Call Me Claire
If you have met me, then you probably know me as Nicole and may be wondering, “Who is this Claire person?” All that has changed is my name. I changed my first name to Claire because I want to honour my family’s French-Canadian heritage AND have a name that is easy for English speakers to pronounce. I just got tired of hearing my name mispronounced. (The French pronunciation of Nicole sounds like Knee-CALL, not NICK-Whole.)
I live in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. I grew up in Southwestern Ontario and spent lots of time on my grandparents’ farm in Kent County. I graduated with a BA in Aesthetics and Cultural Studies from Carleton University that included studies in Industrial Design. I studied Painting and Drawing at the Ontario College of Art and Design. I began my art career as a painter. In 2010, ceramics became my main artistic practice and it felt like a homecoming. With ceramics, I can apply my understanding of three dimensional design with my knowledge of painting and colour theory. Like my paintings, my ceramics are inspired by rural landscapes and natural phenomena.
I have had solo shows at the Cambridge Centre for the Arts, the Carnegie Gallery, the Homer Watson House & Gallery and the London Clay Art Centre. I was an artist-in-residence at Medalta in Medicine Hat, Alberta for one month and at the London Clay Art Centre in London, Ontario for two years. I was mentored by Angelo di Petta in the FUSION program Creative Directions. The culmination of the mentorship was the exhibition Cultivate, at the Gardiner Museum Shop in May to July 2021. I took part in an online artist talk to support the exhibition. A video recording is available here. In it, I talk about the milestones in my career that contributed to my work for the Cultivate.
I love to teach! It is so rewarding to share the journey with students as they travel from “I wish I could do this” to “I can do this.” I have had the privilege of teaching painting, drawing and ceramics classes to both children and adults. This Fall, I will be teaching an online pottery class for adults. I will be teaching techniques that can be done safely at home. Read More.