Back to Top Healing through art: Congratulations to the winners of the TRIAS Art Prize - The Ottawa Hospital
 

Healing through art: Congratulations to the winners of the TRIAS Art Prize

 
TRIAS Art Prize winners and honourable mention recipients at the Ottawa Art Gallery

From left to right: Artists Jovita Akahome, Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley, Svetlana Swinimer, Andrew Morrow and Christine Toulouse attend the TRIAS Art Prize ceremony at the Ottawa Art Gallery. Kuzy, Svetlana and Andrew won in their categories, and Jovita and Christine were awarded honourable mentions. Photo: Lindsay Ralph.

Did you know that art has the power to heal?

Research has shown that the inclusion of art in hospitals fosters a better patient experience by reducing stress and leading to a faster recovery.

This year, The Ottawa Hospital and the Ottawa Art Gallery launched the TRIAS Art Prize to recognize the role of artists in healing and wellness. The Gallery received more than 130 submissions from artists across the regions served by our hospital: Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and Nunavut.

The winners were honoured at a ceremony held at the Ottawa Art Gallery on December 6. Their work will be on display in public spaces at The Ottawa Hospital in the new year, enhancing care for our patients and their families.

Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Sapa Curley, winner of the Indigenous and Inuit Healing award

Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley, winner of the Indigenous and Inuit Healing award

Koomuatuk Sapa Curley, known widely as Kuzy, is originally from Kinngait, Nunavut. Over the years, Kuzy has lived in Yellowknife, Toronto and Ottawa, establishing himself as an artist of remarkable talent and potential. Coming from an artistic family that began with the renowned Pitseolak Ashoona, he was taught at a young age to carve by his grandparents, Qaqaq and Mayureak Ashoona, while living at their outpost camp, Satuqhituu. He continues to honour them and consciously chooses to carve the deeply rooted themes they taught him yet with a fresh vision that is all his own.


Kuzy is the winner of the Indigenous and Inuit Healing award, which recognizes a work by an Indigenous or Inuit artist that explores the themes of cultural continuity, resilience and community connection. Kuzy’s winning submission is a sculpture titled Sikusilingmiut carved from the distinctive Kinngait stone called serpentine. This inspiring piece will bring life-affirming energy to all hospital visitors, particularly to our many Inuit patients and their families.

Sikusilingmiut by Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley. Click the photo for a closer look.

Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley’s winning submission, titled Sikusilingmiut

Andrew Morrow, winner of the Art as Healing award

Andrew Morrow, winner of the Art as Healing award

Andrew Morrow is a contemporary artist known for large, densely textured figurative works spanning a range of references, from Western history painting to contemporary visual culture. Andrew’s work has been widely exhibited and reviewed throughout Canada and abroad. In addition to his practice as an artist, he is a professor in painting and drawing at the University of Ottawa and a founding member of the Ottawa Arts Council Young Artist Award Committee. He lives in Chelsea, Quebec with his wife and two sons.


Andrew is the winner of the Art as Healing award for his acrylic painting on canvas titled Neither Brightly Lit Nor Completely Enlightened, which represents the experiences of a community coming together during the isolating time of the pandemic. The award recognizes a work that embodies the themes of healing, renewal and community. Andrew’s painting will be a perfect addition to the hospital’s growing collection of artwork, igniting the imaginations of viewers and acting as a powerful catalyst for healing.

Neither Brightly Lit Nor Completely Enlightened by Andrew Morrow. Click the photo for a closer look.

Andrew Morrow’s winning submission, titled Neither Brightly Lit Nor Completely Enlightened

Svetlana Swinimer, winner of the Art and Science Residency award

Svetlana Swinimer, winner of the Art and Science Residency award

Svetlana Swinimer has a passion for exploring science and humanity through a diverse art practice that includes painting, sculpture, installation, video and photography. Born in Omsk, Russia, she moved to Ottawa in 1975. Since 1995, she has been making art at the Centretown-based Enriched Bread Artists Studios, where she can be found almost every day.

As the winner of the Art and Science Residency award, Svetlana will become an artist-in-residence at The Ottawa Hospital, creating a work of art that explores the field of neurology. She will be guided by Dr. Michael Schlossmacher, a neurologist at The Ottawa Hospital and director of neuroscience research. Once Svetlana finishes her piece, it will go on display here at The Ottawa Hospital.

“My interest in neurology is personal and artistic,” says Svetlana. In 2008, her long-time collaborator and close friend, Jean, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which inspired Svetlana to create an artwork exploring the disease. “I would like to produce new artwork based on the expertise and knowledge of people in the hospital.”

Support for the TRIAS Art Prize

The inaugural funding for the TRIAS Art Prize was provided by long-time hospital donor Jennifer Toby and her husband, Dr. François Auclair, an infectious disease specialist here at The Ottawa Hospital. The Indigenous and Inuit Healing honourable mention prize was provided by The Lawson Foundation.

 
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