Distinguished Artist Award Recipients Announced


The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation is pleased to announce that poet Marilyn Dumont (Edmonton), visual artist and printmaker Walter Jule (Edmonton), and abstract sculptor Katie Ohe (Calgary) have been selected to receive the 2019 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award.

Ken Regan, chair of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards Foundation said, “We know from the number and quality of nominations received that Alberta is a hot bed of creativity and artistic excellence. Albertans can be proud of these three whose contributions have pushed the boundaries of printmaking, abstract sculpture, and Indigenous and literary expression, and shaped development of the province’s artists and arts communities.”

Marilyn Dumont – Poet and writer Marilyn Dumont was born in Olds, Alberta of Cree/Metis ancestry and is descended from the family of Gabriel Dumont. This is the heritage that shapes her artistic practice and her drive to portray and celebrate the experience of Metis life.

Her first collection of poetry, A Really Good Brown Girl (1996), won the 1997 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award from the League of Canadian Poets. This first deeply resonant collection is often anthologized and taught, and it has led to her many important publications that have followed including: green girl dreams Mountains (2001); that tongued belonging (2007), winner of the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year; and The Pemmican Eaters (2015), which won the 2016 Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Stephan G. Stephansson Award. As a poet articulating the Metis experience, as a mentor and teacher, she has played a pivotal role in the flowering of Indigenous literature in Alberta and Canada. Marilyn Dumont’s support for a new generation of writers is leading to profound, progressive changes to the writing landscape in and beyond Alberta.

Walter Jule – Walter Jule is one of Canada’s most important printmakers and has made outstanding contributions globally through both teaching printmaking and his own creative work. 

Jule is recognized for developing and growing Canada’s first printmaking studio master’s program at the University of Alberta and has been described as “the central figure in the Edmonton school of printmaking.” His former students include a “who’s who”  of many of the most accomplished artists in both the practice and teaching of printmaking. 

Jule’s highly original, rigorous studio practice has laid the foundation for a lifetime of accomplishments and his work can be found in over 60 major public collections worldwide. Jule is currently working on a series of large-scale digital/analogue print works for a 2020 exhibition in Europe. He remains a catalytic force in the province, Canada and the global printmaking community.

Katie Ohe – Katie Ohe is considered one of Alberta’s pioneers of abstract art. Her six-decade career working in sculpture in a range of materials including steel, concrete, epoxy and chrome has spearheaded the abstract sculpture medium in Alberta. Ohe has exhibited extensively throughout Canada and internationally, and her sculptures are found in numerous public collections.

Ohe has had significant positive influence as an artist, educator and philanthropist and is a fiercely beloved teacher and mentor. She has taught sculpture at the Alberta College of Art and Design since 1970, and her students include many successful and high-profile artists with international careers. Now in her 82nd year of a very diverse, creative and exceptionally giving and nurturing life, she continues to experiment and remains an influential and driving force in Alberta’s contemporary art scene.

The laureates will each receive a handcrafted medal, $30,000 award and two-week residency at the Banff Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Studios. The awards patron, Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, will present the awards at a celebration hosted by the Battle River Group at Maskwacis, Alberta Saturday, September 21, 2019. Event tickets:


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