You’re an important part of the Aimia AGO Photography Prize–no really, you are. (Photo by Lisa Oppenheim)
As the eighth largest art museum in North America, the Art Gallery of Ontario has a pretty broad target audience and is therefore more inclined to cater to general, non-niche tastes in art. The past year has seen a surge of participatory events at the AGO, and although First Thursday parties leave room for improvement, we’re happy that it’s recognized the importance of audience participation.
The Aimia AGO Photography Prize is exactly the sort of patron-driven programming that ensures art institution giants like the AGO remain relevant, engaging and worth a geotag on your Sunday Funday. While the long- and short-list finalists for the $50,000 award are selected by an international panel of high-ranking critics, curators and artists, the final decision is reserved for the public. The award was the first ever publicly juried prize when it was established in 2007, and in a culture where the exclusivity and secrecy of high-profile prize juries resembles a papal conclave more than arts award, we have to acknowledge that the AGO is ahead of the game.
If you can make it to the exhibition in person, we encourage you to do so as the work is often more multi-media than photography, and your physical presence is a great way of showing that you care. If you can’t make it, that’s okay too–check out the four nominees’ work below and cast your vote here. Showing your interest means having a say in what you want to see in galleries and museums, and not that we have anything against Picasso, but there’s more to art than modernism.
Click here to vote: Aimia AGO Photography Prize.
Nandipha Mntambo, Swaziland
David Hartt, Montreal, Canada
Elad Lassry, Israel
Lisa Oppenheim, New York City