Artist Kilpatrick wins BMO 1st Art! regional prize

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Courtesy of The Brandon Sun.

By Jillian Austin

For the first time, a Brandon University fine arts graduate has been named the regional winner in the BMO 1st Art! competition.

Jimmie Kilpatrick, also known as “Shotgun Jimmie,” won $7,500 for his rock-and-roll inspired submission, entitled “Quality Control.”

“It’s incredible. So often we put so much work in to the things that we love, and we’re not always recognized for it,” said Kilpatrick, who graduated this year with a bachelor of fine arts degree. “It’s a nice situation to be in, to be recognized for the work that you’ve done. I know that’s not everyone’s experience, so I’m just really thankful to be in that position myself.”

This year marked the 16th annual BMO 1st Art! competition, which recognizes visual arts excellence amongst post-secondary students across Canada. The national prize of $15,000 went to Clara Couzino from Concordia University. There were a total of 12 regional winners, selected from a pool of 267 submissions. Deans and instructors of post-secondary arts programs across Canada were invited to nominate three eligible students from each visual art specialty to submit a recent work. A distinguished committee of curators, gallery directors and art professors selected the winners.

The competition welcomes submissions from a number of artistic media including drawing, printmaking, photography, painting, ceramics, textiles, and three-dimensional works in a variety of materials.

A man sits at a drumset at the centre of a room and hits porcelain discs while surrounded by observers. Another man stands beside the drumset waiting to present him with the next porcelain disc.
Jimmie Kilpatrick (at the drumset) combines music with visual art at the Brandon opening of his exhibition “Quality Control.”

Kilpatrick’s “Quality Control” is a multi-faceted piece that includes a performance, an installation, sculptural aspect as well as a sound piece.

He hand-crafted 100 porcelain drum cymbals, which took nine months and 600 pounds of porcelain to complete.

“On the night of my thesis exhibition, I did a performance with a couple friends from Winnipeg… where I was playing the drums, and then my helpers were loading cymbals onto the drum kit,” he said. “As I was playing the drum kit I was smashing them, and I systematically worked my way through all 100 cymbals, and created this sound piece.”

It took just eight minutes to destroy the nine months of work, he joked.

Kilpatrick is a touring musician, and took the opportunity at the end of his studies to combine his passion for music with visual arts.

“I thought that actually bringing the musical side of things into the visual art side of things would be appropriate and interesting to me,” he said. “Appropriate, in that it’s really reflective of my life, and I was actually curious to see how those two things would work together.”

Dawn Cain, curator with the BMO Corporate Art Collection, said Kilpatrick’s work stood out in many ways.

“Not only the physical nature of the work, the performative aspect, his interest in wanting you to understand sound,” she said.

“It was an unusual, original, really creative work that sparked our imaginations.”

Cain said the competition is a way to acknowledge and celebrate emerging artists as they leave school, and hopefully give them a leg up.

“This is that point when maybe you’re most in need of assistance and for those who have been given a huge vote of confidence by their schools, by their fellow students, by their professors and now by our selection committee, hopefully it’s an encouragement … to allow them maybe to take another step.”

Visit to view the winning pieces.


» Twitter: @jillianaustin


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