2018 Nominators

To ensure that the Scotiabank Photography Award is a Canada-wide peer driven search, nominators have been selected from a national sweep of experts in the fields of contemporary art, inclusive of art gallery directors, curators, practicing artists, professors, writers and critics.

They each nominate one candidate. The nominees will be adjudicated by three jurors with Edward Burtynsky as jury chair.

Claude Baillargeon

Associate Professor of Art History, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan

Claude Baillargeon is Associate Professor of Art History at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He received his PhD in Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and both his MA and MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Baillargeon has long been engaged with photographic practices as an image-maker, a curator, an historian, and a teacher. Prior to joining Oakland University in 2002, he taught at Ryerson and York universities in Toronto and served as a curatorial assistant with the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. He currently serves as chair of the board of directors with the Society for Photographic Education.

Baillargeon’s diversified research interests include civil engineering and architectural photography, Haussmannization, visual representations of the nuclear experience, contemporary photo-based practices, environmental art, and curatorial practices. Produced in collaboration with the Oakland University Art Gallery, his most recent curatorial projects and catalogues include Shadows of the Invisible (2014), which casts light upon a spectrum of energy fields, emanations, perceptual imaginings, and subconscious imaging rendered tangible by photographic technologies; Revolutionizing Cultural Identity: Photography and the Changing Face of Immigration, which traveled to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax in 2011; Imaging a Shattering Earth: Contemporary Photography and the Environmental Debate, a five-venue traveling exhibition presented at the National Gallery of Canada in 2008; and Dickensian London and the Photographic Imagination.

Along with peer-reviewed articles on various historical aspects of industrial photography, Baillargeon has published catalogue essays on contemporary Canadian artists Edward Burtynsky, Brent McIntosh, Sara Angelucci, and Rafael Goldchain. His current research project investigates the nuclear era from the perspective of its global visual representation and pays particular attention to the photographic depiction of hibakusha, those who survived the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Julie Crooks

Assistant Curator, Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario

Julie Crooks is the Assistant Curator, Photography at the AGO. She received her PhD in the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, where her research focused on historical photography in Sierra Leone, West Africa and the diaspora. Prior to joining the AGO, Crooks curated and co-curated a number of exhibitions in Toronto, including No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto in February 2017, co-curated with Reese de Guzman (co-organized by the Ryerson Image Centre and BAND). Julie is also the co-curator for the Of Africa project at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, where she was awarded the Rebanks Postdoctoral Fellowship to research the various engagements of Black and African audiences with the ROM’s African Gallery, and the photographic history of Blacks in Canada.

Sandra Guimarães

Director of Programs & Chief Curator, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Sandra Guimarães joined Remai Modern in 2015 as the Director of Programs & Chief Curator, overseeing Exhibitions, Live Programs, Collections, and Learning & Engagement. The museum opened in October 2017 with the inaugural exhibition Field Guide, organized by Guimarães with Gregory Burke, Executive Director & CEO. Featuring over 80 artists, Field Guide, introduced the museum’s program philosophy and direction, with works from the permanent collection placed in dialogue with commissioned pieces and immersive installations. The exhibition was anchored with major projects by artists Ryan Gander, Tanya Lukin Linklater & Duane Linklater, and Thomas Hirschhorn, which propose new social, personal and political engagements with the museum and its audiences.

Originally from Portugal, Guimarães has extensive curatorial and programming experience, including collaborations with the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon, and her 11 years at the Serralves Museum, a contemporary art institution established in 1999 in Porto, Portugal. At Serralves, Guimarães was co-curator, with Ulrich Loock, of The 80s: a Topology (2006). This show featured 72 renowned international artists, including Thomas Schutte, Marlene Dumas, Isa Genzken, Mona Hatoum, Luc Tuymans, Eugenio Dittborn, Doris Salcedo, Tunga, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham, Stan Douglas, Robert Gober, Tony Cragg, Matt Mullican, Jimmie Durham and David Hammons. Guimarães also curated Alvess (2008), a solo exhibition on Manuel Alvess, a Portuguese artist who has lived in Paris since the 1960s, featuring works the artist had kept secret for more than 40 years. Guimarães has organized several exhibitions with international itineraries, including Dan Graham: Works, surveying works by the conceptual artist from 1965-2000, which toured venues in Portugal, France, Finland and Holland. She is currently curating an exhibition of the work of Maria Nordman for Pirelli HangarBicocca, a contemporary art space in Milan, Italy. Sandra Guimarães, 

