The National Gallery of Canada has named Hamilton Artists Inc. in Ontario the first recipient of its new biennial Lacey Prize, which was launched by John Lacey in partnership with the gallery earlier this year. The award recognizes the critical role artist-run centers and small arts organizations play in supporting artists and fostering emerging practices in Canada.
Hamilton Artists Inc., which celebrates its forty-fifth anniversary in 2020, will receive $38,000 (USD), and finalists Gallery Gachet in Vancouver and Calgary’s Untitled Art Society in Alberta will each be awarded $15,000. In addition, a contemporary curator from the museum will visit the winning organization in the coming year to conduct in-person meetings and studio visits in an effort to stregthen the National Gallery of Canada’s commitment to building strong relationships with incubator arts organizations.
“We are incredibly honored and humbled to be receiving the Lacey Prize!” said Julie Dring, executive director of Hamilton Artists Inc. “One of the challenges for an artist-run center like ours is that our aspirations are sometimes larger than our budgets. The Inc. has been quite ambitious lately, and we are eager to continue growing. The Lacey Prize gives us some stability to keep listening and learning as we continue to engage with our communities, support our artists, and be responsive to change.”