The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is pleased to announce that Desire Change: Contemporary Feminist Art in Canada, edited by Heather Davis and co-published in 2017 by McGill-Queens University Press and Mentoring Artists for Women's Art (MAWA), has been awarded the 27th annual Melva J. Dwyer Award.
Desire Change is the first publication to record the diversity of contemporary feminist art in Canada. The book’s 14 essays by artists, scholars, and curators draw on the work coming out of artist-run centers and feminist art institutions to link current practice to its precursors. With extensive footnotes, this volume adds a corpus of supporting documentation to a previously underdeveloped area of study. The book examines the work of contemporary artists working in different media from a range of intersectional perspectives, divided in to three sections: Desiring Change: Decolonization; Desire: Intersection of Sexuality, gender, race; and Forms of Desire: Institutional critique and feminist praxis. Heavily illustrated with representative works in all media, the volume ends with a working chronology of feminist art infrastructures in Canada, compiled collaboratively via a survey of feminist cultural producers. Desire Change was selected from among 14 Canadian art and architecture titles nominated for the 2018 award. A complete list of nominees is available here: http://www.arliscanada.ca/en/
The Melva J. Dwyer Award was established in recognition of the contribution made to the field of art librarianship by Melva Dwyer, former head of the Fine Arts Library, University of British Columbia. It is given to the creators of exceptional reference or research tools relating to Canadian art and architecture. Dwyer was a champion of the arts and of art librarianship who mentored a generation of ARLIS/NA colleagues. This year’s award is especially poignant as it is the first given in her name since her passing in November 2017 at the age of 98.
The Melva J. Dwyer Award was presented by Jennifer Garland, Melva J. Dwyer Award Sub-Committee Chair, at ARLIS/NA’s 46th annual conference held in New York City, February 25-March 1, 2018. Jury members of the 2018 ARLIS/NA Melva J. Dwyer Award Sub-Committee are: Caroline Korbel, René Martin, and Mathieu Pomerleau.