gallery@acts - galerie@fcaa

gallery@acts is a showcase of contemporary craft from across Atlantic Canada. The gallery features work never seen at ACTS before in a formal gallery setting.

We would like to acknowledge the financial support received under the International Business Development Agreement (IBDA) for this project.

Photo Gallery of 2013 Pieces

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Susan Lee Stephen
Read Bio Susan Lee Stephen grew up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. From an early age she found herself drawn to artistic pursuits, and began her craft career in pottery. She left Yellowknife to further her education and do some travelling. Eventually settling in St.John's, Newfoundland, she found herself on a two year wait list to be admitted to the welding program at College of the North Atlantic.

It was a fortunate turn of events for her, as she decided to spend the time taking a two year Textile Studies diploma at the same college. This program awakened her to the potential of marketing her work. An inspiring trip to Mexico during her studies introduced her to working with silver. Thus began her part-time creative pursuit of jewellery making, inspiring her to take any and all related workshops that were within reach. She simultaneously completed her certification in welding, eventually working in the industrial sector.

As the limitations of developing her skills creatively while employed full-time became apparent, she sought out the intensive jewellery program at Haliburton School of The Arts in Haliburton, Ontario, and travelled there to fill some gaps in her jewellery skill set. The program fulfilled her expectations and she now works from her home studio in St.John's, exhibiting and selling her work through the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as at Alexis Templeton Studio, King's Point Pottery, Johnny Ruth: Integrity in Style, Model Citizens, as well as online through her Etsy shop: Susan Lee Studios.

Wendy Johnston
Read Bio Wendy Johnston's interest in art began early and after high school she attended Central Technical Art School where she became especially interested in drawing, painting and clay. After Central Tech, Wendy decided to pursue a career as a functional potter. In 1983, she spent two years developing her skills in ceramics at Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design in Mississauga, ON. In 1985-86, she took a year off to work and decided to pursue teaching. She went to the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax and received a B.F.A. degree and major in printmaking, drawing and art education. She then completed her certification in art education at Concordia University. After graduating, Wendy taught art to high school students in NB. During these years, she created many abstracted and interpretative drawings and paintings based on the surrounding landscape. Although she enjoyed many aspects of teaching, her interest to continue art-making and pottery remained with her and grew.

In 1996, Wendy made the transition to become a professional potter. She produced work under the name "Country Colours Pottery," characterized by three angular brushstrokes of colour primarily in white, yellow, blue, and green. In 1998, Wendy moved to Hillsborough, NB, and rented the basement of the old and still functioning post office which became her studio and showroom. Wendy was able to integrate her love of painting, drawing, and printmaking with clay to create a unique and evolving line of pottery; drawing on colour, line, landscape, images, and text from everyday life to explore the conventions of beauty.

Wendy's progression towards life as a full-time potter and artist moved in leaps and bounds when, in 2006, she moved into a self-designed home and studio in Hopewell Cape, achieving her goal of living the life of a "potter in the country."

In the words of an article written by Deborah Carr, "Wendy now feels that she has the groundwork and skills to take her somewhere she has never ventured before. ‘I feel like I am in the prime of my life. I can see where I can go. A lot of work still needs to be done, but there is a road now: not a wall, but a road'."

Wesley Harris
Read Bio Wesley Harris was born in 1955 in Guelph, ON where he spent the first six years of his life living next door to his grandmother in the small town of Rockwood. During those formative years, she instilled upon him her love of nature. It made an impression upon him that has lasted a life-time. As an adult, one of his favorite hobbies is nature and wildlife photography.

At age six, his family moved to 30 acres of land in the country where he spent countless hours bird-watching, fossil collecting, and rafting the creek by the edge of the woods. While his parents worked at restoring the old farm house, Wesley learned that the process of the restoration was just as much a source of satisfaction as the finished result.

Like nature, music played a very important part in Wesley's life. His choice of instrument is the violin and he still enjoys playing it. This attraction parallels his instinct as a visual artist to create smooth flowing lines and contours.

Wesley's high school art teacher, Mr. Arthur Brecken had a profound effect on his art career. Mr. Brecken's classes included a wide range of subjects but Wesley was particularly drawn to the jewellery making. During the summer, Mr. Brecken would allow Wesley use his home studio on weekends and during the summers. Wesley learned by example, trial and error, and from many hours of casual conversation on design and creativity.

In University Wesley studied both music and fine art. After working as a commercial silver designer in the US during the early 1980's, he met his wife, Margaret, and moved back to Canada. After his youngest of two daughters was born, he became the stay-at-home parent. Over the following 20 years, his jewellery and metalsmithing was necessarily part-time work, managing an average about 20 hours per week for his art.

Today, at age 57, a new chapter is unfolding for him as his children attend university. Once again he is working full time; creating hollowware pieces that will be shown in conjunction with the Society of North American Goldsmith's conference in Toronto in May 2013.

Photo Gallery of 2013 Gallery Space

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