One of the highlights of the year was the Fifth Annual Figureworks Award Show at St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts from November 18th to 30th, 2014. With over 140 artist submissions, Figureworks celebrated the human figure with a fine selection of Canadian and American artworks. PassionArts met with founder and artist Hilde Lambrechts, who along with a few helpers, runs the non-profit organization called Figureworks.
Hilde Lambrechts is fascinated by the human body; an ageless subject matter in art in which flaws, curves and deviations from fashion standards unfold its beauty. Through Figureworks, she makes the celebration of the human body her business in the Nation’s Capital Region. Her idea of a body-centered art show began five years ago in the basement of a small art gallery. Overwhelmed by the response, Lambrechts moved her show to a larger gallery, later to a public location. “This decision allowed the show to grow and to avoid potential conflicts of interest with hosting galleries. Although all pieces are for sale, we want to ensure that the selection process is not driven by commercial objectives and that we are able to encourage bold and contemporary figurative approaches,” explains Lambrechts.
To ensure this unbiased process, every submission goes through two reviews and is rated by a jury using standardized criteria. This year’s jurors were renowned artists Kristy Gordon, Andrew Morrow and Mat Dubé. Each submission receives a short but personalized jury feedback summarized by Lambrechts. She explains: “Sometimes artists are disappointed, if they are not in the show. It is not necessarily due to a lack of quality or technique. With the growing number of submissions we face, the competition is really strong.” The whole show is financed by the submission fees, which pay for the exhibition rent, the vernissage and the cash awards for the winners. Figureworks wants to support artists and takes no commission of the sales.
Lambrechts’ wish is for Figureworks to become a niche event for everyone who loves art involving the human figure and eventually develop Ottawa to become the figure capital of Canada. The whole exhibition and more information about the participating artists and winners is available on the Figureworks website. We are looking forward to next year’s edition.