November 30, 2010

(St. John’s, NL): Yesterday morning, Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador (VANL-CARFAC), announced a new award for visual art writers as part of the 2011 Excellence in Visual Art Awards (EVAs). This award, The Critical Eye Award, was initiated by an anonymous donor who wanted to encourage more critical writing about this province’s artists – a crucial part of growing a visual artists’ career.

By early afternoon, a second anonymous donor came forward to double the prize money from $500 to $1000, with a guaranteed commitment for four years. This puts the prize amount at the same level as the other EVA awards, which celebrate senior artists, established artists, emerging artists and art patrons in several different award categories.

“The immediate response from the second anonymous individual was an incredible surprise”, says VANL-CARFAC’s Executive Director, Sara Tilley. “This person told us that they felt this award filled a necessary gap in the visual arts sector, and they wanted us to congratulate the first anonymous donor for initiating it. The fact that both donors have committed to the award for four years is a sign that critical writing is viewed by the community as a necessary part of an artists’ growth and longevity – it helps artists secure exhibitions and grants, and increases their profile both within the art community and the general public. Both donors are hopeful that The Critical Eye Award will encourage more art criticism to be written about the wealth of visual art we are blessed with in this province.”

The Excellence in Visual Arts Awards (EVAs) are the province’s only awards program for visual artists, and are part of the programming for Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador. Applications for The Critical Eye Award will be accepted along with applications to the Large Year Award, Long Haul Award, Emerging Artist Award and Kippy Goins Award until April 1st, 2011. The jury will be comprised of a member of the EVA Committee, a provincial visual arts professional and a national visual arts professional. The winners will be announced in a ceremony at The Rooms on May 27th, 2011.

To be eligible for The Critical Eye Award, the writer may reside in any province of Canada or any country worldwide, as long as they have written about a Newfoundland Labrador artist within the preceding calendar year, from January 1 to December 31, in a recognized print or online publication.

For more information, contact VANL-CARFAC’s Program Coordinator Dave Andrews at 1-877-738-7303, or

To read The Telegram article on the award in today’s paper, visit—Life/Entertainment/2010-11-30/article-2004094/Anonymous-donor-doubles-award-for-critical-art-writing/1