Grad Students Finalists for National Painting Prize

June 18, 2013 - News Release

Two University of Guelph MFA students are in the running for the prestigious RBC Canadian Painting Competition prize, which celebrates emerging Canadian visual artists. Jennifer Carvalho and Laura Findlay are among 15 national finalists selected from more than 600 entries.

The painting competition was created in 1999. To mark the prize’s 15th anniversary, RBC will award its biggest purse ever -- $115,000. For the first time, all shortlisted artists this year will receive a cash award.

The national winner will receive $25,000, and two runners-up will receive honourable mention prizes worth $15,000 each. Works by all three artists will become part of the RBC corporate art collection. Each of the remaining 12 finalists will receive $5,000.

Jane Ngobia

The top three awards will be announced Oct. 2 at an Ottawa gala. Works by all finalists will be displayed at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa Oct. 1-13 and at Art Toronto Oct. 24-28.

“This is wonderful recognition for Jennifer, Laura and the entire University,” said Maureen Mancuso, vice-president (academic). “Their nominations speak highly of Guelph’s reputation in the arts and in fostering student talent.”

Each artist submitted a single painting for the competition. Three jury panels representing Eastern, Central and Western Canada selected five regional paintings each. The panels will select the top three award winners.

Carvalho’s oil on canvas called STAIR (mid, low) was featured in today’s Globe and Mail. She recently defended her master’s thesis at Guelph; she completed undergraduate studies at McMaster University.

“The opportunity to participate in the RBC painting competition means a great deal to me as an emerging artist,” Carvalho said. “I am thrilled to have been nominated.”

Findlay’s entry, also oil on canvas, is called Laundry at Night. “The reputation of the RBC painting prize for the calibre of the finalists that make the list year after year has me feeling incredibly lucky to find myself part of it,” she said.

Jane Ngobia

“I'm very much looking forward to all the events surrounding the competition and getting to meet up with all the other finalists in Ottawa. I wouldn't need to achieve anything else from this point for it to still be one of the most exciting opportunities of my career so far.”

Findlay received her bachelor of fine arts degree from Concordia University. She will begin her second year in Guelph’s MFA program in the fall.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or

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