Farihah Aliyah Shah Recipient of the John Hartman Award

February 27, 2020

 Farihah Aliyah Shah. Photo: Antonio Giacchetti (left); John Hartman in his studio. Photo: Joseph Hartman (right)

The MacLaren Art Centre in Barrie is pleased to announce that the 2019 recipient of the John Hartman Award is Farihah Aliyah Shah. Farihah Aliyah Shah is a contemporary artist originally from Edmonton, Alberta now based in Bradford and Toronto, Ontario. She holds a BHRM from York University and a BFA in Photography with a minor in Integrated Media from OCAD University. Utilizing photography, video and sound installation, her practice explores identity formation through the colonial gaze, race, land and collective memory. She seeks to challenge the lack of representation of disenfranchised bodies in the photographic canon and representational art, encouraging others to take agency of their image. She is a member of Gallery 44 and Women Photograph and has exhibited internationally in North America, Asia and Europe. She will be giving a free public talk on her practice at the MacLaren on Friday, March 20 at 12:15 pm.

The John Hartman Award is made possible with the generous support of MacLaren patron and regional artist John Hartman. This annual award of $4000 is granted to an emerging artist who is producing strong work and who could truly benefit by more time in the studio for research, experimentation and the development of new work. The artist is selected based on a recommendation from the MacLaren’s curatorial team and the award is administered by the MacLaren Art Centre. Past recipients include visual artists Richard Watts (2010); Duane Linklater (2011); Matt Bahen (2012); Julia Vandepolder (2013); Matt Macintosh (2014); Tanya Cunnington (2015); Erika DeFreitas (2016); Kristie MacDonald (2017); and Olivia Whetung (2018). As Executive Director Carolyn Bell Farrell comments, “The MacLaren is committed to fostering artistic talent. Through John Hartman’s generous support, an opportunity is provided annually for an emerging artist to explore and develop their creative potential with confidence, building a solid platform for future success.”

John Hartman was born in Midland, Ontario in 1950 and studied fine art at McMaster University in Hamilton. A leading Canadian artist, he has exhibited internationally and his works are found in numerous important public, corporate and private collections. His national touring exhibition Cities (presented at the MacLaren Art Centre in the fall of 2008) focused on aerial views of cities and harbours; shores, coastlines and bodies of water remain a major element in his practice. Hartman lives and works in Lafontaine, Ontario and is represented by Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto.