Faculty of Fine Arts introduces Spirit Prize in support of Indigenous student art development

The Faculty of Fine Arts is inviting applications for the Spirit Prize, an award to support the career and artistic development of an Indigenous student at the University of Lethbridge.

The application deadline for the inaugural Spirit Prize competition is January 31, 2022.

Generously supported by U of L alumnus Terry Whitehead (BA ’94), the Spirit Prize aims to support an emerging Indigenous visual artist, working in traditional or contemporary practices, in developing their career and helping them to advance as an artist. This competition is open to full-time or part-time self-declared Indigenous students (undergraduate or graduate), enrolled in any program of study at the University of Lethbridge. The application deadline is January 31, 2022.

“This prize will provide extraordinary support for emerging artists studying here on Treaty 7 territory. Indigenous artists from our region have so much to offer and it’s important for us to find avenues to elevate their work to the national stage,” says Dr. Josie Mills, director/curator of the U of L Art Gallery. “The significant prize amount associated with this award will give a huge boost to this effort and allow artists to create a major artwork and to have their voice heard within the Canadian art world.

The winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500 to be used towards a residency, a mentorship, travel to study in support of their art practice, a workshop to develop advanced skills, and materials to realize a major project or support an exhibition.

Submissions will be assessed and selected by a committee consisting of the Director/Curator of the U of L Art Gallery or designate, an Indigenous Art Studio faculty member, and the Manager of Iikaisskini or designate.

Award selection will be made on the following criteria:

  • Commitment to art practice
  • Creativity and concept proposed
  • Connection of art practice with Indigenous knowledge and perspectives
  • Completeness and professionalism of submission

Students can learn more about the submission requirements and access the application at