Friday, 24 December 2010

Clay 2010

Since the 1970s, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts has been assembling the most significant provincial art collection in Canada, with more than 7500 pieces from about 1500 Alberta artists, worth more than $10 million.

Much of this work is exhibited throughout Alberta in government offices, public buildings such as hospitals and libraries, through various kinds of exhibitions, and at special events such as the Vancouver Olympics.

The collection can be seen on-line at

While examples of fine craft have been regularly added to the collection, the extent and variety of work acquired has not always reflected the range and energy of Alberta’s professional craft scene. The AFA has set out to expand the craft collection and has worked with the Alberta Craft Council on several aspects of this.

Clay 2010 is the most recent and extensive venture intended to add fine craft to the AFA collection. The AFA has contracted the Craft Council to manage an acquisition process and touring exhibition that represents a 2010 cross-section of ceramic arts activity in Alberta. Throughout 2009 and early 2010, an open call for entry attracted submissions from 55 professional and emerging potters, tile makers, clay sculptors and other ceramic artists.

An expert jury was selected for the project. Relying on photos and submission packages, they reviewed 243 pieces. About 86 were select for further consideration and brought to Edmonton for in-person and more in-depth examination. Ultimately the jury selected 70 pieces from 37 artists, 19 of whom are new to the AFA Collection. These, with a total value of $73,995, were recommended to the AFA for acquisition.

The Clay 2010 exhibition appears in the Alberta Craft Council Feature Gallery, April 10 to July 3. It is being scheduled at Red Deer Museum and Medalta (Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic Site). Prairie Gallery and other potential locations are being considered. The Clay 2010 project also includes a full-colour catalogue and an extensive on-line exhibition, both produced by the Craft Council. Look for these in the near future.

Clay 2010 is the largest and most significant Alberta ceramics project in (at least) a decade. It substantially updates the AFA collection with a variety of work demonstrating all aspects of current ceramic practice in the province. The project offers substantial creative and financial encouragement to individual clay artists, especially in the midst of a recession. And, the exhibitions, catalogue, on-line content, media work and other exposure should attract much-needed public appreciation of Alberta’s dynamic ceramics culture.

On behalf of members and all craft artists in Alberta, the Craft Council wants to thank the Alberta Foundation for the Arts for the foresight and commitment necessary for the success of this project. In particular, AFA staff members Ross Bradley, Gail Lint and Neil Lazaruk deserve special thanks for their expertise and advice.

The content of this post was taken from the Clay 2010 website, for more information please click on the following link:

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