2017 PRIZE WINNERS
MPD Law Firmmpdlawfirm.com
Lucy Pelletier is a sculptor based out of Toronto, working mainly in ceramics. Lucy has studied at NSCAD University for fine art, English Gardening School in Chelsea, England, for garden design, and Humber College for horticulture. Her ceramic work is self-taught.
At the heart of her practice is a curiosity in humans – their creative spirit, their resilience, and their optimism – through which she explores forms inspired by of domesticity, industry, science, history, architecture, craft, religion, and ritual. By virtue of this broad range of themes, her sculptures can appear at times brutalist and primitive, precise and familiar, or futuristic and otherworldly. She describes her current work as semi-functional ceramics.
MPD Law Firmmpdlawfirm.com
“As a multi-disciplinary designer with a background in architecture I approach each design through order, colour, and form. Each jewellery piece starts from a sketch which I then transform into a small scale sculpture imbued with feelings and emotions.
“My current work expresses a play with light, dimension, and surface formations. Almost like painting – I use steel as my canvas, the torch as my brush, and a mix of metals as my paint palette. By fusing fine gold, fine silver, and copper to steel I create in each piece different textures and contrasts of colour that stimulates the mind and senses of the observer and the wearer.”
MONTCREST SCHOOL SPECIAL AWARD
Manon De Gagné
“I love making things! Textures, colours, and shapes are on my mind all the time and I do my best to create soft, comfortable, always unique and well-crafted pieces, often re-using materials to give them a new life. Shoe Babou started over 20 years ago with a little pair of blue suede shoes that I made as a gift for my friend’s baby girl, and since then, that little gift keeps on giving!”
VIRGINIA HAMARA LAW OFFICE SPECIAL AWARD
Studio Tiny Loft
Virginia Hamara Law Officehamaralaw.com
“I came to Canada from Eastern Europe. Book editor and journalist by education, I am a full-time artist in Canada. My contemporary jewelry collection is inspired by the bustle of cosmopolitan urban Toronto and reflects the designer's years of globetrotting and the time spent in fashion.
“Studio Tiny Loft Jewellery was created in 2014, focussing on "sophisticated grown-up girls” – the fabulous 35+ women who often do not find the product made specifically for them – they are looking for bolder, edgier pieces with a focus on quality and uniqueness. “The no-bling statement pieces I make are my own interpretation of classic Bohemian jewellery in a new and modern way.”
CAROLYN MCINTIRE SMYTH SPECIAL AWARD
Minthorn Fine Art
Carolyn McIntire Smythchestnutpark.com
Michael Minthorn is an artist living and working in rural Ontario. Light and tonality are the primary objects of his art and he is interested in capturing the North American landscape from a variety of perspectives, both physical and artistic. His work can be found in public, corporate, and private collections worldwide.
RICHARD SILVER SPECIAL AWARD
Based out of Peterborough, Stephen Hayes has been working with a wide range of materials for several years. Working in three-dimensional mixed media has been less a conscious choice than an evolving need to broaden his visual vocabulary to better express himself artistically. Many of the themes and issues present in his work are of a personal nature. Much of the imagery and content could be described as landscapes imbued with a human presence, in a context that is often reflective of our daily aspirations and struggles.
PATTIE WALKER MEMORIAL AWARD
“Through the combination of salvaged steel materials and intricately hand cut patterns that reference historical modes of production and thought, my work seeks to bring about conversations that bridge the past and the present surrounding labour, object history, and the industrial legacy of North America. These manufactured goods were used and imbued with memories and human relations through their former lives as domestic transportation or a tools of the trade.
“My craft comes about through the combination of plasma arc cutting, a relatively recent technological innovation and the precision of a practised hand. Often plasma cutters are operated using a computer controlled system for steel fabrication. Hand cutting requires patience and years of practice, this recalls other analog reductive sculptural practices such as wood and stone carving.
“My materials are found in the scrapyards, antique stores, flea markets, and farmers fields of Ontario. Sourcing the materials is its own process that through an extended network of people keep me in supply.”
EXCELLENCE IN WOOD AWARD
Having worked in the medium of sculpture for several years, Kirk Prior has only recently begun to show his work. Taking inspiration from architectural design, Kirk strives to create new forms of expression with a connection to the everyday.
“My sculpture explores the use and reuse of wood materials with previous lives and functions that are given a new life and form. Fragments of one world are brought into the next, in an effort to provoke thought, trigger memory and to connect past and present.”
A native of Toronto, Kirk lives in the east end with his wife and son.
MEMBERS SPECIAL AWARD
Susan V. Corrigan
Owen Brush is a spinner and weaver who approaches his craft as a conversation between himself, his materials, and the tools that he uses. His textiles highlight the nuances of surface and texture that emerge from the unique characteristics of the fibre and conscious hand work. Working from scratch, Owen spins the yarn, designs the patterns, and weaves the fabric. He works slowly, with the most simple and basic hand weaving techniques, so that he may listen to what the tools and materials have to offer
Owen finds inspiration in both the natural world and the material culture that we surround ourselves with. It is important to him that his work is able to be lived with intimately, so as to bring the beauty and wonderment that he sees in the world into other people's lives. With the scarves, blankets, and wall hangings that he makes, he creates objects that we can carry with us, wrap ourselves in, and live with.
Owen grew up surrounded by the tools of textile production and graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2010 with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Art, specializing in textiles, art history, and ceramics.
MEMBERS SPECIAL AWARD
Wendy Shingler & Alan Woolham
Queenie Xu (Kun Xu) is a ceramics maker currently based in Oakville, Ontario. Raised in China, Queenie received her BFA from Jingdezhen Ceramics Institute of Industrial Design in 2012. While studying in Jingdezhen, she learned the history and the skills of ceramics from her surroundings. In 2013 she was a volunteer at The Pottery Workshop where she fell in love with clay. In 2014 Queenie moved to Canada where she now studies Ceramics at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario.
Queenie is a ceramic maker and designer who has interests in structures and materials, which pushes her to explore the connection between craft and design. Combining what she has learned about the spirit of craft with her knowledge about industrial design processes pushes her into the studio with excitement and vigour.