Saturday, 28 April 2012

What are you planting? Planted Pots and more…

Ceramic chainmaille sculpture by Jason Holley of Newfoundland

This spring week I have been working on a variety of projects that will bear fruit in the coming months.  Rarely do I get the opportunity to work on only one thing at a time…that's real life isn't it?  We all live there.

This is what I'd like to share with you this week: an upcoming ceramics symposium in Halifax.

I am really looking forward to this. Why? For one:  I get to work with some dynamite colleagues of mine.  Like Sandra Alfoldy the reigning queen of Canadian craft theory and the current curator of ceramics at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Rachel Gotlieb the tell-it-like-it-is new curator of contemporary ceramics at the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in TO; and Robin Metcalfe, my favourite, fearless bad boy of the curatorial world, who is the director and curator at Saint Mary's University Art Gallery, and the venue for the next stop on the Alexandra McCurdy tour.   
One of Alexandra McCurdy's prints from her lingerie series.  Working on this show gave me a whole new appreciation of the evolution of feminism.

Reason number two:  The collections and shows that I will get to see. Sandra A will be showing us her new toys or recent acquisitions at the AGNS. St. Mary's will have a little jewel box of a show of historical ceramics and the opening of the McCurdy show will be one of the events as well.  Alex and I have worked out a walk and talk where we bounce back and forth from the artist's perspective and the curator's perspective.  Believe me they aren't the same.  But like yin and yang they fit together.

Reason number three:  the talks, I am looking forward to hearing the presentations of my colleagues, catching up on shop talk, conspiring for the future and making my own presentation, which will be about contemporary ceramic practice in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  I have seen such growth in the field of ceramics within NL since 1993.  It is staggering.  Yeah team!

See you there.

Planted Pots: Ceramics in Context
A Symposium
NSCAD University, Bell Auditorium
Friday, 25 May 2012

Co-presented by                         NSCAD University, Craft Division &
                                                Saint Mary's University Art Gallery

Planted Pots: Ceramics in Context examines issues associated with ceramics on display in Halifax this May: how social realities such as immigration and the status of women in mid-century Canada are reflected in the development of ceramics, particularly in Atlantic Canada, and the introduction of European Modernist aesthetics to local ceramics practice. Exhibited works include mid-century ceramics by immigrant couples (Alma & Ernst Lorenzen; Erica & Kjeld Deichmann), contemporary works by trans-Atlantic immigrants such as Roman Bartkiw and Alexandra McCurdy, and ceramics by emerging Atlantic ceramists such as Jason Holley.

An opening reception for the symposium will begin at 6:00 pm on Thursday, 24 May at Saint Mary's University Art Gallery, in conjunction with the opening of the exhibitions The Fabric of Clay: Alexandra McCurdy (a collaboration with Burlington Art Centre; curator: Gloria Hickey) and Lorenzen Pottery: 50 Years in the Making (curator: Victor Owen).

Symposium Schedule

1:00 pm            Welcome & opening remarks – Robin Metcalfe, Director/Curator, Saint Mary's University Art Gallery

1:15 pm            Married to Pottery: a presentation by Rachel Gotlieb, Senior Curator, Gardiner Museum, on mid 20th Century European immigrant ceramists in Canada who worked collaboratively as husband and wife

2:15 pm            Coffee break

2:30 pm            Clay on the Rock: Critic & curator Gloria Hickey on contemporary ceramics in Newfoundland & Labrador

3:30 pm            Wrap up – Dr Sandra Alfoldy, Professor of Craft History & Chair, Historical and Critical Studies, NSCAD University and Associate Curator of Fine Craft, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

4:00 pm            Sandra Alfoldy will give a Curator’s Tour of ceramics on exhibit at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, including work by Jason Holley and Roman Bartkiw, and a special peek at recently acquired works by Erica and Kjeld Deichmann.

5:00 pm            Social time: open for participants to avail themselves of the many bars and restaurants in downtown Halifax

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