Fiona Alison Duncan, Maud Madsen, and Maryam Mir Receive 2022 Canadian Women Artists’ Awards

Fiona Alison Duncan, Maud Madsen, and Maryam Mir Receive 2022 Canadian Women Artists’ Awards
Images (from L): Fiona Alison Duncan, Photo Credit: Matthew Doyle; Maud Madsen, Photo Courtesy of the Artist; and Maryam Mir, Photo Credit: Chheangkea Ieng

Award offered by NYFA with funding from the Canadian Women’s Club of New York.

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced author Fiona Alison Duncan, painter Maud Madsen, and filmmaker Maryam Mir as its 2022 Canadian Women Artists’ Award recipients in Literary Arts, Visual Arts, and Media & Design, respectively. The $5,000 award is designed to provide financial support to emerging or early career women artists working in any discipline, and can be used in any manner the recipient deems necessary to further their artistic goals. The award program is supported by funding granted to NYFA by the Canadian Women’s Club (CWC) of New York as a way to continue its philanthropic work when it disbanded.

“We are pleased to honor Fiona Alison Duncan, Maud Madsen, and Maryam Mir with 2022 Canadian Women Artists’ Awards, and are grateful to the Canadian Women’s Club of New York for their continued support of women artists across disciplines” said Michael Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “Duncan, Madsen, and Mir have already accomplished much in their burgeoning careers, and we hope this funding helps them to achieve more great things in their futures,” he added.

Fiona Alison Duncan is the author of creative nonfiction, journalism, and fiction works. Her debut novel Exquisite Mariposa (Soft Skull Press, 2019) was published to critical acclaim with reviews in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Yorker, Bookforum, Brooklyn Rail, and others. It was recognized with a 2020 Lamba Literary Award for Bisexual Fiction and was long-listed for The Golden Poppy Book Award in 2019. She is also the founding host of Hard to Read, a literary social practice, through which she presents events and exhibitions that explore the language arts, while fostering intentional intersectional and interdisciplinary community. 

White book cover featuring an image of a doll inside of a small aquarium, a poster on the wall of the aquarium reads "I want to believe." The title of the book is Exquisite Mariposa, author Fiona Alison Duncan.
Image: Fiona Alison Duncan, “Exquisite Mariposa,” Soft Skull Press, 2019, Cover Art: Maggie Lee

Duncan is currently developing a narrative biography of the radical transdisciplinary artist Pippa Garner, which the funds from the Canadian Women Artists’ Award will help to support. Partnering with Kunstverein München in Munich, Germany, Duncan recently co-curated the first institutional exhibition of the work of Garner in Europe, Act Like You Know Me, which will travel the Kunsthalle Zürich in Switzerland and the Frac Lorraine in Metz, France in early 2023. In 2021, Duncan received an Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for an article-length work on Garner. 

Duncan contributes to a variety of international arts and culture publications including Affidavit, Canadian Art, Cultured, CURA., Gagosian, Interview, New York Magazine, Spike, and Vogue. Duncan lives in New York, NY, and was born in London, Ontario.

Said Duncan upon receiving the 2022 Canadian Women Artists’ Award: “The Canadian Women Artists’ Award comes at an important juncture in both my writing about the radical artist Pippa Garner and my own artistic career. Financially enabling me to further my documentation of Garner, an elder artist, while she is still alive, the award is also a much needed confidence boost and affirmation of my practice.”

Maud Madsen’s work investigates remembrances and explores the idea of normalcy as a preferred narrative—the sanitized idea of memory versus the messier truths and discomforts of embarrassing admissions and taboo topics. She also explores the idea of communal memory, and how the general narrative of a group subsumes the specifics of an individual if the collective narrative represents an ideal. Through the use of recurring characters and appropriated childhood spaces, Madsen’s work explores her own memories and insecurities as they relate to her lived experience as a woman.

Detail of a painting of a woman in a bikini on an elevated platform, viewed from below
Image Detail: Maud Madsen, “Groundless,” 2022, acrylic on linen, Photo Credit: Lance Brewer

Recent solo exhibitions include Daisy Chain at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY; Maud Madsen at Half Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Maud Madsen: Three Paintings at 1969 Gallery, New York, NY. Her work was featured in group shows at Fredericks & Freiser and White Columns in New York, NY; Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA; and Green Family Art Foundation, Dallas, TX. Awards include The Chubb Fellowship at New York Academy of Art, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, and the Edmonton Arts Council CIP Travel Grant. Madsen’s work has been featured in Hi-Fructose Magazine, Juxtapoz, Whitehot Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, New American Paintings, and others.

Madsen has a BFA degree from University of Alberta and an MFA degree from New York Academy of Fine Art. She lives in Brooklyn, NY and was born in Edmonton, Alberta.

On receiving a 2022 Canadian Women Artists’ Award, Madsen said: “Creating in New York has had a profound impact on my practice, but the introspective nature of my work means I’m thinking about home all the time. I consider myself very lucky to be part of an amazing Canadian artistic community, both in Canada and across the border. I’m so grateful to the Canadian Women’s Club of New York and the New York Foundation for the Arts for their support.”

Maryam Mir is a writer/director currently pursuing her MFA degree in Film Production at NYU Tisch, where she is an Ang Lee Scholar. As a Kashmiri-Canadian with Kenyan ancestry who was born in Germany and raised in Bahrain, Mir has always found inspiration in stories that center the immigrant experience in all its joy, delight, and magic.

She is a HEAR US (Honoring, Elevating, and Recapitalizing Underrepresented Stories) awardee (2021), a Universal Content Productions (UCP) Thousand Miles Project Workshop Participant (2022), and a Marcie Bloom Film Fellow (2023). Her latest short film, Sweet Refuge, starring Laith Nakli and Mahira Kakkar, was recently awarded a distribution grant from the Islamic Scholarship Fund and is aiming for a 2023 film festival run. Her previous short film, Birdwatching, was an official selection at the International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA’21) and the Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF44).

A Syrian baker sits on a bench and watches as a sweet seller pushes her cart, passing him by
Image Detail: Maryam Mir, “Sweet Refuge,” 2022, Camera: Chheangkea Ieng

Previously, she was featured in the American Muslim Futures Exhibit curated by the Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art, Culture & Design. Mir was also a summer resident in Documentary Filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts and was a 2019 Open City Fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Prior to film school, Mir worked as a consultant for five years in New York and Dubai. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Said Mir upon receiving the Canadian Women Artists’ Award: “As someone who is often navigating multiple identities at once, not quite sure where I truly fit or belong, this award feels like a coming home. I am so honored to receive this award and to feel seen and supported by this beautiful community. It is such an encouragement to keep going—and a reminder that our stories, as women, Muslims, immigrants, matter, in all their fullness and joy. This grant will enable me to move a project I have been dreaming about one step closer to becoming a reality, and allow me to continue to hone and develop my artistic practice.”

Lorraine Bell, Board Director Bridgemarq Real Estate Services, Hot Docs Foundation USA, the University of Toronto Associates, Inc., and former Canadian Women’s Club member said: “It is wonderful to continue to see the positive impact from the former Canadian Women’s Club of NY and the women who supported the organization through its more than 50 years of existence. Congratulations to the three Canadian grant recipients and we look forward to seeing your art careers flourish as your artistic voices strengthen. We are delighted that our grants will assist your vision. Thank you to NYFA for continuing to support artists across many disciplines and for doing such a great job administering these awards.”

Find out about additional awards and grants here. Sign up for our free bi-weekly newsletter NYFA News to receive announcements about future NYFA events and programs.

Amy Aronoff
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