The following students were selected by internal juries at their respective institutions as finalists for the 2014 – 15 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program:

Nedda Baba

Nedda Baba, born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1993, is currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art at York University. She has participated in several group exhibitions and collaborative projects in Toronto. In 2014, she was nominated as a finalist for The State Hermitage Museum Young Artists Program. Her work explores the constructed notions of an Assyrian (Iraqi Christian) identity in diaspora as it relates to femininity, family, religion, and politics. Inspired by the practice of cultural preservation, she questions the nature of the customs and traditions that her family has strived to maintain, while also exploring ideas associated with loss and memory in migration itself. Baba’s multifaceted view on these topics is shaped by the subjectivities that stem from her Eastern origins combined with her upbringing in the West. Her practice vacillates between staged studio pieces using mementos from her childhood and constructed images using vernacular photographs from her family archive.

(York University)

Sabrina Chamberland

Sabrina Chamberland, born and raised in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, is currently completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography at the University of Ottawa. Chamberland’s works investigate the precarious and visceral qualities of the human body to further explore the conflicting dichotomies that become inherent when put upon close examination, such as the body’s capacity to attract and repulse, to comfort and estrange, to enlighten and disorient. Through fragmented studies of the flesh and atypical visual juxtapositions, Chamberland’s photographs further aim to question the body’s relationship to notions of gender, identity, technology, and ultimately, the human condition. Her recent works have been included in local exhibitions, notably a permanent installation at University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Social Sciences and two solo shows at Gallery 115 and Studio Sixty Six in Ottawa. Chamberland’s works have also been featured in the 2014 Figureworks Annual Award Show for which she won first prize.

(University of Ottawa)

Emily Kohlert

Emily M. Kohlert is a 21-year-old artist currently completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK. She specializes in photography and printmaking. She began shooting film photography seven years ago, hired often to take promotional and live photos of bands, as well as shooting for hobby. Mainly, she photographs with film and is well-versed in 35mm, medium and large format, and darkroom editing and printing. Now, fine art photography, graphic design, and screen print are the areas she focuses on. The concepts she brings to life with her fine art photography are self reflective, illustrative, and overflowing with emotion. After discovering the digital medium, poster and album art design have become a focus as well. She started a graphic design business one year ago by the name of Dandy Lion, and her design work is based in photography, having explored photo merging.

(University of Saskatchewan)

Louis-Alex Lavoie

Louis-Alex Lavoie is a performance artist, dancer, artist and writer from Montreal who’s currently completing a degree in visual and media arts at l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Between reality and fiction, his artistic practice explores the construction of an identity related to the context and the scene suggested in his photographs. By using personal experiences and exposing them to the public eye without revealing too much, he tries to question his own background experiences through the ignorance of his models. He focuses on the individual stories of each photographic portrait, which try to convey the existence of its subject. The perspective created by taking a picture intensifies the importance of every detail by seeing it from a alternate point of view. The result of said process refers to past events, which place the audience face to face with its memories.

(l’Université du Québec à Montréal)

Shuo Li

Shuo Li is a Chinese Canadian photographer based in Calgary, Alberta. His work has been presented in China and Canada at public and private institutions including the Calgary Public Library and the Main Mall Gallery at the Alberta College of Art and Design. He works primarily with medium and large format cameras using traditional printing techniques and he occasionally post processes his work digitally. He has been a recipient of a number of scholarships and awards. His work explores the landscape and our emotional relationship to it from a bi-cultural perspective. He sees the landscape as a metaphor for human yearning and inner dreams.

(Alberta College of Art and Design)

Mara Gajic

Mara Gajic is currently a student at OCAD University pursuing a BFA in photography. Her work is driven by elements of performance and costume to explore open narratives of self-construct and personal psychology and the quiet space between imagination and reality. Often using herself to stage her images, she imposes new realities on both herself and her photographs through the embodiment of a performative role to communicate underlying personal states in the form of colourful visual narratives and to initiate an unspoken dialogue between the viewer and artist, which is mediated through the photograph. In spring 2014, Mara was the recipient of the Emerging Artists and Designers Scholarship. In February 2015, she took part in Here, her first group exhibition at Autumn Gallery in Toronto alongside nine photography students from OCAD. Some of her most recent work has been selected to be in the Art with Heart Auction in fall 2015.

