Portia White Prize 2017


Photo: Claire Jewell

For over forty years, Susan Gibson Garvey has been active in the visual arts community as an artist, educator, critic, curator and public gallery director. Born and educated in England, she settled in Nova Scotia in 1975, obtaining an MA from NSCAD in 1981. Her artworks have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, and are represented in numerous public collections. During her 17 years at Dalhousie Art Gallery, she organized over 100 exhibitions and published numerous essays and articles focusing on contemporary artists from the Atlantic region. Susan has taught visual art at every level, developed courses in curatorial practice, and mentored young artists and curators of diverse backgrounds. She has served on national and provincial arts award juries, and on the boards of many arts organizations. In 1995 she chaired the NS Government-appointed steering committee leading to the first arm’s-length Nova Scotia Arts Council. Her many awards include the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal for outstanding services to the visual arts. She continues to work as an independent curator and studio artist.

Protégé: Visual Arts Nova Scotia's Mentorship Program

Photo: 2016-17 Mentees (from L to R): Ryan Josey, Ben Mosher, Alexis Vessey and Kate Grey installing their exhibition at the Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, NS.

Now in its twelfth year, the Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS) Mentorship Program is designed to support the individual artistic methods and professional ambitions of emerging artists in Nova Scotia by providing access to the skills and experience of selected mentors. Over the course of 10 months, this one-on-one mentorship provides an exceptional opportunity for emerging artists to develop both their creative process and professional skills, thus building the foundation for a successful career in the visual arts. As a secondary outcome, the program offers established artists an opportunity to pass on their experience, resources, knowledge, and insight. By investing intensely in a few individuals each year, VANS Mentorship Program contributes on a wider scale to the overall strength, sustainability and vibrancy of the visual arts community in Nova Scotia.