Vuntut Gwitchin artist Jeneen Frei Njootli, is one of two Yukon artists have been nominated for the $100,000 Sobey Art Award. The second is Yukon-born Hannah Jickling. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Two Yukon artists up for Sobey Art Award

Shortlist will be announced in May

Two Yukon artists have been nominated for the $100,000 Sobey Art Award.

Vuntut Gwitchin artist Jeneen Frei Njootli, and Yukon-born Hannah Jickling (along with longtime collaborator Helen Reed) are among the 25 artists on the longlist for the prize.

Established in 2002, the annual Sobey Art Award is given to a Canadian artist 40 and under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated.

This year’s purse includes $100,000 for the winner, $25,000 for each of the other four finalists, and $2,000 for each shortlisted artist.

The longlist currently includes 25 nominees, with five artists from five regions across Canada. Frei Njootli, who lives in Vancouver, and Jickling and Reed represent West Coast and the Yukon. Additional regions include prairies and North, Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic.

Frei Njootli is one of the founding members of ReMatriate, a social media campaign focussed on Indigenous women opposed to the appropriation of their cultural identities.

She also recently had an exhibition, I Can’t Make You Those Mitts Because There Is a Hole in My Heart and My Hands Hurt, at the Artspace Gallery in Peterborough, ON.

In 2013, Jickling exhibited as part of Traversing Yukon Landscapes, a show at the Yukon Arts Centre with six other current and ex-pat Yukon artists.

Working with Reed, Jickling’s projects include videos, public installations, social situations, events, photographs and more.

Neither artist was available for comment before press time.

The shortlist will be announced May 29. The winner will be named in November, during a gala at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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