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Meet our award winners!
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SOCIAL COMMENTARY AWARD

Hello Friends!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope you had a lovely, cozy holiday season.

We would like to continue introducing our 2017 award winners to you. Let us start with Azadeh Pirazimian, winner of the inaugural 'Eyes of Society - Social Commentary Award'. This $1000 cash award is generously sponsored by the New Regionalism Project and we hope to invite more artists with socially engaged work to exhibit with us and engage the public with their unique perspectives. 

Azadeh Pirazimian in her own words:

“They Had Not Read the News”

The world of media, the mass media, news websites and thousands of other fancy names can be mentioned as the same entities which conceal the “news” from the eyes and ears. The mind “oblivious to the media”, “formed by the media” or, generally speaking, the “uninformed” mind, is the love child of the “media age”; the age which indoctrinates the “brainwashed” heads with “fake information”. “They had not read the news!” This may be the best description of a captive mind, a mind incapable of “interpreting” the news in a right way.

In the Neo-Liberal Age, the human is a consumerist being. A human concerned with consuming all the junk, even the lousiest news of the lousiest media. They may be able to see, but they are incapable of understanding. They just watch, watch and watch with the fear and caution indoctrinated by the media of the hegemonic powers.

Now, it is the media which forms the culture. These days, the pop culture means the life under the shadows; a fruitless conservative culture which prescribes passivism or submission to the power, even when it comes to genocide.  
 

Why have the artists of New Regionalism Project initiated this important award? 

 
"This new award aims to draw attention to the traditional role of independent artists, as outspoken and engaged social commentators, in the spirit of American regionalism and London Regionalism, here in Canada – for artists at all stages of their careers, irrespective of the manner or mode in which these individuals choose to communicate their message. By presenting a selection of works by short list artists, in a booth established for this purpose, the New Regionalism project hopes to foster a greater awareness among the public of the importance of free expression; which, in turn, may provide an important rationale for the support of independent art – an essential aspect of liberal democracy."

The Had Not Read the News - Pigment Liner on Paper 17x24 cm, 2015-2016

W. David Ward and Anja Karisik, two of the judges of the first 'Eyes Of Society, Social Commentary Award', on Azadeh's work:

"Inspired by nature in Canada, Iranian artist Azadeh Pirazimian, transmutes her story of a tragically universal experience into an evocative personal allegory. Her background in visual communications is the basis for this compelling social commentary. Azadeh's understated, yet meticulously detailed ink, drawings are trenchant commentaries. The moment one stops and looks beyond the surface of these works, a dark undercurrent becomes apparent. Azadeh uses an iconography of wildlife as a metaphor for the larger world; the mass-media and its unwitting audience, and the dangers concealed in that pervasive environment which, as Marshall McLuhan tells us, is very definitely not a 'passive wrapping'. What is the news of which Azadeh speaks? Does it matter? While the hapless birds in her image gaze off into space – perhaps mindful of their environment, perhaps only day-dreaming – sinister forces maneuvre, out of sight, beneath their feet. The outcome is clear, and seemingly inevitable; and all the more unsettling because we perceive in these works an unacknowledged truth. Azadeh's art is an important statement, not only on contemporary culture, but of the human condition."

The Had Not Read the News - Pigment Liner on Paper 17x24 cm, 2015-2016

What Azadeh is up to next:

Azadeh has a collaborative exhibition with another artist at the Museum of Volkenkunde in Leiden (Netherlands), which has been selected to be presented at a conference in London in April 2018. Azadeh will also have a solo exhibition at North York Art Centre in March 2018, for more information visit Azadeh's website.


The Had Not Read the News - Pigment Liner on Paper 17x24 cm, 2015-2016

 

APPLY NOW

OUR CALL FOR ARTISTS IS OPEN! 

We have great tips and resources on how to prepare a successful application. Please take some time to read about our selection criteria and pay attention to how to take images of your work and look at examples of a winning booth shot image. But as always, we are here in person to help you troubleshoot. Reach out to our Artist Relations Coordinator, Ania at 416-408-2754 or ania@torontooutdoorart.org if you can't find the answer to your question. 

APPLY EARLY! 

It's not too late to get in on the first-come, first-serve booth locations! If your application is successful, you will be able to choose your top 3 preferred 'neighbourhoods' on the exhibition map during Booth Payments in April 2018 (does not apply for prime or student booths). The earlier you apply, the better chance of getting your first choice if your application is successful.
 
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