Karsh Signature

Yousuf Karsh, master photographer of the 20th century

The Karsh Award

Brothers Yousuf and Malak Karsh

Ottawa City Council established the Karsh Award in 2003 to honor the enduring legacy of Yousuf and his photographer brother Malak Karsh. Every four years, a $7,500 prize is presented to a mid-career local Ottawa artist for their outstanding body of work and significant contribution to the artistic discipline in a photo/lens-based medium. Over the subsequent three-year period, the laureate is also invited to hold an exhibition of his/her work at the Karsh-Masson Gallery, located in Ottawa’s City Hall, mentor within the local artistic community and participate in the 2022 Karsh Continuum exhibition which will highlight and celebrate the future of artistic photographic achievement in Ottawa.

The City of Ottawa is pleased to announce that local artist Andrew Wright is the winner of the 2019 Karsh Award. The peer assessment committee selected Mr. Wright from an impressive list of nominated artists. The jury was comprised of Lori Pauli the Curator of Photographs at the National Gallery of Canada, Michael Schreier the 2016 Karsh Award laureate and Franco-Ontarian photographer Geneviève Thauvette.

An Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Acting Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, Mr. Wright has been involved with many local community and cultural groups since moving to Ottawa in 2008. In 2011, he won the Gattuso Prize at the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto. Mr. Wright’s work has been shown worldwide, including at London Gallery West, Today Art Museum in Beijing, the former Presentation House Gallery in Vancouver and the Ottawa Art Gallery. His work is featured in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian High Commission in London and the Xi’an Art Museum in China.

The Karsh-Masson Gallery will host his exhibit from January 23 to March 15, 2020.

Award winner Andrew Wright; Mrs. Karsh; Jerry Fielder, director of the Estate of Yousuf Karsh; and Sidney Karsh, son of Malak Karsh. Winston Churchill peeks through in the background.