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Archived - Ottawa artist Andrew Wright wins 2019 Karsh Award

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July 18, 2019
Announcements and Events

The City of Ottawa is pleased to announce that local artist Andrew Wright is the winner of the 2019 Karsh Award.

The peer assessment committee selected Mr. Wright from an impressive list of nominated artists. The jury was comprised of the curator of Photographs at the National Gallery of Canada, Lori Pauli, past Karsh Award laureate Michael Schreier, and Franco-Ontarian photographer Geneviève Thauvette.

Mr. Wright has used photography in traditional and decidedly non-traditional ways for more than 25 years. He was nominated for the Karsh Award twice, in 2010 and 2012, and was nominated six times for the Sobey Art Award, for which he was a semi-finalist in 2007. In 2011, he won the Gattuso Prize at the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto.

An Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Acting Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, Mr. Wright has been involved with many local community and cultural groups since moving to Ottawa in 2008.

Mr. Wright’s work has been shown worldwide, including at London Gallery West, Today Art Museum in Beijing, the former Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver and the Ottawa Art Gallery. His work is featured in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian High Commission in London and the Xi’an Art Museum in China.

The Karsh-Masson Gallery, located at Ottawa City Hall, will host an exhibit from January 23 to March 15, 2020.

City Council established the Karsh Award in 2003 to honour the enduring legacy of late photographers Yousuf and Malak Karsh. The $7,500 prize is presented every four years to an Ottawa artist for outstanding work in a photo-based medium. The Karsh Award laureate is invited to select artists for the 2022 Karsh Continuum Exhibition, which recognizes local photo/lens-based artists.


“The City of Ottawa is proud to honour the enduring legacy of Yousuf and Malak Karsh while paying tribute to the present and future of fine art photography in Ottawa. This year’s laureate, Andrew Wright, already influences the future of art as an educator, and will do so even more by selecting artists for the Karsh Continuum exhibit.”

Mayor Jim Watson

“Ottawa is a place where artists can learn and grow before sharing their art with the rest of the world. It’s also a place that welcomes and inspires artists from around the world, including those like Andrew Wright, who eventually call it home. The Karsh Award and the Karsh Continuum project help the City recognize all artists who make Ottawa part of their creative journey.”

Councillor Jenna Sudds, Chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Committee

“For 25 years, Wright has been making significant contributions, as an artist and art educator, to art communities in Ottawa, Canada and abroad. His inquisitive approach to art-making has resulted in an impressive and eclectic body of work that often combines playfulness with more serious meditations on perception and the technological underpinnings of both historical and contemporary image-making processes.”

Jury statement

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