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Governor General's Awards honour feminist artist

Ottawa, March 25, 2008 – The Canada Council for the Arts today announced the names of the eight winners of the 2008 Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

Kenojuak Ashevak, Serge Giguère, Michel Goulet, Alex Janvier,
Tanya Mars and Eric Metcalfe will receive awards for artistic achievement; Chantal Gilbert will receive the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the fine crafts, while Shirley Thomson will receive the outstanding contribution award for her work as a cultural administrator, gallery director and arts advocate.

Tanya Mars

Considered one of Canada's most innovative multidisciplinary artists, Tanya Mars has been active in the Canadian alternative art scene since the early 1970s. Her dramatic, humorous and satirical works–ranging from performance through to sculpture and video–have influenced an entire generation of artists over some 30 years. An admirer of Dada and Surrealism, among other art movements, she is equally attracted to cheerleading and vaudeville. Her work is witty, entertaining and at times bawdy; it is inspired by feminist and utopian perspectives. Tanya Mars is a mentor to many emerging artists as an artist, teacher, curator and editor. She is a member of the curatorial collective that organizes Toronto's 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art. She helped found Powerhouse in Montreal in 1973, one of the first feminist art collectives in Canada. She edited Parallelogramme from 1976 to 1989 and co-edited (with Johanna Householder) the definitive Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2005). She has taught and given workshops at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) and currently teaches at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Tanya Mars lives in Toronto.

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