Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Kingston Prize time again!

This afternoon Sarah Hunter and I volunteered to sit at the door for the Kingston Prize 2013 exhibit in Gananoque.  

This is ALWAYS a spectacular show, and really worth a drive out to see it.  We are so lucky to host this amazing national portrait competition in a town so close to Kingston.  It's open to anybody who wants to enter and lots do...I think this year there were about 400 entries from across Canada!  30 finalists from these entries are chosen for the exhibition, and they all compete for the $20,000 prize.  There are also two honourable mention prizes worth $2000 each, and a peoples choice prize of $1000.  The prizes are awarded at the end of the show.
detail of Sarah Sniderman's 'Algonquin Bride'

I was impressed.  Some spoke to me more than others.  I loved Sarah Sniderhan's 'Algonquin Bride' for it's quiet contemplative dialogue of subject and setting; a self portrait in an iconic Canadian landscape. 

Momcilo Simic's - 'Twelve'
Sarah loved Momcilo Simic's 'Twelve', an exquisite example of contemporary Canadian portraiture, painted with the technical excellence of an old could almost mistake that face for a Holbein, Ingres or Vermeer.
Marina Dieul's - 'Bacchante 3'

I loved Marina Dieul's 'Bacchante 3' .  A contemporary trempe l'oeil masterpiece,  featuring a mythological child(Marina's daughter is the model) peeking out of a burled wood tunnel at what one can only guess is a strange new world.  Will she venture forth, or will she stay in her cocoon?...the viewer wonders...
Denis Nadeau's - Saltimbanka - le doute
A Klimt-like harlequin portrait twinkles from it's corner...why there is gold glitter in that paint! But it is not tacky as one might expect irridescent paint to be; it sings!  Denis Nadeau from Drummondville Quebec has beautifully orchestrated dramatic harmony between the harlequin's costume and her background.

I could go on...there were so many portraits that I thought, amazing.  You can view the 30 finalists online, but it doesn't do them justice.  You really HAVE to see them in their glory...glowing and spotlit in their dramatic temporary home in the Firehall Theatre in Gananoque.  The show is open everyday except Mondays from 12 noon to 8pm until October 20th.  Go see it! You wont be disappointed!


  1. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this experience.

    XOXO Barbara

  2. So enjoyed our afternoon together volunteering and being able to share all those wonderful paintings.....
    Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

  3. I loved seeing samples of the entries Sally. Such amazing work! It must have been a great day out for you. It reminds me I must make the effort to visit a local portrait exhibition that is on at the moment here in Perth.

  4. Sarah, it was quite fun to see them with you for the first time. thanks for sitting with me.

  5. Hi Wendy, there were a lot of photo realist works, amazing in technique. though I was drawn to the more expressive works, where the hand of the artist was more visible to me.

  6. Thanks Keith, glad you enjoyed seeing some of them.


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