Announcing: Recipient of the 2018 Cleeve Horne Purchase Award


The Orillia Museum of Art & History has been named the 2018 recipient of the Ontario Society of Artists Cleeve Horne Purchase Award and used the award  to acquire two works by local artist Tanya Cunnington. 

The Cleeve Horne Purchase Award is granted every two years to assist with the purchase of a work for the permanent collection of a selected gallery, by a Canadian emerging artist. In the past, the following galleries have been recipients, The Varley Art Gallery, The Tom Thomson Gallery, Woodstock Art Gallery, Gallery Stratford, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Oakville Galleries.

Cleeve Horne was born in Jamaica, British West Indies and is thought to have painted over 400 portraits during his career (1928-1991).  In his early career, he wanted to become a portrait sculptor and studied under Emanuel Hahn for a brief period. 


The award enables OMAH to purchase work from an emerging artist for the museum’s permanent collection.    OMAH’s art collection focuses on art produced by artists whose work is culturally significant.  Registrar, Hope McGilly Mitchell comments, “Tanya Cunnington’s current body of work in landscape is clearly influenced by her roots in this community.  Her work is a welcome addition to our collection.”


OMAH is pleased to announce that the 2018 recipient of the Ontario Society of Artists Cleeve Horne Purchase Award is Tanya Cunnington. 

Tanya’s work has always been very resonated and is a mix of nostalgia and visceral response to her surroundings.  While living and creating in the City of Toronto, her grid-like collages responded to the displacement of living in a major urban centre.  Her collages were created from pieces of paper, fabric, notes, airline tickets and ephemera.  With the birth of her son, she was inspired to incorporate mixed media and collage on paper, almost like diary entries, focused on day-to-day rituals.  She juxtaposed her life changes with memories of childhood.  This dichotomy of response continued as she changed her medium to painting.  Her work now focuses on the landscape and memories of summers spent in Northern Ontario. 


Tanya Cunnington trained at the Ontario College of Art and Design, majoring in painting and drawing, and her work has been featured in numerous galleries and reviewed in Canadian Art. She is also a seasoned curator and is the owner and director of Lee Contemporary Art Gallery.

Ontario Society of Artists