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British artist Jo Longhurst Wins 2012 Grange Prize

LONDON, November 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --



Public vote awards UK artist £32,000 prize for contemporary photography

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and Aeroplan, an Aimia company, are pleased to announce that the public has chosen British photographer Jo Longhurst as the winner of The Grange Prize 2012.

Longhurst was selected over fellow contenders Emmanuelle Léonard (Montreal), Annie MacDonell (Toronto) and Jason Evans (UK). Voting began 10 weeks ago at http://www.thegrangeprize.com. Members of the public also had the opportunity to vote in person at Canada House in London, where the nominees' work is being exhibited until 6 January 2013. The Grange Prize is one of the world's largest photography prizes and one of the few art prizes determined by public vote.

Longhurst received her prize at a ceremony at the Art Gallery of Ontario on the evening of 1 November. The prize was awarded by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, a London-based artist duo who served on The Grange Prize jury this year.

Born in Essex, Longhurst has gained international recognition for her work, having exhibited in London, Paris and Berlin, as well as at this year's Documenta (13). A PhD graduate from the Royal College of Art, Longhurst's work investigates ideas of physical perfection and self-creation, capturing the striking portraits of elite gymnasts and whippet show dogs in her two primary bodies of work, Other Spaces and The Refusal.

Longhurst receives the £32,000 cash prize, while the three other finalists each receive a cash honorarium of £3,200 dedicated to the research, creation and production of new work. All four finalists will receive an artist residency, one of the unique features of The Grange Prize. Longhurst begins her residency at the AGO on 4 November 2012, and will occupy the Anne Lind Artist-in-Residence Studio inside the Weston Family Learning Centre until 15 December 2012. Jason Evans will be in residence at the AGO in spring 2013, and Emmanuelle Léonard and Annie MacDonell will travel to the UK to conduct research and explore new avenues of practice next year.

Matthew Teitelbaum, director, and CEO of the AGO, says: "The Grange Prize is unique amongst international art prizes. In partnership with Aeroplan, we have built something truly innovative in its accessibility and support, and we are thrilled to see the response from the public, who are voting by the thousands and sharing their love of art with us. I offer my sincere congratulations to Ms. Longhurst and to all of the shortlisted artists."

Vince Timpano, President and Chief ExecutiveOfficer, Canada, Aimia, says: "There is an incredible amount of talent amongst this year's shortlisted artists and we are pleased to showcase their inspiring work. Together with the AGO, we are committed to raising awareness of contemporary photography and the artists who create it here in Canada and around the world."

Previous winners of The Grange Prize include Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canadian photographer Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canadian photographer Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).

Blog posts and more information about The Grange Prize can be found at http://www.thegrangeprize.com.

The Grange Prize is generously supported by The Canada Council for the Arts.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Winner Jo Longhurst is available for phone interviews on Friday 2 November between 1.00pm and 3.00pm GMT. Please contact Helen Fitzhugh, Hannah Wallis or Liz Sowden on 020 7401 8001 to arrange an interview.

ABOUT AEROPLAN

Aeroplan, Canada's premier coalition loyalty program is owned by Aimia Inc., a global leader in loyalty management. Aeroplan is a long-standing patron of the arts, with a history of supporting artists and arts initiatives across Canada. Of particular significance is the company's work, in partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario, to develop The Grange Prize for contemporary photography. Aeroplan is committed to fostering a long-term, international dialogue about this important art form. Aeroplan has also joined the AGO in a partnership as the Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program, supporting planned AGO activities to engage visitors with photography, including special lectures and tours.

For more information about Aeroplan, please visit http://www.aimia.com or http://www.aeroplan.com.

ABOUT THE AGO

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens' masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson's generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore. The AGO has an active membership program offering great value, and the AGO's Weston Family Learning Centre offers engaging art and creative programs for children, families, youth and adults. Visit ago.net to find out more about upcoming special exhibitions, to learn about eating and shopping at the AGO, to register for programs and to buy tickets or memberships.

Oct. 20, 2012-Jan. 20, 2013: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting

March 16-June 16, 2013: Revealing the Renaissance: Art in Early Florence

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of its Signature Partners: American Express, Signature Partner of the Conservation Program; and Aeroplan, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

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