News / Toronto

Can you name a Canadian artist? The AGO hopes so with #CanArtists challenge

A Mainstreet Research poll that sparked the AGO’s call to action found 54 per cent of Canadians cannot name a single Canadian visual artist, living or dead.

The Wisdom of the Universe, by M?tis artist Christi Belcourt, was one of the Canadian artworks tweeted in response to the challenge.

Christi Belcourt/Art Gallery of Ontario

The Wisdom of the Universe, by M?tis artist Christi Belcourt, was one of the Canadian artworks tweeted in response to the challenge.

Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson.

These Canadian artists may not be as recognizable as the Biebs or Sidney Crosby, but hopefully you’ve heard of at least one of them.

Amanda Hadi, an Art Gallery of Ontario social media officer, started the social media rallying cry #CanArtists this week, after reading a recent Main Street Research poll that said over half of Canadians can’t name one Canadian visual artist.

Now, she’s challenging people across the country to prove to up their art game by tweeting the names and works of Canadian artists.

“It became a local and a national phenomenon,” said Hadi, who called it “really heartening” to see the call to action picked up by institutions like the National Gallery of Canada and the Winnipeg Arts Council.

People from all over the country have tweeted using the hashtag, including some big names in the art world, but also local artists and many First Nations people.

A scroll through the feed shows everything from the frozen forests of Group of Seven Artist Tom Thomson, to the floral paintings of Métis artist Christi Belcourt.

“It tells a story that’s as diverse and living and thriving as the Canadian arts scene,” Hadi said.

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