2019 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators
is awarded to Missy LeBlanc
The Art Gallery of Guelph (AGG) is pleased to announce that Missy LeBlanc has been awarded the 7th annual Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators. LeBlanc’s project, Tina Guyani | Deer Road, has been selected as the winning submission and will be presented at the AGG from September 12 – December 15, 2019. The award was presented at a gala ceremony at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto on March 5, 2019.
Created in 2012, the prestigious prize is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian curator. By supporting and mobilizing Canadian creative talent, the Middlebrook Prize aims to inspire positive social change through creativity in an era of ongoing and unprecedented economic, environmental, social, and cultural change. This year’s jury was composed of Michelle Jacques (Chief Curator, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria), Al Miner (Director/Chief Curator, Georgetown University Art Galleries) and Ryan Rice (independent curator and Associate Dean, Academic Affairs in the Faculty of Liberal Arts/School of Interdisciplinary Studies at OCAD University).
Tina Guyani | Deer Road will feature new work by Glenna Cardinal and Seth Cardinal Dodginghorse, residents of Tsuut’ina Nation, and mother and son, whose works speak to the human impacts of development on First Nations land – and to how stories of loss also serve as generative grounds upon which better futures for Indigenous people and the land itself can be imagined.
“This proposal reveals such deep consideration of her role as a curator,” notes juror Michelle Jacques, “She may be at an early stage of her career, but her understanding of what she needs to do to create responsible spaces for Indigenous artists is extremely advanced.”
According to juror Ryan Rice, “Missy LeBlanc’s intuitive approach to curatorial practice draws upon building tangible relationships with artists and community, as a means to assert a generative methodology of responsibility that will guide and impact her exhibition development, engagement and curatorial experience.”
“LeBlanc carefully considered the physical space of the Art Gallery of Guelph when proposing an intimate two-person exhibition,” suggests Al Miner. “The unusual pairing of mother and son artists will provide insight into how a changing world and landscape impacts one Indigenous community – and one family – across time through the lens of creative practice.”
The Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators is made possible through the support of the Centre Wellington Community Foundation Middlebrook Social Innovation Fund, The Guelph Community Foundation Musagetes Fund, and through private donations. For more information about the prize as well as past winners and their projects, please visit middlebrookprize.ca.
Missy LeBlanc is an emerging curator and writer of Métis, Cree, and Polish descent born and raised in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) and currently based in Moh’kins’stis (Calgary). LeBlanc is the current Emerging Curatorial Resident at TRUCK Contemporary Art in Calgary as well as the Project Coordinator for Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective based in Edmonton. She holds a BA from the University of Alberta, with a double major in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture as well as Sociology (2015) and a Diploma in Arts & Cultural Management from MacEwan University (2018).
LeBlanc’s curatorial practice is centered around care and kinship. With each exhibition, LeBlanc uses her position of responsibility as a curator to center the voices and works of marginalized artists while maintaining a strong relationship with them. Recent curatorial projects include Reverberate (2018) and What is Known of Old and Long Familiar (2016), and she is currently working on an exhibition forthcoming this fall at TRUCK Contemporary Art.
About Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators
Founded in 2012, Middlebrook Prize is a national prize awarded annually to foster social innovation and curatorial excellence in Canada. The Middlebrook Prize encourages social connectedness and a shared sense of community. The winner selected by jury of arts professionals is a curator under 30 who receives an honorarium, curatorial mentorship while mounting an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Guelph.