Richmond’s Branscome House artist-in-resident named a winner of Sobey Art Award

The artist-in-residence at Richmond’s Branscombe House is one of the Sobey Art Award’s 25 longlist artists – and has received a $25,000 prize.

Lou Sheppard, a Canadian artist, was named as Branscombe House’s artist-in-residence for 2020 earlier this year. They work in interdisciplinary audio, performance and installation-based practise.

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This year, due to COVID-19, the Sobey Art Foundation and National Gallery of Canada chose to distribute $625,000 – which would have covered the award program, artist residencies, exhibition costs and annual gala ceremonies – equally among the 2020 longlisted artists rather than awarding a short list or single winner the usual $100,000 prize.  

Sheppard has also been adapting their community engaged programming in response to COVID-19, although there are still opportunities for community participation.

Sheppard publishes a weekly art prompt on their blog, and is working on a project – titled What We Can’t Say in English – centred on words in other languages that have no equivalent in English.

If Richmond residents speak a language other than English and have any words they don’t have a satisfying English translation for, Sheppard would like to connect with them. After gathering these words and their attempted translations with the help of the community, Sheppard will create a series of podcasts and posters.

The Branscombe House Artist Residency takes place in a restored Edwardian-style house in Steveston, at 4900 Steveston Highway near Railway Avenue. It’s one of the earliest homes built in the area.

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