancouverites which won the Special Jury Prize at the United Nations World Urban Forum 2006.

Literary Arts
Garry Thomas Morse is a local poet and writer with two published books of poetry, Transversals for Orpheus (2006) and Streams (2007). He has created more than 30 chapbooks of poetry and is the chief editor of an online read-only hyperclack of fresh writing called Lexican Radio (www.lexicanradio.com). His work has appeared in several literary journals and his manuscript Go Medieval was selected as a runner-up for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. He is the lead developer for ‘estudent.ca’. He also sings in the chorus for OperaProCantanti. A Vancouver native, Garry is looking forward to the publication of his short stories and accompanying novella Death in Vancouver, which will be available from Talon Books in 2009.

Visual Arts
Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are Vancouver-Based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2004. Born in Winnipeg and Calgary, respectively, both artists have MFA degrees from UBC, where they met in 1996. In 2006, a touring exhibition of their work was mounted in five Canadian cities. Other exhibits include: solo shows at Mount Saint Vincent University Gallery, and in Vancouver at the Contemporary Art Gallery; group shows at the National Gallery of Canada, Tokyo Wonder Site, and loop-raum (Berlin). Her work has also been exhibited at the Palazzo delle Papesse (Siena), and COCA (Seattle), while his work has been shown at the Queens Museum of Art and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Mahovsky has written for journals including Artforum and has been a resident at apexart in New York. In 2007 Weppler completed a New York ISCP residency. Their work is represented in public collections including the National Gallery of Canada.

Public Art
Kika Thorne completed her MFA at the University of Victoria in 2007 where she studied with artists Lynda Gammon, Luanne Martineau and philosopher Taneli Kukkonen. She has participated in collaborative temporary public sculpture projects in Toronto but only emerged as an autonomous sculptor since her return to the West Coast. Her recent work includes large scale ambient abstractions that are suspended in tension, and which appear to construct an agreement out of ordinary materials. She has exhibited her work across Canada and internationally in Berlin, Tokyo and Paris. This autumn she will be exhibiting her work at The Apartment in Vancouver.

Community Arts
Whitehorse-born Dan Bushnell is a Vancouver-based artist with more than ten years experience working with diverse communities, successfully leading teams from conception to completion in the creation of meaningful public artworks in a variety of media. Recent projects include Rocky Point Park in Port Moody, where he coordinated, conceptualized and installed a fully integrated arts package; and Leigh Square Community Arts Village, where he was the lead artist in a multi-million dollar project in Port Coquitlam. His paintings and sculpture are represented in private collections across North America, and his animation work has been shown in North America and Europe. He is the Arts Co-ordinator at the Purple Thistle Centre in East Vancouver where he mentors youth in various creative activities.

Performing Arts

Jocelyn Morlock completed her doctorate in composition at UBC in 2002 and has performed her music across Canada and in the United States and Europe. Her quartet, Bird in the Tangled Sky was played at the 1999 ISCM World Music Days in Romania, was recorded by Toronto’s Continuum Ensemble and won the first annual CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composers competition. In June of 2002, her piece Lacrimosa represented Canada at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers (Paris) and has since been broadcast in 21 countries. In 2005, she was commissioned to compose Amore for the Montreal International Music Competition, and in 2008 Involuntary Love Songs for the Eckhardt-Gramatte National Music Competition. Her compositions explore unusual timbres made possible by extended playing techniques, at times in combination with relatively tonal or modal idioms.

Jennifer Clarke graduated from the University of Calgary with a BA in Literature and Contemporary Dance. For the last seven years, she has been performing her own improvised and choreographed work at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, Dancing on the Edge, Vancouver International Dance Festival, Dances for a Small Stage and 12 MM. She has danced for choreographers such as Peter Bingham, Jennifer Mascall, Denise Clarke, Paras Terezakis, Nicole Mion, Helen Walkley and Emily Molnar. She has also collaborated and performed in Calgary’s Fluid Festival and One Yellow Rabbit’s interdisciplinary festival. She collaborates extensively with sound artists and improvisers such as Anne Cooper and JP Carter. In 2007, she was commissioned by EDAM to create Highly Unlikely but Very Serious, a piece that marked her expansion into sound making as well as dance and choreography.

Since graduating from Studio 58 Theatre School in 2006, Jamie Nesbitt has broken new ground in the area of projection design for live theatrical events. He has designed for almost every major theatre company in Vancouver including The Arts Club, The Playhouse, Bard on the Beach, The Gateway, The Electric Company, Pi Theatre, Rumble Productions and Greenthumb Theatre. In 2006, he was awarded the Earl Klein Memorial Scholarship; in 2007, with four Jessie nominations to his credit, he received the Sam Payne Award at the Jessie Theatre Awards. Next year his work will be seen in Vancouver at The Playhouse, in Victoria at the Belfry, in Whitehorse at the Yukon Art Centre and in Toronto at The Canstage Theatre Company.