The winner of this year’s Yukon Prize for Visual Arts, selected from 107 entries, is multidisciplinary artist Joseph Tisiga. Tisiga was selected out of a slew of finalists that also included Ken Anderson, Amy Ball, Krystle Silverfox, Sho Sho Esquiro and Veronica Verkley. Tisiga was announced as the prize’s winner at a gala event on November 20.

Joseph Tisiga’s multidisciplinary arts practice is mostly rooted in painting and drawing. His work includes performance, photography, sculpture and installation, and reflects upon notions of identity and what contributes to this construct. 

Themes in Tisiga’s art such as community, nationality, family, history, location, real and imagined memories are becoming more and more relevant in the current climate. His works explore cultural and social inheritance, as well as the mundane, the metaphysical and the mythological, often all at once.

Leading up to the Yukon Arts Centre (YAC) gala show at which Tisiga was announced as the recipient of the prize was a series of pre-gala events that included a virtual discussion with Tisiga and his fellow finalists Veronica Verkley and Krystle Silverfox, and later another virtual panel with remaining finalists Sho Sho Esquiro, Ken Anderson and Amy Ball. The day of the gala event, the artists took groups of attendees through their exhibitions to give them new perspective and insight into their work, inspirations and creative processes. 

The six 2021 finalists for the Yukon Prize were selected by an independent jury of three arts professionals which included Gaëtane Verna, Ryan Doherty and Candice Hopkins. Verna is the director of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto, while Doherty is Chief Curator of Contemporary Calgary and Hopkins is an internationally known independent curator and a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

Now in its second year, the main objective of the Yukon Prize for Visual Arts is to recognize the achievements and quality of work of the Yukon’s diverse community of visual artists, as well as to facilitate promotion of Yukon-made visual art beyond the Yukon, both nationally and internationally.  

To read more about the Yukon Prize for Visual Arts visit https://yukonprize.ca/. Applications are not yet open for the 2022 edition, but the Yukon Prize will return next year.