The Strathbutler Award: A tradition of excellence in New Brunswick Visual Arts
Based on the considered recommendation of a professional jury, the Board of Directors of the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation announces that Paul Mathieson has been selected as the 2015 recipient of the Strathbutler Award. Mr. Mathieson joins a celebrated list of Strathbutler artists whose work has enriched the cultural fabric of New Brunswick.
Jurors Toby Bruce, Hannah Claus and Francois Morelli lauded the Kingston resident for his work and his many contributions to the cultural fabric of New Brunswick.
“The jury recognizes Paul Mathieson’s sustained contribution to the long history of western figurative tradition. While anchored in the local, his work addresses the universal humanist condition of alienation and isolation. The formal complexity of his compositions, combined with the theatrical and performative nature of his narratives distinguish his work in an age where the very nature of painting is questioned.
Mathieson’s keen observation of his immediate environment translates into a dystopic perspective of society at large, giving the work an unsettling contemporary resonance. While the work asks questions, it doesn’t attempt to come up with answers. To quote the artist “Life is not a sitcom with a problem resolved within a thirty minute screening and neither are my paintings”
As an educator, working with secondary students in the public school system for over thirty years, he has directly impacted generations and continues to do so through ongoing projects with youth and community. In awarding Paul Mathieson the Strathbutler, the jury acknowledges the vitality and importance of an oeuvre which resists the constraints of time and place.”
Continuing the tradition of celebrating excellence in the visual arts, the Strathbuter will be presented to Mr. Mathieson at a gala reception to be held in September at the New Brunswick Museum.