Artist of the Day: Robin Lambert

With today’s artist I’m going to start right away with his statement about the project because…well.. I couldn’t explain it any better:

“Service: Dinner for Strangers is my latest research into the crossing of contemporary visual art, craft culture, the handmade object, and art as a type of service. At the heart of the exhibition I am exploring the sharing of community, ideas and space through the sharing of meals.

Over the course of the exhibition, I will host 3 potlucks for 7 strangers from Red Deer and will serve each on a different set of dishes I have had especially commissioned for Service. On display in this gallery are the 3 complete sets of ceramic dishes made by 3 different artists:

Robin Dupont
Maggie Finlayson
Candice Ring

The potlucks happen each Thursday night over the duration of the show – January 15, 22 and 29. Following each dinner, images of the participates will be added to the gallery display.

Eating together and sharing food can be an intimate experience through which people learn about each other, new ideas, and, in this case, about art, craft and the community in which we live.

This exhibition focuses on the direct interaction between the audience and artist, the gallery and it’s community and attempts to transform the space into a place for exploration, sharing and meeting your neighbours.”
I’ve been really interested in Robin’s approach to craft production and theory in the last few years since meeting him over some great chinese food in Canberra. His focus on relational aesthetics, how we interact with handmade objects, how objects impact us in return, the role of art in the service of community building and interpersonal relationships, all infuse his work and ideas with a contemporary relevance that is both poetic and beautiful. I particularly love this last image, it sums up the relevance and the impact of his project perfectly. Strangers really are just people/friends you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.

Please take a bit of time to check out some of his other projects on his website which also includes more about Dinner for Strangers

Artist of the Day: Cathy Terepocki

I can’t help but notice that we’ve had our fair share of busy parent artists on the blog this month, parents who find the time to still make amazing work amidst the chaos of the everyday. And Cathy is no exception. She recently relocated to Saskatchewan and has brought her beautiful work, amazing business sense and passion for the arts with her, invigorating our community. She has a particular sense of design we don’t see too much of on the prairies, which is another bonus.

Here’s her bio:
“For the last several years the focus of my ceramics practice has been the research of print onto the surface of clay. I have a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Since graduating in 2004 I have been working primarily as a studio artist ( I have also been teaching workshops and operating a gallery featuring Canadian craft and design. (”
You can find her beautiful pieces here and there at shops, galleries and markets, feel free to contact her through her website to find out if there’s a location near you. Or check out one of Canada’s newest online art and design shops, Box Social for more of her work. (trust me, it’s worth it…I have one of her bird mugs and it quickly became one of my faves!)

Artist of the Day: Reed Weir

A few months back the Sask Craft Council presented a touring exhibition from the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. In the show was a piece by Reed Weir that completely captivated me each and every time I was at work. There is a certain manner in which Reed captured the essence of humanity in the figure that sat high up top the sculpture that was both beautiful yet which made me feel a bit uneasy. It was a very poetic piece. The sort of work you should really see in person, but that’s so often hard to do. Reed has sent me a great artist statement to go with these images, so I’ll let Reed’s words and images speak for themselves.

“One of my main motivations is the desire to understand and document rural society and its position in present-day culture. I draw extensively upon images from my own garden and the rural area in which I live (southwestern Newfoundland). My intention is to create contemporary works of art that speak to our common human experience, but via stories that are informed by a rural perspective.

“Blind Love” is from a series of stoneware sculptures which can be viewed simply for what they are – a girl and a bear – or as metaphors, with the girl representing humankind and the bear the natural environment. The complicated relationship between the two species is reflected in our reverence, love and fear of the bear, and in the rich cultural imagery provoked by our relationship with it. In “Blind love” the human is arrested in a pose of innocence at the precise moment before awareness of her beloved’s pending demise.