Luce Lebart

Director, Canadian Photography Institute, Ottawa, Ontario

A historian of photography and exhibition curator, Luce Lebart has been director of the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada since 2016. Previously, she was curator and director of collections for the Société française de photographie in Paris, and before that director of the visual collections at the Archives départementales de l’Hérault in Montpellier.

Lebart was curator of the exhibitions Gold and Silver: Images and Illusions of the Gold Rush and Frontera: Views of the U.S.–Mexco Border presented at the Canadian Photography Institute during the fall–winter 2017–18 season. She organized a number of exhibitions for the 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 editions of the international photography festival Les rencontres d’Arles, including La guerre des gosses, which was also presented at the Panthéon in Paris. She also curated the exhibitions Sans nom-sans abris (Mois de la photo 2014 in Paris), Taches et traces (Photaumnales Beauvais, fall 2015), and Illuminations de Gimpel (Foto Industria/Mast, Bologna, 2015). In 2015, she was co-curator of the exhibition Images à charge, presented at Le Bal in Paris and then at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, Camera in Turin, and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.

Among her most recent books, Gold and Silver, published in fall 2017, is the first co-publication by the Canadian Photography Institute, in association with RVB BOOKS. In 2016, she published two reference books, Lady Liberty (Le Seuil and Firefly Books), co-authored with Sam Stourdzé, and Les silences d’Atget, an essay anthology published in March 2016 by Textuel Editions. She is also the author of photography books such as Mold is beautiful, Beautés d’archives, Souvenirs du Sphinx, and Tâches et traces, premiers essais photosensibles de Bayard, published by Poursuite and Diaphane éditions. In addition to numerous articles on scientific, documentary, and art photography, she has written about young contemporary artists such as Thomas Mailaender and Aurore Bagarry. Her most recent book, Les grands photographes du XXe siècle, was published by Larousse in fall 2017.

Philip Monk

Former Director/Curator, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Ontario

Philip Monk, former director of the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU). He is the author of 12 books, 35 catalogues, 75 essays and articles, and more than 60 reviews, which makes Monk one of the most prolific art writers in Canada. Dedicated to setting in place the theoretical conditions for writing the history of contemporary Canadian Art, and Toronto in particular, Monk’s writing set the terms of debate on art in Canada for decades. He wrote the first books on international art stars Douglas Gordon and Fiona Tan and a landmark book on international Canadian art star Stan Douglas that was published simultaneously in English and German editions. Recent books include Glamour is Theft: A User’s Guide to General Idea (2012) and Is Toronto Burning? (2016), a history of the conflicted creation of Toronto’s downtown art scene in the late 1970s.Among his achievements at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), where he worked as a curator in 1985, were the first exhibitions ever at that institution of women artists, such as Liz Magor, Shirley Wiitasalo, and Joyce Wieland.

Monk took his role at the AGO to be the documentarian through exhibitions, publications and purchase of what was then excluded at the gallery – the history of contemporary art in Toronto. The AGO’s collection of the 1970s and 1980s is the result of this focus, including its large repository of General Idea’s work. While at the AGO he was also the commissioner of the Canadian Pavillion at the Venice Biennial in 1993, and he curated several exhibitions in Europe promoting Toronto art.Transposing his experimentation in writing to curatorial innovation, Monk was a pioneer in a trend that is now an established methodology in the field – the restaging of important historical exhibitions precisely as they originally appeared, a practice he called in the 1980s “presenting events in retrospect.”From 1994 to 2003, Monk focused his efforts on raising the international profile of The Power Plant in Toronto, which he did so with a stellar curatorial program committed to fostering a Canadian point of view. He established himself as an early expert in the new art of video projection. He began his innovative series of oblique views on the history of Toronto art, such as the prescient 1988 Picturing the Toronto Art Community: The Queen Street Years, while at The Power Plant.As a director who values the perspectives of his entire team at AGYU, Monk created at York University an award-winning contemporary art gallery that is collaboratively focused and socially engaged. During his directorship, the AGYU began working in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood and then extended the gallery’s efforts to communities across Toronto and First Nations in southern Ontario. Today, the AGYU is now nationally recognized as the Canadian model for a socially engaged art institution.Monk was the inaugural winner of Ontario Association of Art Galleries Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and won the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art in 2010. He was the recipient of the 2017 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

