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Montreal, November 1, 2011....The Conseil des arts de Montréal and Pratt & Whitney Canada today announced the two winners of the Pratt & Whitney Canada Prizes of the Conseil des arts de Montréal. The Les Elles de l’art prize was awarded to multidisciplinary artist Nadia Myre, while the Nature de l’art was given to Thomas Kneubühler. Revealed at the awards ceremonies of the first edition of Les Prix de Montréal pour les arts et la culture, the winners will each receive a cash prize of $5,000, generously donated by Pratt & Whitney Canada.

With Les Elles de l’art, the jury recognized the contributions of Nadia Myre, a Quebec artist of Algonquin descent whose hybrid works reinterpret traditional arts and crafts in a decidedly contemporary way. Myre’s works serve as memory objects, passing on a heritage of great visual power, while at the same time revealing the contemporary realities and demands of Native peoples. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and received the recognition of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, and the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art.

Technology and its repercussions are a source of endless fascination forThomas Kneubühler, winner of the Nature de l'artprize.His acute powers of observation often focus on impersonal spaces and the coldness of thoroughfares, which for him are metaphors for a reality that has become increasingly virtual. He is also interested in showing how our contemporary life styles have become standardized, and in revealing the effects of technology on the environment, on nature, and on the transformation of the landscape for materialistic ends. His work explores the ways in which our society coexists with technology, how the latter influences our surroundings, and how nature is becoming increasing artificial as a result of human actions.

The jury was composed of Manon Blanchette, Executive Director of the Société des directeurs de musées montréalais; designer Michel Dallaire; Sylvie Gilbert, Executive Director of Centre Artexte; and Gaëtane Verna, Director of the Musée d’art de Joliette and Chair of the Visual Arts Committee of the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

The Nature de l’art is awarded to a professional visual artist whose approach is inspired by the environment, ecology, recycling or the transformation of the urban landscape. The prize was first awarded to Manuela Lalic in 2009, and then to Annie Roy and Pierre Allard from ATSA in 2010.

The Les Elles de l’art honours the work of a Montreal-based female artist working in the field of contemporary visual arts. It was first awarded to Geneviève Cadieux in 2007, followed by Sarah Stevenson in 2008, Dominique Blain in 2009, and Raymonde April in 2010.