Philippines-born artist wins prestigious Canadian award
November 25, 2012
Visual artist Lani Maestro.
Montreal artist Lani Maestro, born and raised in the Philippines, received the 2012 Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation, Nov. 19, 2012. The prestigious award is a $25,000 prize for outstanding achievement by a Canadian artist. The awards ceremony, followed by a reception, took place at the Bourgie Hall at the Musee des beaux-arts in Montreal.
The Hnatyshyn Foundation, a private charity established by the late Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Canada’s 24th Governor General, began awarding grants in 2005 for excellence in Canadian visual arts and for curatorial excellence.
The awards jury found Maestro’s work to be “initially intellectually enigmatic but sensuously resonant.”
According to the jury, “many of Maestro’s works situate places within places as a means by which to have us travel in and out of the home, inside and outside space, hoping to erode binary opposition. In this sense, we might describe Maestro`s work as architecture of the body, with the proviso that such works, which emphasize passage rather than permanence, ultimately erode architecture`s claim to authority.”
In her art practice, Maestro has been concerned with questions of space — how we occupy it and how it occupies us — and of home by belonging or as difference; that is, by way of non-belonging.
Maestro has a bachelor of fine arts from the University of the Philippines. She immigrated to Canada in 1982, studied at the Banff Centre for Arts in Alberta and pursued her master’s from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her expanded art practice includes exhibitions, publishing, writing, teaching and running an itinerant gallery. She has represented Canada in numerous international exhibitions and some of her recent solo shows include “Her rain” (she laughs), Plug In ICA in Winnipeg (2011), “Her rain “, Centre A, in Vancouver (2011), l’oubli de l’air (with Malcolm Goldstein), Fonderie Darling, Montreal (2010), cine-‐ma, Campo Santa Margherita, Venice, Italy, Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal (2007), Sing Mother, Twilight Eats You, Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax (2006) and je suis toi., Eglise Saint Nicolas, Caen, commissioned by Wharf, Centre d’art contemporain de Basse-‐Normandie (2006).
Her most recent collaborative exhibitions include Without a Murmur at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design,De La Salle College of St. Benilde which is on view until Feb 2013. Maestro’s forthcoming solo exhibitions include two commissioned site-specific works in Lorraine and l’Ardeche in France (2013) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manila and the Vargas Museum, Manila (2014).
Robert Enright of Border Crossings Magazine interviewed Maestro on stage as part of the awards ceremony (see the video here).