Brian Sholis

Executive Director, Gallery TPW, Toronto, Ontario

Brian Sholis was recently appointed Executive Director of Gallery TPW, Toronto. He brings to the role more than fifteen years’ experience in the United States, where he has worked as a curator and programmer for museums; as an editor and author of books, magazines, and online texts; and as a professor, visiting critic, grant panelist, prize juror, and public speaker. He was most recently Curator of Photography at the Cincinnati Art Museum. Prior to his time in Ohio, Sholis worked as an editor at Aperture Foundation and at Artforum International.

Sholis completed the Getty Leadership Institute’s NextGen program for emerging museum leaders, has served on the Finance and Audit Committee of the Association of Art Museum Curators, and is a member of Aperture Foundation’s International Board of Advisors. He is the author of the 2016 book Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954–1974 (Yale University Press) and the editor of two previous anthologies published by the New Museum and Sternberg Press. A longtime art critic, he has written catalogue essays for the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, the Bronx Museum, and the Whitney Museum, all in New York; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the Hayward Gallery, London; and the Guggenheim Bilbao, among other institutions, and his features, columns, and reviews have been published in Artforum, Frieze, Art in America, Aperture, and elsewhere.

Sholis has taught at the the Pratt Institute, Parsons the New School for Design, New York University, the University of Louisville, and Lehman College and has been a visiting critic or guest lecturer at more than two dozen universities and art schools across North America. He holds an MA in American History from the Graduate Centre of the City University of New York and a BA in Urban Studies and Public Policy from Boston University.

Jamie Isaac

Curator, Indigenous and Contemporary Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jaimie Isaac is the Curator of Indigenous and Contemporary Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Isaac holds a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia, thesis focus on Decolonizing and Indigenizing Curatorial Practice, a Bachelors of Art History and an Arts and Cultural Management Certificate from the University of Winnipeg. Recent exhibitions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery include Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant, Boarder X, We Are On Treaty Land, and Quiyuktchigaewin; Making Good and most recent exhibition Insurgence Resurgence (Winnipeg Art Gallery's inaugural national Indigenous Biennale) co-curated with Dr. Julie Nagam. Her published essays appear in: Insurgence Resurgence exhibition catalogue, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years exhibition catalogue, The Land We Are Now: Writers and Artists Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation book and the Public 54: Indigenous Art: New Media and the Digital journal. Jaimie was a co-faculty for the Wood Land School at Plug In Summer Institute and guest lectured for various universities.

Other independent curatorial and art projects include; visual arts coordination for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s national event in Winnipeg (2010); All My Relations/Akina nidenwa makanak, ace art inc. (2010); Isaac co-founded of The Ephemerals Collective which was long-listed for the 2017 Sobey Art Award and have worked on numerous exhibitions and films; Indian Maiden (2011), and After Birth (2017). Isaac collaborated with Leah Decter’s (official denial) trade value in progress on national tour (2011-2016) and was featured in the Journal of Canadian Art History volume xxxv:1 (2014). Isaac co-curated with Leah Decter, Mammo’wiiang to Make Change, AGSM, (2015). Isaac’s independent artwork has been included in Art and Reconciliation exhibitions in Kamloops and Kelowna (2013), memory awareness expectation, Video Pool (2014) and at WNDX Festival of Moving Image, Winnipeg Film Group (2014), Reflecting Light Film Festival in Winnipeg, Moving Forward Never Forgetting, exhibition at the McKenzie Art Gallery, Regina (2015) among others. She has presented research in North America and Europe, including at Princeton University, the Royal Holloway University of London and NAISA Conference at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Isaac was one of the Canada Council’s Indigenous delegation at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

She has volunteered and served on arts juries, committees and boards. 

