Aimia | AGO Photography Prize announces 2015 winner

U.S. Photographer Dave Jordano receives $50,000 prize

TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2015 /CNW/ – The 2015 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize was awarded to American artist Dave Jordano at a special event held this evening at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). Selected entirely by public vote, Jordano receives C$50,000 in addition to a six-week, fully funded residency in Canada. Runners-up Annette Kelm (Germany), Owen Kydd (Canada) and Hito Steyerl (Germany) will each receive a six-week residency in 2016 and $5,000 to support their artistic practices.

Born in Detroit in 1948, Jordano currently lives and works in Chicago. He received a BFA in photography from the College for Creative Studies in 1974 and has worked as a successful commercial photographer since 1977. Jordano returned to fine art photography in 2001, when he began the series Chicago Bridge Project. In 2010, in response to the negative press coverage of his hometown, Jordano began a photographic series bearing witness to what has survived Detroit’s struggles and those who are left to cope with it. His series Detroit – Unbroken Down is the subject of a Powerhouse Books publication, released this fall. Jordano’s photographs are held in several public, private and corporate collections including the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Art, Houston; and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The shortlist for the prize was announced on June 23, 2015, by an international jury led by the AGO’s Adelina Vlas, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art. The jury also included Deputy Director and Senior Curator of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto João Ribas and acclaimed Paris-based artist Mohamed Bourouissa. The public vote, to decide the winner, opened on September 9, 2015 and closed at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 29, 2015.

“The artists on this year’s shortlist deeply impressed the jurors and I’m gratified to see that their work resonated with the public as well,” said Judy Koke, the AGO’s Chief of Public Programming and Learning. “People voted in the thousands, which underscores the intrigue created by the historical and philosophical questions each artist asks in their work. On behalf of the AGO, I congratulate Dave Jordano and thank each of the artists for bringing their forceful, distinctive visions to Toronto.”

“We are delighted to congratulate Dave Jordano and all of the shortlisted artists on their meaningful achievements and contributions to photography on an international stage,” said Vince Timpano, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada, Aimia. “We are proud of our unique partnership with the Art Gallery of Ontario and have a long and proud history of promoting arts in Canada.”

Previous winners of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize include Lisa Oppenheim of the U.S. (2014), Canada’s Erin Shirreff (2013), Jo Longhurst of the U.K. (2012), Gauri Gill of India (2011), Canada’s Kristan Horton (2010), Marco Antonio Cruz of Mexico (2009) and Canada’s Sarah Anne Johnson (2008).

The Aimia | AGO Photography Prize is Canada’s most significant award for contemporary photography, recognizing photographers from around the world whose work has exhibited extraordinary potential over the preceding five years. It has a total annual prize value of more than $100,000, with $50,000 awarded to the winner, $5,000 awarded to each of the other shortlisted artists and $25,000 supporting a national scholarship program for students studying photography at select institutions across Canada. The remainder funds six-week residencies for the four shortlisted artists at institutions across Canada. For more information and updates about the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize, please visit and follow @AimiaAGOPrize on Twitter.

Aimia is a data-driven marketing and loyalty analytics company and in Canada runs Aeroplan, the country’s premier coalition loyalty program. Aimia has adopted the fundamental principles of loyalty, trust and reciprocity, as the pillars of its global social purpose – to create mutually beneficial partnerships that leave a lasting impact in our communities. As an enthusiastic patron of the Arts, Aimia supports many Canadian and International arts and culture initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. Aimia is proud to engage in a dialogue around the arts through the Aimia l AGO Photography Prize and scholarship program, and through our office art installations in Montreal and Toronto. Visit us at to learn more.

With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002, Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO, an innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. Highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block, and the often-photographed spiral staircase, beckoning visitors to explore.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

The AGO acknowledges the generous support of Aimia, Signature Partner of the Photography Collection Program and Founding Partner of the Aimia | AGO Photography Prize.

SOURCE Art Gallery of Ontario


Contact: For media inquiries, images or interview requests please contact: Ali Azzopardi, Citizen Relations, I 416.306.6650; Sabrina Bhangoo, Aimia, I 647.329.5123; Caitlin Coull, Art Gallery of Ontario, I 416.979.6660 x 364

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