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Pictured left to right are Jennifer Jansen, Leah DenBok, Dave Saunders, Anne Luton, Karen Bowen and Kara McIntosh

2018 Clerkson Award Winner

Collingwood photographer Leah Denbok has won the $1000 prize in the prestigious Murray Clerkson contest for emerging artists for 2018. This eighteen-year-old, a student at Collingwood Collegiate, was chosen from twenty-one artists who entered the contest this year. The prize includes a one-month display of her art in the Art Centre of the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts, on Hurontario Street, Collingwood. Four other artists were chosen as finalists in the competition and they also have won the right to display their art in the Arts Centre. This show runs to Sunday, June 24, 2018, and is open to the public Wednesday to Saturday 11:00 am. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. In addition, the five finalists will be exhibitied in the L. E. Shore Library in Thornbury for the month of September.

The other four finalists chosen were ANNE LUTON, an oil painter from Clarksburg; KARA MCINTOSH, an oil painter from Nottawa; KAREN BOWEN, an oil painter from Tiny Beaches; and JENNIFER JANSEN, a Creemore artist who does unique 3-D images of local topography. All five finalists were chosen according to a rigorous set of criteria specified in Murray Clerkson’s bestowment in 2010. The award is administered by the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts. Their committee scrutinizes the portfolios of all contestants, then selects the five most deserving “emerging” artists to be the finalists.

The BMFA is grateful for the generous support of two Collingwood patrons of the arts, KERRY MADER and DR. BRIAN MCCRINDLE who made the exhibit possible.

The BMFA is also pleased to announce that the owners of CLERKSON’S HOME STORE, of Collingwood, DAVID AND PAULA CONNING, have agreed to donate the $1000 prize for the Clerkson Award, following the expiration of Mr. Clerkson’s bestowment in 2019. The Connings’ generosity will allow the Murray Clerkson Award to be granted annually for years to come

About Murray Clerkson

December 12, 1933—March 10, 2009
Murray was born in Broadview, Saskatchewan, the youngest of 12 siblings. He attended the Vancouver School of Art and UBC, and then moved to Toronto to freelance as a fashion illustrator and painter. In Collingwood he was proprietor of the well loved Clerkson’s Country Furniture on Pine Street.

Clerkson was a well known local artist, eccentric, with a dramatic flair in his own art. Throughout his own career, he strongly supported new and emerging artists by investing in their work and freely and positively commenting on their achievement.