Gaëtane Verna

Director, Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Ontario

Gaëtane Verna is the director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Canada’s leading non-collecting, public art gallery dedicated exclusively to contemporary visual art from Canada and the world. It is a vital forum for the advanced artistic culture of our time that offers an exceptional facility and professional support to a diverse group of living artists while engaging equally diverse audiences in their work. Since 2012, Verna has guided the development of the administrative initiatives as well as the curatorial and education programs of the gallery. Previous to this she held positions as the Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d'art de Joliette in Lanaudière, Quebec (2006-2012); curator of the Foreman Art Gallery at Bishop’s University, Sherbrooke (1998-2006) while also teaching in the Art History department of both Bishop’s University and the Université du Québec à Montréal.

Verna holds an International Diploma in Heritage Administration and Conservation from the Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris, France; received a DEA and a Master’s degree in Art History from the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne; and prior to that a Bachelor in Commerce from Concordia University.

Active in the arts community in a local, national and international capacity, she has produced an extensive exhibition program, as well circulation and publishing programs at The Foreman Art Gallery, at The Musée d’art de Joliette and at The Power Plant in Canada, England, Portugal and the United States. In her role she has curated and co-curated important exhibitions by emerging, mid-career and established Canadian and international artists such as Terry Adkins, John Akomfrah, Vasco Araújo, Ydessa Hendeles, Alfredo Jaar, Luis Jacob, Shelagh Keeley, Kimsooja, Yam Lau, Micah Lexier, Oswaldo Maciá, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Pedro Reyes, Gabor Szilazi, Javier Tellez, Denyse Thomasos, Bill Viola, YOUNG HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES, Zineb Sedira and Franz Erhard Walther, among many others. Committed to building bridges between visual art and the public in a multi-disciplinary context, she dedicated the last 20 years in researching and presenting a variety of artistic practices, especially those that explore issues connected with questions of migration, identity and diasporas in Canada and around the world.

Verna has served as a Board member and Chair of the Visual Arts Committee for Montréal Arts Council (2006-2012); on the board of The Hnatyshyn Foundation, Ottawa (2012-2016), she is also a member of the Toronto Nuit Blanche advisory committee and the President’s Council of OCAD University since 2012 while serving as the co-chair of the Toronto Arts Council’s Visual/Media Arts Committee and being a board member of the Toronto Arts Council. Verna has sat on local and national juries and lectured in Canada and abroad 

Meeka Walsh

Critic, Writer & Curator, Editor, Border Crossings, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Meeka Walsh is an award-winning critic, writer, and curator who has been the editor of Border Crossings magazine since 1993. She has given papers and contributed catalogue essays and articles on a wide range of artists, including Robert Frank, William Wegman, Charline von Heyl, Guy Maddin, Nancy Spero, Leon Golub, Ambera Wellmann, Stephen Waddell, Fred Herzog, Shirin Neshat, Geoffrey Farmer, Moyra Davey, Lisa Yuskavage and Sarah Anne Johnson. Her short fiction has been published in a number of anthologies, among them The Oxford Anthology of Canadian Women Writers. In 2008 she edited The Winnipeg Alphabestiary, the book accompanying a collection of 26 works now in the collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and in 2011 wrote 57 artists’ book entries for My Winnipeg, which was on exhibition at La maison rouge in Paris.

Ms Walsh sits on the Executive of the Board of Directors for Plug In ICA in Winnipeg, and from 1995 to 2000 she was a Member of the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal, Ottawa. From 2001 to 2004 she was a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Canada, where she chaired the Advisory Committee for the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. She received the Lifetime Achievement at the Western Magazine Awards in Vancouver in 2003 and in 2007 was given the RCA (Royal Canadian Academy) Gold Medal for her Contribution to the Arts. In 2012, she co-curated “Winnipeg Now,” the inaugural exhibition for the 100th Anniversary of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, for which she edited the accompanying book and wrote the introductory essay. She was a contributor to Vitamin D2 published by Phaidon in 2013 and in 2015 wrote the catalogue essay for Sarah Anne Johnson’s survey exhibition, Wonderland, at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has been a nominator for the SPA (ScotiaBank Photography Award) and a portfolio reviewer for FotoFest in Houston and Contact Photography Festival in Toronto. In 2015 she was a juror for the Sobey Art Award. She was made a member of the Order of Canada in 2017. 

