An Exhibition of Functional Ceramics
The Cultivate exhibition is the culmination of a mentorship program called Creative Directions organized by FUSION: The Ontario Clay & Glass Association. The purpose of Creative Directions is to help artists improve their work by expanding technical skills and refining their ideas.
The exhibition was at The Gardiner Museum Shop from May to July 2021. Currently, the some of the works that were in exhibition are available in the Shop. If you can’t get there in person, visit online at www.gardinermuseum.on.ca/store.
View Works by All the Artists:
My New Work for Cultivate
I created a new series called Hill & Dale Dinnerware for this exhibition. This series offers a new interpretation of farm-to-table, inspired by the rolling farmlands of the Waterloo Region. The forms and colours are impressions of the local rural landscape. I chose brown stoneware to represent the soil. I use a painterly palette: soft greens for a mid-summer oat field, deep green and blue for the trees that border a field, golds for corn stalks in autumn and blue-grey for rain clouds that quench the crops. A place setting looks like a topographic map. I carefully designed the form of each dish with function in mind. The plates and bowls can easily be lifted from a table with one hand because they have a wide lip and the bottom surfaces are unglazed to improve grip. The profiles are designed to fit in dishwashers and the sculpted feet allow water to drain.
In support of the Cultivate exhibition I took part in an online artist talk titled The Role of Mentorship and Its Lasting Impact.
I discussed the milestones in my career that contributed to the new work I created during the Creative Directions mentorship program. I also presented a summary of the process of making the Hill and Dale Dinnerware.
Preparing for the Exhibition:
a Mentorship with Angelo di Petta
In September 2019, ten artists, including myself, met with our mentor Angelo di Petta at his studio near Peterborough, Ontario, for the first time. The plan was to meet about every 6 weeks until June 2020 and then have an exhibition in the Fall of 2020. Due to the COVID pandemic, plans got cancelled, postponed, changed and then changed again. In addition to the challenges of adapting meetings from hands-on and in-person to an online format, some of the artists lost access to their shared studio spaces during lock-down periods. Two of the artists withdrew from the program due to the impact of the COVID pandemic. The exhibition was rescheduled to start in May 2021, unfortunately this is concurrent with the third wave of COVID in Ontario. This means the exhibition may be an online event only depending on the circumstances created by the COVID pandemic. Thankfully, all the artists remained safe through this challenging time.