(OCAD University)

Faber Neifer

Faber Neifer is a photographer currently earning his BFA in Photography with a minor in Social Practices and Community Engagement at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Primarily working through photography, his practice also includes installations, film, and audio works. Born and raised in British Columbia, his work engages with the land and the city through his camera, documenting and exploring notions of settlement, dwellings, and homes. As a European-Chinese resident of Vancouver, his work is created with an awareness of this city’s particular history of colonialism, settlement, and marginalization. His work has been exhibited in group and solo shows. He is the recipient of the 2014 John Jordan Memorial Scholarship and Friends of Emily Carr Scholarship.

(Emily Carr University of Art + Design)

Roxanne Ross

Roxanne Ross was born in Montreal and is currently completing a BFA in photography at Concordia University. Her practice consists of large format photographs which focus on relationships within the contemporary North American family. Her portraits attempt to understand the relationships that comprise the modern family having now evolved from its original nuclear framework. Her interest lies in questioning what the contemporary structure has given way to, as well as in how those relationships (or lack thereof) have changed us. Through her images, she attempts to ask what and where is the North American family. She has participated in several group shows in Montreal, including exhibitions at ARTS NDG and Art Mûr. She was included in the long list for the BMO 1st Art Competition in Toronto. For her latest project, she received the Fine Arts Student Alliance, Special Project Grant, Fall 2014. She was featured in The Concordia Undergraduate Journal of Art History’s most recent volume. Her work is held in private collections in Canada and the Unites States.

(Concordia University)

Daniel Schrempf

Daniel Schrempf was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1993 and moved to Lethbridge, Alberta in 2006. He has recently completed his third year in the BFA New Media program at the University of Lethbridge. While initially wanting to become an Architect, his focus shifted towards photography early on in his undergraduate studies. Following a two-week solo trip along the American west coast, his series 123°w appeared in a local exhibit ArtWalk, an event created by the Allied Arts Council of Lethbridge. Among other projects, he has recently finished a documentary work on Northern Poland consisting of 20 analog silver prints and 20 digital inkjet prints that comment on the variance of time periods that are represented within the country. His work explores his fascination with the highly involved practices of analog photography, how a digital medium can be returned to a similar complicated process, and how this purism magnifies and expresses the beauty of the human engine in the resulting images.

(University of Lethbridge)

Lauren Tsuyuki

Lauren Tsuyuki, born in 1994, is currently a student at Simon Fraser University who is completing her BFA in visual arts. Most recently, Tsuyuki, in collaboration with her classmates, helped curate The Geometry of Knowledge: Part 4 You Are Here exhibition at SFU’s Audain Gallery. She has experimented with a variety of mediums and techniques but paper-folding has always been recurrent in her work. In the last year she has been focusing on the transformative nature of folding. Her work often deals with hybrid forms that are a result of combining the traditional art of paper-folding with modern images or forms.

(Simon Fraser University)

D’Arcy Way

D’Arcy Way, born in Toronto and currently living in Halifax while completing his BFA at NSCAD University, focuses on the idea that the all matter and energy in the universe tends to evolve towards a state of uniformity. Combining the philosophies of photography, scientific evidence, natural processes and social economic problems, often with a technical hands-on approach. Through photographic landscapes he has questioned our perception of the world, the wonder of deep time, and various ever-changing forms of water with the interaction between states. Way continuously looks to push the use of photographic apparatuses to create new ways of viewing our environment. His most recent work explores photographs as objects while creating the illusion of three-dimensional space. Presenting the compressed flat plane of photography as transparent sculptural installations. His works impose the questioning of our interaction with technology and that our perspectives can be constantly changed.

(NSCAD University)

Chadman Wong

Chadman Wong is currently completing his BFA in Visual Arts and Art History at the University of British Columbia. His work is primarily concerned with trying to establish a relationship between cultural identity and artistic identity through referring to his own personal life while alluding to aspects of art history. In his third year of University, he was a part of Kinetica, the first student group-show held in the new Art History and Visual Arts (AHVA) Gallery. More recently, Wong’s essay: Monet: The Ephemeral and Ruskin’s “Truth to Nature” was published in the Undergraduate Journal of Art History. Utilizing both photography and video, Wong attempts to make sense of both the immigrant experience, as one that is linked to personal history, and the preservation of cultural traditions. He also wishes to express the struggles of being a child of an immigrant family, who is trying to form their own identity.

(University of British Columbia)