New prize aims to support, showcase Hamilton’s emerging artists

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Published February 8, 2021 at 9:02 am

A new arts program has been launched that aims to support Hamilton’s emerging artists and showcase their work.

The City of Hamilton Arts Awards program announced Friday (Feb. 5) that it has joined with Hamilton Community Foundation’s Shirley M. Elford Artists’ Fund to present the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize.

“Emerging artists practicing in any arts discipline are invited to apply for a unique new opportunity to showcase their work at the 2022 City of Hamilton Arts Awards event,” the release said.

The prize will award two artists with a $2,000 commission fee to create artwork that explores contemporary themes “related to Hamilton’s evolving identity.”

Applicants will be judged by a jury of their peers and prize recipients will be announced in June 2021 as part of the Arts Awards and Hamilton Arts Week Events.

“Artists have much to teach us about our ever-changing world,” said Carrie Brooks-Joiner, the City of Hamilton’s Director of Tourism and Culture, in the release.

“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with the Hamilton Community Foundation to commission contemporary works from emerging artists that tell Hamilton’s stories.”

This Prize is awarded in memory of the late Shirley Elford, a well-known and celebrated Hamilton artist who was known across the world for her glass sculptures and who was a very active member of the community in a number of capacities.

She is best known for creating the glass Juno award statuette introduced at the 2000 awards show; Elford crafted more than 2,200 of these awards by hand for over a decade, donating her design fees to a children’s music charity.

The City of Hamilton Arts Awards Program and its sponsors have awarded $325,000 and 166 awards since 2011

The completed commissioned artworks will be presented at the 2022 City of Hamilton Arts Awards event.

Applications for the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize are being accepted until 11:59 p.m. on March 12, 2021.

To review the eligibility criteria and submission requirements for the Shirley Elford Emerging Artist Commission Prize, and to apply, visit the City website.

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