Lou Sheppard awarded Emerging Atlantic Canada Artist Residency

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BANFF, AB, April 26, 2017 – Following a successful first year in 2016, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity – together with The Hnatyshyn Foundation – is pleased to award interdisciplinary visual artist Lou Sheppard (Halifax, Nova Scotia) the second Emerging Atlantic Canada Artist Residency. Thanks to the generous support of the Harrison McCain Foundation, Lou will benefit from technical expertise, mentorship, studio visits, and opportunities to engage with artists-in-residence during an eight-week, self-directed residency at Banff Centre, followed by the opportunity to travel in Canada to speak about their experience and project.

 “I am so honoured to receive the 2017 Emerging Atlantic Artist Residency award,” said Sheppard. “This is an incredible opportunity for me to further my practice and complete a project that would not be possible without the resources and support of Banff Centre. I am grateful to the Hnatyshyn Foundation for investing in emerging art practices in the Atlantic region, bringing the work of young artists on the East coast to the rest of Canada.”

Sheppard was chosen by a national jury consisting of Peta Rake, curator of Banff Centre’s Walter Phillips Gallery; Amish Morrell, Editor of C Magazine; and, East Coast visual artists Eleanor King, Anne Macmillan, and Stefan St-Laurent

"I am happy to see Lou receive the Emerging Atlantic Artist Residency Award. I was inspired by Sheppard’s articulation regarding their relationship to the process and approach of making art, and I am confident the residency will be a positive experience in the creation of future work," said Anne Macmillan, jury member and recipient of the inaugural residency. “It was an incredible opportunity to participate in this jury, and to be exposed to the inspiring and diverse practices of talented artists throughout the Atlantic region."

“Lou works with found materials, such as videos uploaded to YouTube and publicly available climate change data, in ways that are both conceptually and lyrically affective," said jury member, Amish Morrell. "At a time when we are often overwhelmed or numbed by images that are either nostalgic for a past that no longer exists, or which portend future disaster, Sheppard reconfigures these images so we can more meaningfully contemplate the sociopolitical and ecological conditions that define our present."

During the residency, Sheppard will create a new work called Requiem for the Polar Regions for the upcoming Antarctic Biennale. Requiem for the Polar Regions is an aural exploration of the shifting ice masses of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. The project tracks daily changes in ice by analyzing available satellite imagery and then translates this data into musical notation. The resulting musical scores are then playable on the internet and made available for live performance.

“In a very competitive round of applicants, Lou’s practice shows great promise,” said Peta Rake, jury member. “The way they interrogate the present through various media and disciplines shows a deep connection to site that is not only relevant to the region of the Atlantic, but interchangeable to many locales, distorting the way in which place is understood collectively.” 

Valued at $30,000 each (with a commitment for three years), the Emerging Atlantic Artist Residency is a partnership with Banff Centre and the Hnatyshyn Foundation, and funded through the support of the Harrison McCain Foundation. The Residency aims to strengthen cultural connections between eastern and western Canada by giving one emerging visual artist from Atlantic Canada the opportunity to create new work within the inspiring surrounds of the Banff Centre over a period of eight weeks. 

“We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Lou for being selected from among a very strong field of candidates for the 2017 residency,” said Kim Lymburner, Executive Director of The Hnatyshyn Foundation. “Now in its second year, the residency has opened our eyes to the wealth of creative talent emerging from the Atlantic provinces. We are proud to partner with the Harrison McCain Foundation and Banff Centre to share this talent with the rest of Canada.”

To learn more about Visual, Digital and Media Arts residencies and events at Banff Centre, visit banffcentre.ca 

For more information, please contact: 

Kim Lymburner
Executive Director
The Hnatyshyn Foundation
tel: +1. 613.233-0108

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity:  Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach. banffcentre.ca

About The Hnatyshyn Foundation: Established by the late Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada’s twenty-fourth Governor General, the Hnatyshyn Foundation is dedicated to promoting and funding emerging, developing, and mid-career artists and curators in Canada through grants, residencies, and prizes totaling $200,000 annually. Its programs are funded by donations from individuals, private foundations, government, including the Department of Canadian Heritage, and corporations. rjhf.com

About Lou Sheppard: Lou Sheppard is an interdisciplinary artist and educator from Halifax, Nova Scotia working in painting, performance, video and audio installation. Sheppard graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2006, then Mount Saint Vincent University’s Bachelor of Education as an art teacher in 2013. Their work has been exhibited both in Canada and internationally, and will be included in the upcoming 2017 Antarctic Biennale. Through shape, rhythm, and abstraction Sheppard’s work explores identity, faith, and wilderness, and the intersections between them. Sheppard lives in Halifax dividing their time between teaching and working in their studio. kimsheppard.net