James Adams, The Globe and Mail
March 24 2015
Eight veterans of Canada’s visual and media arts world – three women, five men – are this year’s winners of the Governor-General’s Awards for career excellence in the visual and media arts. The names of the winners, each of whom receives $25,000, were announced Tuesday morning by the Ottawa-based Canada Council for the Arts, the awards’ administrator.
Artists from Toronto and Montreal represent the single biggest bloc of winners, with three laureates from each city. The other two are from Victoria and Winnipeg. All the winners, chosen by a nomination-peer jury process, are scheduled to attend a reception April 8 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa hosted by Governor-General David Johnston. Examples of their work are to be presented April 9 through Aug. 30 at the National Gallery in Ottawa. The GGAVMAs have been handed out annually since 2000.
As has been the case from its inception, the laureates reflect the eclectic nature of contemporary art production and related endeavours.
Born in Baltimore, Sandra Meigs (b. 1953) has lived in Canada since 1973 and been based in Victoria for the past 22 years, where she’s a professor of visual arts at the University of Victoria. She’s (mostly) a painter informed by eclectic influences and varied intentions, and her works, “vivid, enigmatic,” are sometimes small, sometimes large. A 2013 mural, Red. 3011 Jackson. (Mortality), for example, spans more than seven metres. Writing in 2001, critic John Bentley Mays observed that Meigs “thinks critically about everything,” including painting and thinking, and he called her art “a psychological and philosophical probe” of age-old topics – “the body, light and darkness, storytelling.”