Tiziana La Melia with Hanging on to the Part, the painting that won her the Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Image courtesy of Royal Bank of Canada
MONTREAL — After great expectations, the Royal Bank of Canada and the Canadian Art Foundation today announced the winner of the 16th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Tiziana La Melia of Vancouver, BC was chosen from more than 600 entries that entered for the art competition for her work entitled Hanging on to the Part. As the winner, La Melia, the Emily Carr University and University of Guelph MFA grad will receive a $25,000 purchase prize for her work.
During the selection process, the jury was particularly impressed by the quality of La Melia’s work. The painting which combines abstraction and figuration to portray both mythological female archetypes and personal narratives captivated the jury to select Hanging on to the Part over 14 other entries chosen from across the country. Although a painting, Hanging on to the Part, the jury— made up of the most respected artists, gallery directors and curators in Canada— also recognized that it incorporates theatre, poetry and popular culture.
In addition La Melia, two honourable mentions were given to Ufuk Gueray of Winnipeg, Manitoba for his work Market and Nicolas Lachance of Montreal, Quebec for his work Index no.3 The book of Empathy. Ufuk and Nicolas were each awarded a purchase prize of $15,000 for their work. Hanging on to the Part, Market, and Index no.3 The book of Empathy will be added to the RBC corporate art collection, which holds more than 4,000 pieces – including many by emerging artists – and spans more than a hundred years of Canadian art.
As the winner of this year’s RBC Canadian Painting Competition, La Melia has a lot to gain in the advancement of her artistic career. Besides the purchase prize for her work, she will also gain invaluable recognition and exposure to a broad audience. Above all there is the opportunity for mentorship, introductions and the time and space to focus on her inspiration and work.
Speaking on the impact of the art competition on the artistic career of emerging Canadian visual artists, Robin Anthony, curator RBC notes that “RBC is extremely proud to champion the work of emerging Canadian visual artists and to encourage the next step in their careers through this Competition.” She adds that “The jury was incredibly impressed by the calibre of work from the finalists this year, and we look forward to following their careers in the future with great anticipation.”
Open to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who are in the early stages of their career, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition has the mandate to bring visibility to emerging Canadian artists. Jill Birch, CEO of the Canadian Art Foundation and publisher of Canadian Art magazine put it succinctly when she noted that “With a mandate to create greater visibility and appreciation for Canada’s extraordinary artistic talent – both at home and abroad – the Canadian Art Foundation is thrilled to partner with RBC on this initiative.” She notes further that “This year’s winners will no doubt continue to do us proud in the years ahead.”
At a critical stage of their artistic career when young artists often need recognition and financial support, RBC Canadian Painting Competition has provided the necessary platform for them to emerge. Since inception in 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition has provided over 200 artists with an opportunity to exhibit their work on a national scale. While the purchase prize awarded the winners is absolutely important, the invaluable exposure and insight from jurors, mentors and industry insiders has helped surge the artistic career of young artists to top of their career. The evidence of the success of the RBC Canadian Painting Competition is unmistakable in the impact of the past winners of the art competition in the global world circle. Artists such as Dil Hildebrand, Chris Millar, Kristine Moran and Melanie Authier have gone on to considerable international acclaim and continue to represent Canada’s most successful artists.