The permit is in hand, the materials are on site or on their way, and excitement is beginning to stir. It is just 16 days away from the first day of the wood kiln workshop at the School of Art, University of Manitoba. I have opened up 2 additional spaces for another lucky 2 people to join us. If you know of anyone, please let me know. The fee is $325 – a bargain. If you are coming from out of town, there is accommodation at St John College for $55 per day and that includes three meals. Feel free to contact me for further information or any questions you might have. It is a great group coming from Budapest, Vancouver, Maple Creek, Red Deer and Winnipeg!
My e-mail is: email@example.com
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.
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.
Joo Young (Grace) Han is one of those extremely talented young women, a rising star in Canadian ceramics. Raised in South Korea, Han graduated with her BFA from Dankook University where she studied traditional Korean ceramics. There she watched the master potter, Joon Hoon Park, while making hundreds of Korean tea bowls, sambal, a day. For seven years, Han worked to perfect her ceramic skills including the making of the large jars for fermented vegetables, the Onngi. In 2011, Han moved to the Canadian prairies. The image above is a still from an upcoming CBC special on Han. In 2016, Han graduated with an MFA from the School of Art, University of Manitoba. There, for two years, she worked tirelessly in her studio asking herself many, many questions. Am I Korean? Am I Canadian? Where is my voice? Her thesis exhibition focused on those binaries as does the photo above.
The Manitoba Arts Council recognized Han’s artistic excellence by awarding her their major grant of $30,000 this past week. It is rare for a ceramic artist to achieve such recognition so early in their career. MAC not the only one, however! Han will be part of the Banff’s Centre’s Clay Revival Residency from June 3-July 7 and she will also have a solo exhibition at Medalta. Well done, Grace.
For a more detailed discussion of Han’s struggle with her identity and the male world of Korean ceramics, see my article in the current issue of New Ceramics, ‘Joo Young Han. One Path, Two Identities, pp 13-15 (2/18).
The School of Art at the University of Manitoba is hosting a Bourry box kiln building workshop with Markus Boehm from June 21-30. It will be a one cubic metre kiln and participants are asked to bring pieces for the firing. The fee is $325. Spaces are limited and are on a first come basis. Please e-mail me of your interest: firstname.lastname@example.org
Markus Boehm lives in Alt Gaarz, Germany where he has his studio and a sales shop and gallery. In 1989 he passed the rigorous state examinations of the GDR to receive his master potters certification. Boehm was the driving force behind the First European Wood Fire Conference in Brollin, Germany in 2010, an event that was so successful it spread to Denmark for 2014 and to France for August 2018.
For all of you who regularly attend the Ceramics Club spring sale and those of you who haven’t (you really should), they will be having their spring sale in the University of Manitoba Student Union on April 5-6. Hours are normally 9:30-4. If I hear different, I will let you know.
The featured image for today’s blog is one of those students, Bobby Young, and his Japanese breakfast set assignment. He is a young man to keep your eyes on!
Joo Young (Grace) Han graduated with a BFA from Dankook University in South Korea, an art faculty that focused on traditional Korean ceramics. It was at Dankook that Han learned by observing the master, Joon Hoon Park, and by throwing hundreds of Korean tea bowls, known as sabal, daily. Over time, she became proficient in using the Onngi wheel to create the large earthenware vessels used to store water and fermented food such as kimchi. From 2004-2011 Han continued to perfect her ceramic skills before moving to Canada. On June 3, 2016, five years after arriving on the Canadian prairies, Han graduated with her MFA. She struggled throughout her graduate studies to find her own voice, somewhere in the middle of being a traditional Korean potter and a new Canadian studying pottery in a Western tradition. Today she is one of the rising stars in Canadian ceramics.
Since her graduation she has been a resident at the Medalta potteries, her work has been selected for the International Exhibition at Mashiko and was shown at the First Craft Biennale in Toronto. She has taught for the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. Her class on onggi making was a huge success. Han is spending December 2017 in Korea studying reduction cooling in wood firing.