Canadian Ceramics Community is saddened by the loss of Jack Sures on May 12

Jack Sures had a strong connection with Manitoba.  Born in Brandon in 1934, he started studying painting and printmaking at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art in 1954, when it was located downtown.  After transferring to the  University of Michigan and travelling to Europe and the Middle East, the young artist returned to Winnipeg to set up Jack Sures’s Studio on Portage Avenue in 1962.  The late Charlie Scott said that ‘Sures ushered in the modern era of pottery making in the City’.  This was, as far as Scott knew, the first independent ceramics studio in the City.  It attracted other talents such as Tam Irving, Anne Marie Schmidt-Eisler (later to study with Harlan House under Albert Borch in Alberta), Muriel Guest, Jason Krpan and Gerry Tillapaugh.  In 1965, the University of Regina attracted the talented artist and passionate teacher to lead up their ceramics programme.  Sures retired from teaching in 1989.

Timothy Long in the exhibition catalogue for Fine Form, Saskatchewan Ceramics stated: ‘In the post-war period, pottery gained substantially in status, moving from a cottage industry to a subject of academic study. Leading the way in Saskatchewan was Jack Sures (Regina), who established the ceramics program at the University of Regina in 1965. Sures advocated that ceramics be considered an art form on par with painting and sculpture.’

Sures used all of his talents when he created works of sculpture, ceramic murals, vessels and tiles.  He gathered up the influences of his studies abroad to add to his personal expression onto the surface of the clay and its form.  Sures exhibited his work internationally and for his talents was recognized by his being awarded the Order of Canada (Companion) in 1991, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2003, the Commemorative Medal of the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada for his significant achievement in the Arts, as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.  More recently he was the recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Excellence (2018).

For Sures clay was the most expressive artistic medium.  Throughout his life, he remained fascinated with the way that the medium could reinvent itself.  For this sculptor and vessel maker, throwing at the wheel was soothing for his soul.  Sures often said that the richness of one’s life and spirit is reflected in their work and in turn, transferred to the viewer.  Sures will be sadly missed.

Fired Up! Victoria, BC May 25-27

More than three decades ago, the late Robin Hopper and his partner,  Judi Dyelle, envisioned an event that would showcase the best of British Columbia ceramics on one site for an event packed weekend.  During these 32 years, twenty-three ceramists have displayed and sold their work at the Metchosin Community Hall.  It is, in fact, the longest-running ceramic exhibition group in Canada.

The theme for 2018 is ‘Coastal Vessels:  Romancing the Sea’.  The exhibition and sale are open from 6-9 on May 25 and 10-5 on May 26 and 27th.  If you are out in Victoria, check out the great talent that has been juried into this exhibition and sale.

Julia Nema, Budapest ceramic artist, will join Markus Boehm in Winnipeg to build the new wood kiln for the School

Julia Nema is one of the most respected wood fire potters.  She has a studio in Budapest and was recently featured in an article ‘Welcome to Budapest’.  Julia has been firing her work in a Phoenix Fast Fire Kiln.  She now needs to build a new kiln in an urban area, so she is joining us to learn how to build this smokeless kiln designed by Markus Boehm.

I am so pumped that she will be able to join us.  You can check out her work online.  Really beautiful dinnerware used by some of the finest restaurants in the Budapest.  If you go to Budapest, please check out her studio.  And if you are thinking about joining us for the wood kiln building workshop and firing from June 21-30, she is another reason to come.  We had two cancellations so spread the word there is now another opportunity if you thought you missed out!  Contact me:  maryannsteggles@icloud.com

Photo credit:  LB9 kep

Ufuk Gueray Congratulations to an amazing artist!

Not about ceramics today!  But a great celebration, indeed.

I met Ufuk and his partner, Erica Mendritzki, about six or seven years ago right after they had graduated from Guelph.  They were hired to teach as sessionals at the School of Art.  Over the years it was my pleasure to watch them accumulate exhibitions and win awards all the while giving the portfolio workshops to high school students hoping to be accepted into the first year class at SOA.

This year Ufuk has had his work recognized by major awards both from the Manitoba Arts Council and the Canada Council.

From MAC, he received a $5000 A-Level Individual Art Grant, then $12 500 for the MAC’s Brooklyn Visual Arts Residency, and a $950 travel grant. He was also selected for their Major Arts Grant giving him an annual total of 35,000 in funding from our province.

The Canada Council awarded him an Explore and Create: Concept to Realization valued at 50,000$ over a period of two years.

The project that he is working on is intriguing.  It is called Atilla’s Mirror Shop and is about his late uncle’s mirror shop in Izmir, Turkey.  He will work on that project during his time at the International Studio & Curatorial Program in Brooklyn.

Here’s a link to the ISCP page: https://iscp-nyc.org/resident/ufuk-gueray  if you are interested.

Winnipeg has some amazing individuals and it has been fabulous watching this young man find his artistic legs, so to speak.  It was my pleasure to have been able to work with him and Erica during the time I was Associate Director.  Now it is just nice to have them as good friends!

Well done, Ufuk!  And well deserved.

Robert Archambeau Retrospective in Celebration of his 50 years​ or silver anniversary with the School of Art and the University of Manitoba will open in mid-November at the School of Art Gallery

The precise date is still to TBD but it will be around November 15 running until mid-January.  This is an amazing chance to look back at the work of one of Canada’s legendary ceramic artists and someone who has given so much to the School of Art and its students.  ‘Bob’ has been a fabulous mentor to those working in ceramics.

If you or anyone you know has ceramic work of Bob’s and would loan it to the School of Art Gallery for the exhibition, please get in touch with me as I will be curating the show.  The contact information is maryann.steggles@umanitoba.ca

Stay tuned for more details.

Photo:  Bob working in the ceramic studio, School of Art, 2016

Laid Back Wood Firing is in Demand

There are only two more spaces left in the Laid Back Wood Kiln Building and Firing Workshop with Markus Boehm at the School of Art, University of Manitoba.  The workshop is from June 21-30 June and includes a firing of the kiln.  This is a small easy to fire one person kiln.  If you are thinking that you want wood-fire effects or the option for lots of ash, this is the sweet little kiln for you.  It is a Bourry Box with an extended throat and a small chamber.  The cost is $325.  If you want more information please get in touch with me:   maryannsteggles@icloud.com        I expect these two places will be gone very soon!