Kristina Durka, Stephanie Grant and Jonathan Mitchell


Opening Reception and Awards Presentation: Saturday, February 4, 2:00-4:00 pm

Hamilton Artists Inc. would like to thank and acknowledge it’s exhibition partners: McMaster University School of the Arts and the Cotton Factory

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to announce the winners of the 5th annual Ignition Award for Distinction in McMaster’s Studio Art Program. Congratulations to this year’s recipients on their outstanding work, Kristina Durka, Stephanie Grant and Jonathan Mitchell. Ignition is an awards exhibition providing a launchpad to ignite emerging artists’ careers. In addition to a professional exhibition, the selected graduating students are awarded a cash honorarium, certificate of distinction and studio space generously donated by the Cotton Factory  for a year following the completion of their studies.

Kristina Durka, born in Hamilton, Ontario is an interdisciplinary artist completing her Studio Art BFA at McMaster University in 2017. She has exhibited across Southern Ontario, completed an artist residency in Neubergthal, Manitoba, has been featured in local publications, and has work in numerous private collections. In her current practice she is exploring self-reflective work inspired by abnormal growths on the body.

Stephanie Grant is a fourth year student graduating from the McMaster studio/ fine art program. Her art practice is informed by environments she has experienced and places she has visited. Grant has exhibited in Hamilton, Windsor and throughout the Durham region in addition to online platforms. She has completed various commissions including works for Mills Library at McMaster University, IBM, SciPro and Forest Brook.

Jonathan Mitchell is in his fourth year of the McMaster BFA program, he came from a very small town in southern Ontario. He works in multiple mediums and his work is conceptual or process based. Jonathan has exhibited in Hamilton and in Simcoe, ON.

About the Award:

One of Hamilton Artists Inc.’s primary objectives as an artist-run centre is to support artists at all levels of their careers, and to empower their artistic expression and research. The exhibition space becomes the point from which each of these emerging artists can begin to launch their professional practice, the presentation of their work acting as the vehicle through which audiences can engage with the idea of activating or igniting the imagination, within a critical, multi-layered experience. Established in 2013 by former staff member and McMaster graduate, Reg Gilmore, in association with the Studio Art Program at McMaster University, the IGNITION award honours exceptional graduating students with the opportunity of a professional exhibition at Hamilton Artists Inc.

The Hamilton Artists Inc. award for Distinction in the Studio Art Program provides a perfect setting for McMaster University to celebrate its commitment to community engaged learning by involving young, talented, emerging artists within the greater Hamilton art community. McMaster University is historically tied to Hamilton Artists Inc. with art graduates from the University being among the founding members of the gallery some forty years ago. The gallery’s purpose built exhibition facilities on James Street North offer a highly professional exhibition experience for the recipients and provides an opportunity for sustained connections.

The Cotton Factory. The current use of this former industrial building is a fine example of adaptive reuse. In the heart of lower Hamilton, the facilities at 270 Sherman Avenue North have been transformed into a creative industries complex, with space for workshops and small manufacturing, office space for creative professionals, and studios for artists. The Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman Ave. N. has developed a permanent home for the Ignition Award within their complex, wherein the recipients of the annual award are provided with a studio space for one year immediately following graduation.