"She is one of the most important artists of her generation, a generation associated with issues of the body and identity." – Marnie Fleming, Curator (nominator)
For almost 40 years, Colette Whiten has quietly and powerfully challenged gender dynamics, political power and mass media imagery. Her works – whether they are large cast wooden sculptures, tiny needlepoints or beaded curtains work – reveal the vulnerability and strength of the human body and spirit.
Her impact on Canadian visual arts has been profound. She was the only artist on a task force that redefined the role of the Art Gallery of Ontario (1992) and was one of three Canadians to participate in the first-ever international retrospective of feminist art achievement (2007). In her 38-year career as a professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design University she won numerous teaching awards and has influenced hundreds of young artists.