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Mowry Baden wins Guggenheim fellowship

Mowry Baden may be a controversial name locally, but the Victoria artist is being celebrated on the international stage with a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Baden is one of only two Canadians receiving the honour this year, valued at US$55,000.

Mowry Baden may be a controversial name locally, but the Victoria artist is being celebrated on the international stage with a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.

Baden is one of only two Canadians receiving the honour this year, valued at US$55,000.

The fellowship will fund his new sculpture, Trisector, which addresses the sense of touch, or “haptics.” Trisector is already under construction and will be mobile.

Baden’s public art work in Victoria includes Pavilion, Rock and Shell, which sits in front of the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. The work provoked outcry from those expecting more conventionally representational art. Then-mayor Alan Lowe explored the possibility of revoking the city’s contract with Baden, but found it was not legally possible.

Baden has also created public art work for Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. He is a Governor General’s Award winner and will speak this weekend as part of Reclaim the Streets: A Symposium on Art and Public Space, held at Open Space.

A total of 178 scholars, artists, scientists and other diverse professionals received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship.

Baden, who retired from teaching at the University of Victoria in 1997, is the sixth UVic scholar to receive the honour. Past Guggenheim fellows include climatologist Andrew Weaver, astrophysicist Julio Navarro, English professor Anthony Edwards, ocean physicist Chris Garrett and biologist Job Kuijt. — Times Colonist