The National Gallery of Canada announces the winners of its national art competition for teens, So You Want To Be An Artist?

Ottawa - June 3, 2011

The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) announced this morning the names of the three winners of the first ever of its national art competition for teens, So You Want To Be An Artist? On May 25, the jury met to select the works that stood out most among those of 12 finalists chosen by online vote on Facebook earlier this spring. The jury was made up of well-known Montreal graffiti artist Roadsworth (Peter Gibson), Radio-Canada cultural reporter Jhade Montpetit and contemporary curator and the NGC's Elizabeth Simonfay Curatorial Resident of Indigenous Art, Candice Hopkins.

And the winners are:
1st place: Xiangshen Jason Guo, Ottawa. Title of work: My First Red.
2nd place: Nicholas Callies, Ottawa. Title of work: Canadian War Museum.
3rd place: Keir MacDonald, Ottawa. Title of work: Enclosed.

The winners' and finalists' works are on view until July 2 on the NGC's Artissimo Gallery wall.
They can also be seen online at

Youths' talent excites jury
All jury members were impressed by the finalists' and winners' talent. Speaking of Xiangshen Jason Guo's piece, juror Candace Hopkins said, "Strong technical skill and content are equally strongly conveyed." Montreal graffiti artist Peter Gibson liked the atmosphere that Nicholas Callies managed to create in his work. "It’s a black and white photograph but because you captured so many different shades, there’s something 'colourful' about it." After reading Keir MacDonald's explanation of his piece, Jhade Montpetit said that she appreciated it even more, and that it had stood out from the beginning for its originality and colour.

The winners' take
The first prize winner will have the chance to visit behind the scenes at the NGC and meet some of the professionals who work there. Xiangshen Jason Guo will also be entitled to expert advice on his portfolio and will receive a $500 online gift certificate for art supplies. As he's an Ottawa resident, he'll also receive a $1,000 online gift certificate for art supplies instead of the travel portion of the prize. The winner of the second prize, Nicolas Callies, will receive a $1000 online gift certificate and Keir MacDonald, who was awarded the third prize, will receive a $500 gift certificate, for art supplies.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art, including the extensive collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains the largest touring art exhibition programme in the world. For more information, visit


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Josée-Britanie Mallet
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National Gallery of Canada

Claire Schofield
Manager,Corporate Communications
and Public Relations National Gallery of Canada