Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CRAFTY CHAT: elemental connections - a discussion of sustainable craft practices

Via Akimbo

Chantal Gilbert, La Caresse, Argent sterling, palissandre, vison, lame en acier damasse 30 cm, 2004

A Discussion of Sustainable Craft Practices
On Sunday November 4th at 2:00 pm, the Ontario Crafts Council is hosting a panel discussion in support of their current exhibition, Elemental Connections: An Exhibition of Sustainable Craft.

Panelists include exhibiting artists Tara Bursey and Ann Schneider, in addition to Eric Nay, Faculty in the Liberal Arts department at OCAD, and Janna Hiemstra, student intern at the OCC. Arlene Gehring, curator of the exhibition, will moderate the discussion as it deals with the relationship between craft, sustainability, and the creative processes of making.

The panel discussion will take place at the Lennox Gallery, 12 Ossington Ave, and will be followed by refreshments and a tour of the exhibition at the OCC gallery on 990 Queen St. W.

Arlene Gehring is an independent curator and exhibition coordinator living in Toronto, Ontario. She works extensively in the cultural sector, with specific interest in contemporary crafts. Her most recent shows have been "Found in Translation," at the Japan Foundation Toronto, "Manifesta," curated with Vivienne Jones at Gallery Stratford and the Cambridge Galleries, and "Canadian Clay" at the Lacoste Gallery, Concord, Mass. Arlene has acted as the moderator for the panel presentation "Evolution/Revolution: Refining or Redefining the Craft Tradition" as part of the 2006 Saidye Bronfman Presentation. Additionally, she has worked extensively in the arts community as a Director on various art organization boards.

Tara Bursey is a recent graduate of the Toronto School of Art's diploma program, and a former student at Ontario College of Art and Design. An artist whose practice encompasses sculpture and installation as well as drawing, printmaking and craft, Tara's work is characterized by its ethereal quality, and an often obsessive use of repetition, pattern and delicate sculptural materials such as eggshells, garlic skin, found garments and paper. In addition to her work as a fine artist, Tara operates actively within Toronto's independent music and small-press communities as a DJ, illustrator, designer and writer. She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

Ann Schneider was introduced to weaving in 1973 at the Fundy School of Fine Arts. She then discovered bentwood willow furniture during her time as the Crafts Coordinator for the Owen Sound Summerfolk Music and Craft Festival. After taking a course with Maggie Longsworth at the Haliburton School of fine arts, she began to develop her own designs that combined weaving techniques with local and found wood materials. In 1996 Ann started her own business "Keppelstone Willow Works", alongside of teaching, doing shows, and creating custom work. Today Ann lives in Georgian Bluffs on the Niagara escarpment with her partner and two cats and one Great Pyrenees Dog.

Eric Nay is currently a member of the faculty of Liberal Studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design, teaching Design History, Theory and Criticism with a joint appointment in the Faculty of Design teaching Industrial Design, and serving as one of the Assistant Deans of Liberal Studies. His primary research interests are in global architecture and material and cultural sustainability. He has a broad range of research experience focusing on modern development and global design solutions in emerging economies with published written research (Open House International, United Kingdom, 2000). Eric is an active writer, presenter and advocate for increasing knowledge of sustainability in design education and regularly and internationally contributes to conferences and symposia across disciplines in this emergent area of intellectual inquiry.

Janna Hiemstra received her BA in Philosophy from the Kings University College, and is currently studying Curatorial Studies at OCAD. She has also been working as a student intern at the OCC since this past summer. Combining her experience as a two-year studio assistant at Cobble Hill Pottery in B.C. with an interest in environmental practices, she has been one of the enthusiastic organizers for the Elemental Connections exhibition.

Please RSVP to Janna Hiemstra at (416) 925-4222 ext. 225, or


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