Framing Harper: A National Portrait Gallery

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The Contest
When Stephen Harper cancelled the National Portrait Gallery, we decided to create our own in his honour. Art Threat invited artists to submit their portrait of Canada’s Prime Minister for inclusion in the Stephen Harper National Portrait Gallery, and we received over 150 submissions from across the country. Since the Conservative Party has made many, many cuts to the arts in recent years, our jury was looking for portraits that best embodued Stephen Harper’s “commitment” to the arts and culture in Canada.

The Winners
The pool was first narrowed down 20 or so finalists, which are featured in the gallery above. Then the jury selected the winner, Jack Dylan, who took home the $1000 cash prize with his Van Gogh-inspired portrait. Kate Puxley took home the Editor’s Choice Award with her Flat Daddy Harper project. Honourable Mentions included Jim McKinley, Jeff Orchard and Craig S. Kaplan, Pat Burke, and Amanda McCuaig. Artist statements and larger images of the finalists are available on a Flickr.

The Jury
• Mary Walsh, comedian, This Hour Has 22 Minutes
• George Littlechild, west coast visual artist
• Yung Chang, filmmaker
Sheila Copps, former Canadian Heritage Minister*

* Sheila Copps gave us the run around once the time came for jury deliberations.