Sarah Fillmore

Chief Curator & Deputy Director, Programs, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax & Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Sarah Fillmore is Chief Curator and Deputy Director, Programs of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Having joined the Gallery in 2005, Fillmore oversees the provincial art collection as well as the Gallery’s acquisition, interpretation, education, conservation and exhibition programs.

With locations in downtown Halifax and Yarmouth, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is Atlantic Canada’s largest art museum. Since 1908, the Gallery has been a gateway for the visual arts; as an agency of the Province of Nova Scotia and one of the premier arts institutions in Canada, it is committed to its mission of engaging people with art. With world-class collections and an innovative education program, the Gallery actively collaborates with regional, national and international partners to advance artistic experience.

Fillmore is a champion of emerging Canadian artists, with an interest in Atlantic Canadian art within a national context. She has curated group and solo exhibitions, including the retrospective exhibition of Canadian abstract painter, Jacques Hurtubise; Lisa Lipton: STOP@forever; Skin: the Seduction of Surface; Forces of Nature; The Last Frontier, and, from 2002 to 2015, the annual Sobey Art Award. She co-curated Hanson and Sonnenberg: The Way Things Are with David Diviney (Art Gallery of Nova Scotia); Graeme Patterson’s Secret Citadel with Melissa Bennett (Art Gallery of Hamilton); and the touring retrospective and accompanying publication of Canadian realist painter Mary Pratt, with Mireille Eagan and Caroline Stone (The Rooms, Newfoundland). Recent projects include a retrospective of Canadian painter Marion Wagschal, presented at the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, as well as a solo exhibition of Halifax-based painter Emily Falencki and Montreal-based printmaker Mitch Mitchell’s large-scale print installations. She most recently co-curated a major retrospective of photographer Thaddeus Holownia’s work titled The Nature of Nature.

From 2007 to 2015, Fillmore was chair of the jury and curator of the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s premier contemporary art award for an artist 40 or under. She is author of numerous catalogue and journal essays, and has lectured across the country. 

Scott Watson

Director, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Head & Professor, Art History, Visual Art & Theory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia

Scott Watson is Director of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and Head and Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia, where he is also former Chair of the Critical and Curatorial Studies program, which he helped to found in 2002.

A curator whose career has spanned more than thirty-five years, Watson is internationally recognized for his research and work in curatorial and exhibition studies, contemporary art and issues, and art theory and criticism. His distinctions include the Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art (2010); the Alvin Balkind Award for Creative Curatorship in BC Arts (2008) and the UBC Dorothy Somerset Award for Performance Development in the Visual and Performing Arts (2005).

Watson has published extensively in the areas of contemporary Canadian and international art. His 1990 monograph on Jack Shadbolt earned the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize in 1991. Recent publications include Letters: Michael Morris and Concrete Poetry (2015); Thrown: British Columbia’s Apprentices of Bernard Leach and their Contemporaries (2011), a finalist for the 2012 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize; “Race, Wilderness, Territory and the Origins of the Modern Canadian Landscape” and “Disfigured Nature” (in Beyond Wilderness, McGill University Press, 2007); and “Transmission Difficulties: Vancouver Painting in the 1960s” (in Paint, Vancouver Art Gallery, 2006).

Recent curatorial projects include Lalakenis / All Directions: A Journey of Truth and Unity(2016), which documented Kwakwaka’wakw artist Beau Dick’s 2014 journey across Canada that culminated in a copper-breaking ceremony on Parliament Hill; Maria Eichhorn (2015); Witnesses: Art and Canada’s Indian Residential Schools (2013); Mark Boulos (2010); Jack Shadbolt: Underpinnings (2009); Exponential Future (2008); Intertidal: Vancouver Art and Artists (2005/06) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp; Stan Douglas: Inconsolable Memories (2005/06); and Rebecca Belmore: Fountain (2005) for the Venice Biennale Canadian Pavilion.