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Jude Abu Zaineh Wins Prestigious Canadian Arts Prize for Emerging Artists

Jude Abu Zaineh Wins Prestigious Canadian Arts Prize for Emerging Artists



By Jeanne Hedden Gallagher

September 10, 2020

Jude Abu Zaineh, an electronic arts doctoral candidate at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been awarded the William and Meredith Saunderson Prize for Emerging Artists from the Hnatyshyn Foundation.


The Saunderson Prize supports young emerging visual artists whose practice shows potential and is deemed to have the determination and talent to contribute to the legacy of art in Canada.


Abu Zaineh is a Palestinian-Canadian multidisciplinary artist and cultural worker. Her practice relies on the use of art, food, and technology to explore meanings of culture, displacement, diaspora, and belonging. She examines ideals of home and community, while working to develop aesthetics rooted in her childhood and upbringing in the Middle East.


“It's humbling and encouraging to be in the same ranks as other accomplished Canadian artists,” Abu Zaineh said. “It’s a great validation to be recognized for my work in contemporary bioart, while also discussing larger concepts embedded in identity politics as a Palestinian-Canadian.”


Recent work of Abu Zaineh includes Lilwatan (to the homeland), a bioart-technological installation using cultured bacterial growth that are digitally manipulated to be seen through a kaleidoscope lens, and Jam’a, a Palestinian lunch gathering. The award will allow her to focus on her art production as well as continued research toward her Ph.D. at Rensselaer.


The Hnatyshyn Foundation assists emerging and established artists, in all disciplines, with their training and professional development, and promotes the importance of the arts in Canadian society. Its programs are funded by donations from government, foundations, corporations and individuals. Since it began programming in 2005, the Foundation has provided more than $3.6 million in support to Canadian visual artists, performing artists, and curators.


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