Violence Against Women Day

December 6, 1989, was the day female engineering students at the Ecole Polytechnique were massacred in what is called The Montreal Massacre.  Marc Lepine had a rifle and a knife. He injured twenty-eight; fourteen were killed.  Today is a day of remembrance, not just for those women but for all women who have suffered violence.  In Winnipeg, we mourn the missing Indigenous women.  But every day, women are abused.  It is the time we stood up and demand that the abuse whether it is physical or mental or both STOP.  No more misogyny.  No more sexist jokes.  No more harassment.  Women are intelligent and passionate.  We do not need to do favours for men who have the power to succeed.

Vietnam Era Resisters Research

I received a Canada Council Jean A Chalmers Grant to conduct research into the impact that Vietnam era resisters who came to Canada had on Canadian ceramics.  To date, there are 117 individuals in my study.  Conference presentations have been given in Dublin, at the University of Szeged in Hungary, and at the first Craft Biennale at the Art Gallery of Burlington.  Articles are in press and exhibitions are being planned.  I am still seeking individuals who fit my profile:  came to Canada because they did not wish to be part of the support for the Vietnam War and who were already trained in ceramics or learned after they immigrated in order to make a living.  If you know of someone, please have them contact me at my university e-mail address:  maryann.steggles@umanitoba.ca

The image on today’s posting is Walter Ostrom’s China Bottle.  Ostrom came to Canada because of the Vietnam War in 1969.  He had a contract to teach at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) in Halifax.  Ostrom was elated because he would be teaching at one of the hippest art schools in North America but also because he was going to be living in Canada:  ‘The land of Pierre Trudeau, a friend of both Castro and draft dodgers, leading a nation of peaceniks’.

It’s a New Year and several new projects to carry through to 2020

This is the post excerpt.

Several ongoing projects will be finished in the next month and then two new ones.  Cris and I are finishing the revisions to the second edition of The Traditional and Religious Arts of Asia and, at the same time, I am updating two online introductory art courses for the School of Art.  Those will be finished this month.  If you have been reading this blog, you will also know that I am set to arrive at Hospitalfield in Arbrough, Scotland for March.  For the past six or so years, the amount of ceramics that are fired has disturbed me.  My beginning class of wheel throwers makes hundreds of cylinders, 15 cm high and 9 cm wide, to finally get the 40 they submit.  The goal has been to get them to see these as being ‘not precious’ and to recycle the cylinders that are ‘unworthy’.  It is difficult to imagine an archaeologist digging up our material culture in 1000 years and finding this ceramic work.  My last group of students really embraced this, and I was so proud of them.  In keeping with that and the theme of transience, the work that I will make and leave along the coast of the North Sea will not be fired. These are studies of the changing light during the day for the time I am at Hospitalfield.  The works will disintegrate over time, a metaphor for the passage of time, birth and death.  I will be using textile dyes, watercolours, and stains.  This is very exciting.  And in the spring a new studio will appear on our property in Winnipeg, a transition from my reduction of duties at the School of Art, to once again just being a studio ceramist.  So looking forward.