The Sobey Art Award announces its 2021 longlist | The Coast Halifax

The Sobey Art Award announces its 2021 longlist

Two Halifax artists—Carrie Allison and Lou Sheppard—are among the 25 in the running for Canada's biggest art prize.

Carrie Allison, one of two Halifax-based artists to make the Sobey Award longlist, creates pieces of beadwork that challenge colonial narratives. ALEXA CUDE

Breathe deep, friends. Spring’s surest signs are here: Leaves are unfurling, flowers are budding and, today, the Sobey Art Award longlist came out. The biggest national award in visual arts, winning the Sobey is an undeniable career-changer, bringing not only prestige but the chance for shortlisted artists to display their work at the National Gallery of Canada.

Oh, and the $100,000 purse for the overall winner ain’t bad, either.

Since art helps us connect to our world and process it—and since art is one of the ways we’ve been able to navigate these trying times—it feels right and just to see that the Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada have upped each longlister’s reward to a cool $10,000 each: That’ll go a long way towards funding new works! (This comes after last year, when there was no overall winner or shortlist to fund. Instead, everyone on the longlist split the pot, taking home $25,000 each—and equal bragging rights.)

Some of this year’s worthy nominees are artists based right here in Halifax: Carrie Allison, whose beadwork challenges colonialist narratives, made the 25-person list alongside interdisciplinary artist Lou Sheppard, who is ringing in their third year in a row on the Sobey longlist.

The five-artist shortlist and overall award winner will be announced this fall.