Grass Widow: Pale Blue Resignation is from a series based on the woman in my community who maintain their homes and family while the men are away working. Each widow sculpture (of 10 created) has a different attitude or is in a different stage of the wait. An integral part of the sculpture is the pedestal on which the figure sits, denoting the woman’s important role as pillars of their society. The open space in the pillar suggests the presence the absence of their partners has in their lives.

The actual process of sculpting is another source of inspiration for me as my method from concept to completion is done with clay. The material and process often direct the development of subsequent pieces.”

Check out more of Reed’s work at the Craft Council of NL website, the Christina Parker Gallery, and at Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery. Reed will also be one of the artists in residence at Medalta this summer.

Artist of the Day: Mickey Smeele

I can’t remember quite when it was that I first ran across Mickey’s blog and her work, but I remember being inspired by her energy for her work, all the while raising a gorgeous little one. She seemed to have the time and motivation for everything, making, teaching. It’s something I lack most days…I still tend to think somehow someone is stealing time from me…anyways Mickey is now one the many I get to chat with daily on that whole weird twitter thing I was telling you about. It’s starting to be fun, hearing what people are up to throughout the day and finding interesting links to things I would have never found otherwise, so I guess it’s worth it. But what’s really worth checking out is Mickey’s blog and her fantastic work!

I love that most of you have sent in some little written bit about your work and process. I find it not only interesting to see the work, but also to read how each artist expresses themselves verbally about their work. It’s an art form unto itself I reckon. So on that note here’s Mickey’s words:

Up until recently I kept saying that one day when I grow up I will be a Professional Potter.
Not to say I have grown up but I am a Professional Potter now.
There is nothing much better than a bottle of cider the right music and freshly wedged clay on the wheel head ready to go. I become base, instinctual, feral, free.
I am in love with my craft.
My art loves me back just as hard.
I am self taught and have fit my Art Life in and amongst my other Lives.
Sewing-Writing-Inventing-Wife-Reading-Baking-Painting-Gardening-Homeschooling-Mama is the name of my other Life.
Oh most of you reading this know all about that kind of thing don’t you?
I have been Potting for twenty two years now.
Teaching art classes on and off for seventeen years.
I love that I can bring my babies with me to teach classes.
I love that I can host classes in my space with my family helping out sometimes.
I love that I can fill a big basket up with ” my fresh hot pottery”, walk it to a nearby business and sell most of it right on the spot.
Life that mingles the day to day family kind of stuff with the passion and obsession of being a an Artist.
It can be asking a lot of a person sometimes this Artist-Mama-thing.
I know no other way. Intense is good.
I am a Ceramicist Doing the abcedarian work of connecting my Soul’s Sight to a process.
For me the Process is Clay work. Now if I could just sell for what “Soul Speak” is actually worth worth! ha-hah !
That is the trick with any of our Art Work isn’t it?
I have one Gallery representing my work at the moment.
Cedar Corners in Tofino on Vancouver Island. Otherwise I sell out of my Studio.
So, if you feel the need to buy some Fresh Hot Pottery lets talk…
Meanwhile, be well my Artist Friends!
Be well.

Artist of the Day: Jody Greenman-Barber

Jody is an amazing artist that I meet years and years ago when I first started in ceramics at the University of Regina. She was just finishing the program as I began so we had a brief cross over, but our paths in clay keep leading us back to each other. Her extensive portfolio of work has grown to truly encapsulate her personality, her energy for life and art, and her search for expression in clay through movement. She recently completed a fantastic video/performance work which demonstrated her addressing challenges in the studio, her experimentation and process and her amazingly hilarious sense of humor. Hopefully I can get my hands on a copy soon to share with you. In the meantime here’s a bit about her work in her own words:

“I explore traditional and popular concepts of wheel thrown pottery while challenging works that are typically representative of the pottery wheel.. Some of my more recent works are an exploration of movement, both in the sense of movement involved in the creation of the vessel forms and, more metaphorically, as a social concept within artistic and craft practices.”