University of Toronto

Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition & Awards
Student Engagement in the Arts Awards
Get Involved
Opportunities in the Arts
About ArtsZone
new media
visual art


The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition and Awards showcases the artistic excellence of undergraduate students in the University’s tri-campus visual arts programs. The 2019 University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Art Exhibition (SPSAE) runs from April 17 - May 18, 2019 at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.

On April 17, students, faculty, and staff from across the University celebrated the 2019 SPSAE at a Exhibition Opening and Award Reception held in the UTAC Gallery of the Art Museum at U of T. Thank you to the incredible Art Museum team, led by Executive Director, Barbara Fischer, Curator Sarah Robayo Sheridan, staff members Maureen Smith and Marsya Maharani. Together they worked with students in the Master of Museum Studies Programs - Laetitia Dandavino-Tardif, Kesang Nanglu, and Melina Mehr – to curate and produce this exquisite show.

The Exhibition and Awards are also made possible because of some key partnerships. Thank you to the The Honourable David Peterson, Chancellor Emeritus, and Shelley Peterson for their continued patronage of this event and arts activities across the University. We also thank the U of T Pillar Sponsorship Program Affinity Partner, Manulife for their generous support of this event.

Congratulations to the 19 students whose work is being showcased in this incredible Exhibition! Student works by: Sabrina Bilic, Mackenzie Boyd, Jasmine Canaviri-Laymon, Christopher Dela Cruz, Jasmine Feng, Anran Guo, Nada Hafez, hayung kim, Katie Kirk, Aniça Latchman, James Legaspi, Ryan Manahan, Iori Matsushima, Sarah Pereux, Kachely Peters, Sara Kei Tawanapoor, Thắng Vũ, Andrew Wei, and Jiaqi Yuan.

SPSAE Juror Award Recipients 2019

Each year a juror selects three art works from the SPSAE exhibition for top honours. Our juror this year is Nahed Mansour, a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist and curator.

Left to Right: Sarah Thereux, award winner; Jiaqi Yuan, award winner; Thắng Vũ, award winner; and MVS student curators - Kesang Nanglu, Melina Mehr, Laetitia Dandavino-Tardiff

Photograph credit: Dominic Chan

Sarah Pereux

Art works: The Beaver (Sal) , 2018 and The Canada Goose , 2018
Graphite on Paper

Photograph credit: Dominic Chan

Is there still such thing as a Canadian national identity? Sarah Pereux challenges this question in her reappropriation of two national symbols. Between stages of life and death, these grotesque animals intertwine Canada’s violent past with the environmental and political concerns of the present. These deformed creatures offer a new consideration of the complex Canadian experience.

Juror citation : Sarah Pereux's detailed black and white drawings The Beaver (Sal) and The Canada Goose demonstrate high technical skills with beautifully balanced compositions. Pereux's grotesque re-imagination of two of Canada's most iconic animals successfully evokes histories of settler-colonial genocide and environmental destruction.

Jiaqi Yuan

Art work: Futuristic Toy , 2018

Photograph credit: Dominic Chan

Inspired by the writings of Karl Marx, Jiaqi Yuan has developed a practice concerned with the mechanization of human labour and the societal impact of automation. Futuristic Toy is composed of a Chinese rattle drum connected to a mechanism that replicates the movement required to play the instrument. Here, machinery is used to dehumanize a handmade object — symbolic of tradition and history — erased by the threat of an increasingly industrialized world.

Juror citation : The found Chinese rattle drum in Jiaqi Yuan's Futuristic Toy evokes playful movement and cultural specificity. By undermining the familiar object with the cold machinery that controls it, Yuan provides an acute critique of our increasingly automated world.

Thắng Vũ

Art work: Who Cares ,2018
Fabricated aluminum, constructed plywood and found rattle drum

Photograph credit: Dominic Chan

Who Cares documents a performance by Thắng Vũ wherein passersby were invited to contribute money towards his submission to an art exhibition. Unable to raise the necessary funds to pay the submission fee, Vu never applied for the show. Part social experiment, part critique, Vu’s performance brings to question the commodification of art, and the hierarchies of power embedded within the art world.

Juror citation: Thang Vu's triptych Who Cares documents his performance critiquing the economies upholding the art market. The work stands out in its ability to simultaneously contextualize the performance and showcase Vu's aesthetic and conceptual experimentation across mediums.

2018 Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition & Awards

2017 Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition & Awards

The University of Toronto SPSAE & Awards are generously supported through the Pillar Sponsorship Program by: