Some of Canada’s top emerging artists in ceramics and glass media were recognized with awards at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo this past weekend.
Janet Macpherson of Toronto won the $10,000 2013 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics. Macpherson is currently an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre and began studying ceramics at Sheridan College. She later obtained an MFA from Ohio State University. This award will allow her to undertake a three-month period of work and research at the Zentrum fur Keramik in Berlin.
Much of Macpherson’s recent work focuses on animals and the body. As she states on her website,
“Recently I have been wrapping animal forms in damp porcelain sheets—binding, bandaging the figures, and contemplating the intentions of these gestures. Inspired by visits to the Ohio State Agricultural Fair in Columbus, where farm animals were clothed in protective fabrics, tethered tightly to posts, awaiting exhibition and judging, I have begun assembling my own slip-cast menagerie, in which I play with forms of domestication, sanitation and restraint. Through the use of animal forms I explore ideas of repression, confinement, and torture, the animals becoming a metaphor for our relationships with others, and how we understand ourselves.
Macpherson’s work is on view until January 12 in the group exhibition “Animal Stories” at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.
Carole Epp of Saskatoon, creator of the popular ceramics blog Musing About Mud, received the second prize of $1,000. The Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, named after a ceramicist and philanthropist who was a supporter of arts in Waterloo Region for more than 40 years, was juried by Bruce Cochrane, Jennifer Leskiw, Jessica Steinhäuser.
Brad Turner of Calgary won the 2013 RBC Award for Glass. The ACAD alumnus recently received his MFA from the School of Art and Design at Alfred University. This award will enable Turner to travel throughout Germany, Denmark and Norway to visit museums and glass blowing production studios before producing new work while in residence at Glazenhuis in Lommel, Belgium.
Some of Turner’s recent works consist of balance-based scluptures.
“These pieces are a recombination of traditional glass forms, and do literally balance on a single point,” Turner writes on his website. “While working within a formal study of composition and visual weight, I hope to capture the beauty, rarity and value of the balanced state.”
Aaron Oussoren of Toronto, a graduate of Sheridan College. received the second prize of $1,000. The RBC Award for Glass was juried by Susan Edgerley, Elena Lee and Tina Poplawski.
These awards are intended to allow early-career ceramic and glass artists to undertake a period of independent research, or other activities that will advance their artistic and professional practice at a key moment in their careers. All applicants must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and must have been practicing independently for 2 to 10 years.