VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is pleased to announce artist Russna Kaur as the winner of the 10th annual IDEA Art Award, a cash prize bestowed by benefactors Dr. Ian Penn and Dr. Sandy Whitehouse Penn, with the winning artwork gifted to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Art Collection.

With the support of the IDEA Award, Kaur has created a dynamic new work for the lobby of the Gordon & Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre.

“Art humanizes clinical spaces and expedites the healing process,” says Jim O’Hara, Art Program Co-founder and Vice President, Leadership Giving, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “Russna Kaur is a brilliant and talented young artist, and we are proud to have her work on site to promote healing inside the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre at VGH.”

Russna Kaur holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo (2013) and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2019). In her paintings, drawings, collages and assemblages, Kaur evokes spatial and figurative illusions with a visual intensity that parallels her interest in secular and religious spectacles of celebration, mourning and consumption.

“I am interested in exploring how the surface of a painting can reveal a narrative and ways in which, through the process of painting and use of materials, I can address complex personal and cultural histories,” says Kaur.

Established in 2009 by Dr. Ian Penn (BFA 2010) and Dr. Sandy Whitehouse Penn, the IDEA Art Award was created to link the world of visual art with that of health care. By presenting an annual award to an emerging artist, the IDEA Art Award provides a platform for artistic experimentation and encourages critical discourse around the intersection of art and healing. Under the leadership of Jim O’Hara, the award recipients have partnered with the Foundation to have their works displayed across VCH sites.

The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Art Collection was launched in 1998 to bring visual art into our hospitals to create a warmer space for Vancouver Coastal Health’s clinical settings. Today, more than 2 400 pieces by notable artists grace the walls of our hospitals, all donated by local artists and collectors.

Learn more about the Art Collection and how you can contribute.