Galleries Ontario / Ontario Galleries (GOG) have announced their shortlist for the 44th annual GOG Awards, and Allyson Adley of the York University Art Gallery (AGYU) has been nominated for the Public Program category.
The Association of Art Galleries of Ontario was officially renamed GOG at the 2020 Awards Ceremony. âAlthough the appearance and name have changed, we are still the same organization to provide services of advocacy, professional development and networking to all of our members, âsaid Zainub Verjee, Executive Director of GOG.
Following 2020, this year’s awards ceremony will be virtual. Verjee says GOG decided to condense the awards from a 10 category ceremony to a six category ceremony. The prizes to be received this year are the prize of the exhibition of the year (budget greater than $ 50,000, budget greater than $ 20,000, budget less than $ 20,000 and budget less than $ 10,000), the prize of the public program and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Verjee also mentions how the pandemic has affected galleries across Ontario. She comments that âdue to the pandemic and the government’s plan to reopen, Ontario’s art galleries and museums have spent half of 2021 with their doors closed to the public. During this time, galleries have changed their approach and the way they think about doing exhibitions.
âThey took the time to learn new skills and new tools to use when approaching exhibit creation, such as making their exhibits in a virtual space,â continues Verjee. This shows with this approach taken by GOG and its virtual awards ceremony, as well as the new measures taken by AGYU.
Liz Ikiriko, Curator of Collections and Contemporary Engagement at AGYU, shared the same sentiments as Verjee. âCOVID-19 has had a profound effect on the galleries and the opportunities we have had to show art in physical spaces. Public, artist-run, commercial, and institutional galleries across the city were forced to close for long periods of time and so there was a need to focus on online programming.
Ikiriko talks about a new initiative they have developed called Lead time: âThis program was intended to help artists during this difficult time and allow them to connect with mentors to discuss artistic practices and research online. Ikiriko goes on to say that “AGYU has organized many online discussions and events, from ‘Art on My Mind, Desire Lines’ to ‘This is Not Made of Language but Energy’.
Allyson Adley, Collection / Education Assistant at AGYU, is nominated for the Public Program Award for the installation and conservation of their program. “Art in my mind 2020 was a virtual songwriting residency organized by AGYU that took place during the summer.
Aldley says the program “Hope you get alongWas a collective authorship of artists Zakisha Brown, Terence Penny, NamedTobias, Nasim Asgari, Tracey Kayy and producer Solitair.
Adley explains that the pandemic affected the original plan but they have adapted through the use of Zoom. According to Adley, the songwriting residency was originally scheduled to take place at Black Creek Community Farm until the pandemic struck, where it was decided to turn the program into a virtual residency due to health regulations. On a collectively selected beat, the artists wrote and performed the song’s lyrics together on Zoom, with Adley saying it was a collaborative process with artists exchanging ideas, and with everyone else’s. finally tuning on a theme, a chorus and a title.
“Hope You Relate” was born from a collective mediation of growing personal and societal struggles. âThe song traces the unique trajectories of each of the artists in their quest to overcome obstacles, manifest their dreams and achieve their goal. Advocating for social justice, the lyrics condemn police brutality and anti-black violence, and call for reparations for people of African descent, âAdley said.
The 44th Annual GOG Awards will take place on November 29 at 6 p.m. online. Tickets can be purchased here.
With files from Sarah Garofalo