MFA Grad Wins Coveted National Painting Prize

In an immaculate studio in Berlin, Canadian artist Ambera Wellmann, MFA ’16, creates the painstaking and complex paintings that have made her an acclaimed figure in contemporary art. Wellman has described her somewhat surreal work as having a subconsciousness of its own.

She made a big noise on the Canadian art scene in 2017 when she won the $25,000 RBC Canadian Painting Competition prize. It was the seventh year in a row that a U of G student or graduate has won or been a finalist for the prestigious prize.

The juried competition, created in 1999 and organized by the Canadian Art Foundation, honours young and emerging Canadian painters. The 15 finalists from among more than 600 submissions by artists across the country included Amanda Boulos, MFA ’17.

Wellmann’s winning submission, done in oil on wood, is titled Temper Ripened. It is now part of RBC’s corporate art collection.

Wellmann was also a finalist in 2016. The jury, made up of some of Canada’s top artists, art directors, curators and art critics, called Wellmann “a powerful new voice in Canadian art.”