Jon Tupper, Director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, announced today that the inaugural Tanabe Prize for British Columbia painters has been awarded to Vancouver artist Philippe Raphanel. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria invites you to a special reception where the prize will be presented to Raphanel. The reception will be held at the Charles H. Scott Gallery at Emily Carr University in Vancouver on January 13 from 4 to 6pm.


Established by artist Takao Tanabe, the Tanabe Prize is a new annual award given to artists whose primary medium is painting and who are residents of British Columbia. In addition to being painters, recipients must be mid-career artists. Mid-career is defined as an artist who has produced an independent body of work over a number of years and has received regional or national recognition through publication or exhibition of his or her work.


“I wanted the prize to recognize an artist in British Columbia, where I have lived and worked for most of my life,” said Takao Tanabe, “and recognize someone mid-career, when an artist’s work is often overlooked.”


Artists are selected by contemporary art curators who are connected to art museums and galleries in British Columbia. Selection is based on exceptional creativity coupled with a promise of future achievements. Names of the selectors are kept confidential. There is no application process for either the curators or artists. The Tanabe Prize for BC Painters is a cash award in the amount of $7,500 and is administered by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.


Philippe Raphanel is a Vancouver-based painter born and raised in Paris, France. He came to Canada after receiving his diploma in Fine Arts from Écolé Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliques in Paris in 1978. His work has been exhibited extensively in British Columbia, across Canada and in the United States.


Takao Tanabe was born in Prince Rupert and currently lives on Vancouver Island. He studied at the Winnipeg School of Art and the Brooklyn Museum Art School. Tanabe’s painting reflects his interest in abstraction, the landscape and Buddhism.

photo of Price

Philippe Raphanel, “Attempt” 1, 2016. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Equinox Gallery.