Ottawa, Ontario (April 3, 2020): Von Allan, an Ottawa-based artist and comics creator, is one of the three shortlisted artists for the Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award through the Ottawa Arts Council. The award was established to recognize and encourage the achievements of Ottawa artists of all disciplines who have evolved beyond the emerging stage in their career to become recognized professional working artists contributing to the community. His fellow nominees are AM Dumouchel and Rebecca Noelle.
“In general, I try to measure my artistic achievements against my own goals and dreams,” said Allan. “In the arts and, I think, in life, the only real competition is against yourself. To push yourself. To grow stronger. To always be learning. For a long time that has been a difficult struggle for me. My learning curve and development as an artist was long and slow, with a lot of frustrating and discouraging reversals along the way. The key, at least for me, was to always keep trying to grow into the artist I imagined I could be. From that point of view, art awards are not something an artist ‘wins’ or ‘loses,’ but rather a signpost or waypoint along the journey. And I’m very pleased with this signpost!”
“Being shortlisted for the Peter Honeywell Mid-Career Artist Award is a significant step in my art career and a huge honour,” added Allan. “I’ve been aware of this award for awhile but it has always seemed out of reach. To be here now, nominated with two other amazing artists, is humbling. It’s also wonderful to be here as a comics creator. I am deeply grateful to the judges for their consideration.”
Von Allan was nominated in part for his ongoing comics project ‘Wolf’s Head.’ The story follows a newly created artificial intelligence (AI) on the run from its creators with the unexpected help of a janitor, her ex-police officer daughter, and their dog. ‘Wolf’s Head’ features Lauren Greene, a young woman who quits her job as a police officer after becoming frustrated with growing police violence. At the same time as Lauren is quitting, a secretive corporation across town has managed to create a seemingly perfect AI for war and profit; however, before the corporation can use the AI, Lauren’s mother, Patty, a janitor at the corporation, finds it. Patty is literally the kindest person the new lifeform has ever met and, as a result, it bonds to her, rejects its purpose and creators, and orchestrates a huge accident to cover an escape. Patty, overwhelmed, asks her daughter Lauren for help. Despite being broke and a bit lost herself, Lauren agrees to help, setting the stage for the story that follows: two humans, an AI, and a dog versus a warmongering corporation.