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Provocative, experimental, challenging: 2017 Governor General's Media and Visual Arts winners announced

A sculptor whose best-known ceramics work was once rejected for display at a World Expo by the federal government is among the winners of this year's Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

Glenn Lewis is one of eight laureates who will be honoured by the Canada Council for the Arts, the organization announced Wednesday.

The Vancouver artist shook the art scene with his 1970 piece Artifact, which was commissioned by Canada for the World Expo in Osaka, Japan but rejected by the pavilion's commissioner Patrick Reid as too provocative.

Reid was concerned over the appearance of the work's white-glazed tiles, which looked like either salt-and-pepper shakers or damaged phalluses. After the debacle, the government refused to pay Lewis the final instalment for his work.

Lewis also joined the live performance art community with his synchronized swimming routines featuring shark-fin aquatic caps designed by artist Kate Craig.