Retired Prof Wins Governor General Art Award

A noted artist and retired University of Guelph professor received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art last week.

Suzy Lake and Governor General David Johnston (courtesy Rideau Hall)

Suzy Lake and Governor General David Johnston (courtesy Rideau Hall)

Professor emerita Suzy Lake, School of Fine Art and Music, received the honour from Governor General  David Johnston at a ceremony at Rideau Hall March 23.

Established in 1999 by the Canada Council and former governor general Adrienne Clarkson, the awards recognize excellence in the arts.

Lake uses performance, video and photography to explore the politics of gender, the body and identity. Her influence on the art world has been called immense and subversive.

“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” said Lake during an interview on CBC Radio’s “q.”

“I make work because I can’t not make work. All of a sudden, the ultimate award is being presented for something I can’t not do.”

Each recipient receives $25,000 and a medallion. Their work will appear in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.