Meet the Jurors
Jason Lujan is originally from Marfa, Texas. As an artist, he creates tools for understanding and interpreting the processes by which different cultures approach each other as a result of travel and communication and are later homogenized. Largely integrating visual components rooted in North America and Asia, the work focuses on the possibilities and limitations of the exchanging of ideas, meanings, and values, questioning the concepts of authorship and authenticity. Together with his wife Maria Hupfield, he co-owns Native Art Department International.
Paul McClure is a leader in the contemporary craft and design community, an avid educator and professor in the renowned School of Jewellery at George Brown College in Toronto. His work can be found in many public collections including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Canadian Museum of History; Design Museum of Barcelona; Museum of Fine Arts Boston; and National Museums Scotland. He graduated from NSCAD University, Halifax, Canada (BFA, 1989); Escola Massana, Barcelona, Spain; and National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland (MA, 1999). In 2015, McClure received the Saidye Bronfman Award, a Governor General’s Award, Canada’s foremost distinction for excellence in the visual arts.
Nava Messas-Waxman is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher working with performance, choreography, moving image, drawing, and immersive installation. Her praxis engages identity, memory, and the body. Born into a Moroccan, Judeo-Amazigh immigrant family has shaped her interest in themes of movement, diaspora, and archive while delving into the transitory nature of gestures, often embedded within complex artistic, cultural, and personal registers. Nava is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Visual Arts department at York University. Her current research, “The Diasporic Gesture,” examines the significance of new media technologies and embodiment in archival art practices.
Jennifer Simaitis brings her strong ties within the arts community and passion for social justice to her role as Director at Patel Brown, Toronto. She has served as Manager of Special Events at Casey House Foundation, where she led fundraising events in support of judgment-free care at Ontario’s HIV/AIDS hospital. Her portfolio included Art With Heart, Canada’s premiere auction of contemporary art. She has previously held positions at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, MKG 127, and Art Gallery of Ontario. Simaitis studied Art Criticism and Curatorial Practice at OCAD University; Fine Arts at NSCAD University, where she launched Seeds Gallery, a pedagogical commercial venue for students and alumni; and attended Fanshawe College, where she is a volunteer member of the Fine Art Program Advisory Committee. Simaitis has presented exhibitions at public and private institutions across Canada. She currently sits on the Advisory Committee for Inspirations Studio, a not-for-profit organization which provides ceramics studio access, arts education and selling opportunities for marginalized women; and on the Arts Effect Auction Committee in support of VIBE Arts, a charity dedicated to providing arts education and artistic mentorship to the next generation of creatives.