Queen's Quarterly

Queen's Quarterly
Queen's Quarterly

The Kingston Prize 2019

Contemporary Portraits of Canadians

Summer 2021 - The Kingston Prize 2019

Contemporary portraits from the 2019 Kingston Prize exhibition give us a look back at life in a time that now seems distant. The portraits show Canadians, from the very young to the very old, some with smiles of joy and activity, and some in times of introspection and sadness. Their successes and their problems are a part of the fabric of national life. The portraits show both an acceptance of that life and a determination to improve it.

    Shortly after the exhibition the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and totally changed the way that we live. Unexpectedly, that exhibition has given us a last view of ourselves when things were “normal” and we could enjoy the pleasure and whimsy of life without the intrusion of masks and lockdowns. We can only hope that before long this richness of life can be recovered.


The Kingston Prize is a biennial competition for portraits of Canadians by Canadian artists – 30 paintings and drawings – selected by a jury from entries in an open competition. There is a prize of $20,000. The October 2019 exhibition took place at the Firehall Theatre in Gananoque, Ontario. An active educational program was supported by the Community Foundation of Kingston and Area (see www.kingstonprize.com)

Atleigh Homma, Toronto, Ontario

I like the idea of romantic thoughts, but I’m just not that poetic of a person

acrylic on stretched canvas

Winner of the Kingston Prize 2019]