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VPA's Tom Sherman wins Canada's 2010 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts

March 12, 2010

Erica Blust
(315) 443-5891

Tom Sherman, professor of art video in the School of Art and Design’s Department of Transmedia in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, has been named one of eight recipients of Canada’s 2010 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

“I salute these artists who, through their unique vision and immense talent, open our eyes wide to all those things, in us and around us, that we look at without really seeing,” says her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.

The Governor General of Canada will present the 2010 Awards at a ceremony on March 31 in Ottawa. In addition to a $25,000 prize, the winners will each receive a work created by 2009 award-winner Tony Urquhart.

The Governor General’s awards are funded and administered by the Canada Council for the Arts. They were created in June 1999 and awarded for the first time in March 2000. The awards recognize distinguished career achievements in the visual and media arts by Canadian artists, as well as outstanding contributions to the visual and media arts through voluntarism, philanthropy, board governance, community outreach or professional activities.

Soon after completing a bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Eastern Michigan, Sherman moved to Canada and went on to become one of the country’s leading figures in video art. He co-founded the artist-run A Space Video (1973) and Fuse Magazine (1978). He worked at the Canada Council for the Arts in the early 1980s and founded its media arts section. He represented Canada at the 1980 Venice Biennale and has been the subject of several major exhibitions, including retrospectives at the National Gallery of Canada (1983) and the International Festival of Films on Art in Montreal (2005). In 2003, he received the Bell Award for excellence in video art.

“Tom is recognized internationally as one of the pioneers and masters of video art,” says Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor.  “He continues to imprint generations of SU students as a revered teacher and mentor–and they now, in turn, are pushing the creative envelope from the groundbreaking Urban Video Project in Syracuse to venues across the United States and around the world.  We are thrilled for Tom and delighted for the glow that this prestigious award casts on his students and the University.”

For more information about the Canada Council for the Arts, and to see example’s of Sherman’s work, visit

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