A Moose Cree artist who received a preeminent national award geared towards emerging artists in the contemporary Canadian arts scene is Wawatay’s Arts Story of the Year.
Duane Linklater received the Sobey Art Award, which is awarded to a Canadian artist age 40 and under chosen “due to their extraordinary and rigorous practice” and who “demonstrates a distinct style and approach to film making, video, performance…where spectral and imaginative concepts are contrasted with tangible everyday environment.”
Established by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in 2002, the Sobey Art Award presented Linklater with $50,000.
Linklater, who was long-listed in April along with 29 other artists from across Canada, said he was “super surprised” and “really happy” to be chosen from the Ontario region to make the final five.
“I didn’t expect it because I was really happy just to be on the long-list” the 37-year-old said. “I didn’t want to get ahead of myself thinking I could make the shortlist because there were really awesome artists that were in the same list as me.”
Linklater was announced as the award recipient during a gala event at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia on Oct. 9.
Linklater, who now resides just outside of North Bay, first attended post-secondary school at the University Alberta to take Native Studies and Cree language with a minor in fine arts. After graduating, he returned to obtain his Bachelor of Fine Arts.
“Then I did a program with the National Film Board to make a short documentary and that was really helpful,” he said. “I started making film and video at that point.”
Linklater then enrolled in the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College in upstate New York where he completed his Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Video.
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