Word is buzzing that well-loved visual artist Aganetha Dyck has been named the fifth recipient of the Manitoba Arts Council Arts Award of Distinction. This $30,000 award is presented annually to recognize the highest level of artistic excellence and distinguished career achievements by a professional Manitoba artist.
Born in Winnipeg, Aganetha has shown her work extensively in over 30 solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions across Canada and internationally since 1975. Perhaps best known for her collaborative work with live honeybees, Aganetha’s most recent practise has concentrated on placing ordinary household objects in beehives, allowing the bees to become her artistic partners by adding wax sculptures to the objects. This unique collaboration was recently highlighted in a one-hour episode of “The Nature of Things” with David Suzuki.
“The purpose of this award is to celebrate the careers of senior artists who represent our province so prominently on a national and international scale,” says Judith Flynn, Chair of Council. “This year we are celebrating the exceptional career of Aganetha Dyck, who began her professional artistic practise later in life and has since consistently produced original and thought-provoking work.”
In addition to her recognized excellence in the visual arts, Aganetha has played a vital part in the growth and advancement of the arts community in Manitoba. Aganetha currently sits on the Board of Directors of Plug In Gallery and she has devoted over twenty years as a mentor at MAWA (Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art). According to artist Shirley Brown, “Aganetha is inspirational. Through hard work, perseverance and brilliant creativity she has become an international artist. Knowing her has allowed me as well as many others to attempt this road. Her freethinking lets us know that, artistically; we can do anything we want.”
The artistic excellence of Aganetha’s work has been recognized repeatedly by her peers, and she has received numerous grants throughout her career from Canada Council and the Manitoba Arts Council. Aganetha received her first MAC grant in 1986 and her most recent in 2004. Aganetha was honoured at a ceremony held in March 2007.