A photo of Azadeh Elmizadeh in an art studio
Azadeh Elmizadeh

Azadeh Elmizadeh, a recent graduate of the University of Guelph’s master of fine art program, is the 2020 recipient of the Joseph Plaskett post-graduate award in painting, which recognizes exceptional emerging Canadian painters in a graduate program.

This is the fourth time in the last 10 years that a U of G MFA student has been recognized with this award.

“I am truly honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Plaskett award,” said Elmizadeh. “Thank you to the Joe Plaskett Foundation and the jurors for supporting the painting practice of many emerging artists.”

The $30,000 award will allow her to create art or travel throughout Europe for six months. She plans to develop her practice in Europe for six months once international travel is permitted.

“I intend to base my studio practice in Berlin where I will have access to the significant collection of Persian manuscripts at the Islamic art museum in Germany,” she said. “I will continue to explore my research interests with visits to the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Victoria and Albert Museum in England.”

The jury said it was captivated by Elmizadeh’s “masterful approach to constructing a painting that evokes luminosity through simplicity” and noted “a great balance between a sense of history, with a nod to colour field paintings.”

Works by Azadeh Elmizadeh hang in a gallery
Works by Azadeh Elmizadeh

“The School of Fine Art and Music is delighted that Azadeh Elmizadeh has received the 2020 Joseph Plaskett Award,” said Martin Pearce, director of the school. “Ms. Elmizadeh is an extraordinary painter, and the school offers her their warm congratulations.”

Before the MFA program at Guelph, Elmizadeh completed her bachelor of fine art at OCAD University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in visual communication and graphic design at the University of Tehran, Iran.

“I’m delighted — but not surprised — that one of our U of G MFA graduates has received the Joe Plaskett Award,” said Dr. Samantha Brennan, dean of the College of Arts. “Our world-class faculty and the calibre of graduate students contribute to the excellence of the MFA studio art program at the University of Guelph. Many congratulations to you, Azadeh, on this immense achievement.”

Canadian artist Joseph Plaskett created the Joe Plaskett Foundation in 2004 to enable young Canadian painters to live, travel and create artwork in Europe.