Introducing | 2020 Canadian Women Artists’ Award Recipients Destinie Adelakun and Sara Jimenez
The Canadian Women Artists’ Award is offered by NYFA with funding from the Canadian Women’s Club of New York.
The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has announced interdisciplinary artists Destinie Adelakun and Sara Jimenez as its 2020 Canadian Women Artists’ Award recipients. The $5,000 award is designed to provide financial support to women-identifying emerging or early career 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. This year, in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the creative community, the CWC and NYFA decided to award two prizes.
“We’re proud to partner with the Canadian Women’s Club to offer this award, and are especially grateful to recognize not one but two artists,” said Michael L. Royce, Executive Director, NYFA. “Destinie Adelakun and Sara Jimenez are exceptionally talented cross-disciplinary artists, and we are excited to hear more from them as they continue to push their careers forward,” he added.
Destinie Adelakun is a Lagos, Nigeria-born, Nagpur, India-raised Canadian artist whose work extends from mixed-media, painting, and photography to film and sculpture, and explores topics ranging from African history, mythology, and spirituality. She utilizes individuals in her work as a personification of principles and ideas, and a way to re-illustrate African and Indian mythological tales. Adelakun, who received a BFA degree in Fashion Production from The London College of Fashion, celebrates women of the African diaspora and plays with the adornment that embodies the creative direction of the work. She has collaborated with noted art world icons such as Renee Cox, Mickalene Thomas, and Taha Clayton to name a few, and curated several art shows in the New York region before recently transitioning to showing her own art and photography work. She currently lives and works in New York, NY.
Said Adelakun upon receiving a 2020 Canadian Women Artists’ Award: “As a biracial daughter of the diaspora, life has thrown countless battles on my path to success. I recently became a mother during this global pandemic, and just when I felt overwhelmed and buried by the challenges of life I received this ray of opportunity. This award means that I have the opportunity to continue to create work. It is an opportunity for me to allow other young women of color, especially mothers, to see that creativity and achievement doesn’t end after childbirth. This award and its recognition will elevate my career to a whole new level, and it’s an affirmation to continue working and believing in myself.”
Sara Jimenez explores the material embodiment of deep transcultural memories. As an interdisciplinary Filipinx-Canadian artist, she is interested in materializing existing global narratives around concepts of origins and home, loss and absence. She works in collage, sculpture, installation, and performance to create visual metaphors that allude to mythical environments and forgotten artifacts. Jimenez is a collector and alchemist: among other things, she collects familial narratives, abandoned objects, debris, compost, colonial texts and photos, maps, and textiles. Through material experimentation, she combines and rearranges elements from her collections to complicate pre-existing narratives of place, lineage, and temporality. Her work has been exhibited at the Pinto Art Museum (Philippines), El Museo del Barrio, Brooklyn Museum, and others, and she has performed at numerous venues including The Dedalus Foundation, The Noguchi Museum, and Dixon Place. Upcoming, Jimenez will have solo shows at Irvine Fine Arts Center and The Center for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, England, and will participate in the 2021 Cornell Biennial curated by Tim Murray. Jimenez received her BA degree from the University of Toronto and her MFA degree from Parsons the New School for Design. She teaches at Parsons, New York University, and Borough of Manhattan Community College and mentors graduate students at the Vermont College of Fine Art and School of Visual Arts. Jimenez is based in Brooklyn, NY.
Said Jimenez upon receiving a 2020 Canadian Women Artists’ Award: “I am incredibly honored to receive this award. It is humbling and moving to be gifted resources to pursue my vision and share it with the world. I want my work to be of service to the public and to shift the paradigm of visual culture.”
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, spoke about the rationale behind giving two awards in 2020: “I know the financial struggles that artists face during the best of times can be difficult, but layer a global pandemic onto that and it can be overwhelming. So the decision to award two worthy Canadian recipients in 2020 was made and we are thrilled with the selections of artists Adelakun and Jimenez.”
Images from top: Destinie Adelakun and Sara Jimenez, Photo Credits: Sheridon Poyer and Sara Jimenez; Destinie Adelakun, ADE – Oshun and Oya’s crown, 2020; and Sara Jimenez, Cenotaph, 2018