Portrait of Dallas Fellini

28.03.24 - MVS student Dallas Fellini wins 2024 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators

Dallas Fellini, graduating this semester from the Master of Visual Studies in Curatorial Studies program, has been awarded the 2024 Middlebrook Prize for Young Canadian Curators.

Established in 2012, the prize is awarded annually to a Canadian curator or curatorial team under the age of 30 with the goal of supporting an inclusive national arts sector while recognizing the vital role of exhibitions in expanding awareness and art histories.

Exhibitions proposed by prize recipients are subsequently presented at the Art Gallery of Guelph, which announced Fellini’s win earlier this week.

Fellini (pictured above) is a Toronto-based curator, writer and artist whose research is situated at the intersection of trans studies and archival studies, interrogating the compromised conditions under which trans histories have been recorded and considering representational and archival alternatives to trans hypervisibility.

Their winning submission for the Middlebrook Prize, a proposed exhibition called Some kind of we, features works that approach or incorporate t4t sensibilities.

The term t4t is shorthand that emerged in the early 2000s in Craigslist personals ads, where it was used by transgender and transsexual people prioritizing relationships with other trans people.

Emphasizing networks of trans relationality, self-representation, cross-generational inheritance and desire and love between trans people, the exhibition will feature video works by B.G-Osborne with Benjamin Da Silva (pictured below) and by Mirha-Soleil Ross in collaboration with Xanthra Phillippa MacKay, as well as a print project by Cleopatria Peterson.

It’ll be paralleled by a “distributed exhibition” that speaks to trans histories of pre- and early-Internet activism and community building in Canada.

Fellini’s winning submission was selected by a three-person jury of esteemed curators: Alyssa Fearon (Director/Curator at Dunlop Art Gallery), Tarah Hogue (Curator of Indigenous Art, Remai Modern) and Renée van der Avoird (Associate Curator of Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario).

While Fearon noted the importance of the exhibition’s emphasis “on t4t relationality and visibility,” van der Avoird was struck by its highlighting of an “urgent topic with artworks that are compelling, moving and impactful.”

Hogue, meanwhile, noted the significance of the “distributed exhibition as a means of reaching trans audience members and reiterating the networks of support trans communities have created.” 

Some kind of we will be on view at the Art Gallery of Guelph later this year, from September through December.

For more information about the Middlebrook Prize and on past winners, visit middlebrookprize.ca.

Fellini portrait by Phillip Lý. Video still (7:22) from POLISHED, 2016, by B.G-Osborne in collaboration with Benjamin Da Silva, courtesy of the artist.