Sunday, May 13, 2012

BC-in-a-Box Comes Home!

After travelling to Alberta, where it was shown in three venues there, and to Seattle, where it rubbed shoulders with all the famous ceramic artists from around the world at NCECA, our little show of little pots has come home to the Gallery of BC Ceramics on beautiful Granville Island in Vancouver. We missed seeing them even when we knew they were having an excellent adventure. The work was installed on the front shelves in the gallery on May 8, and it will remain there (unless, of course, it gets sold!) until our closing gala on Thursday, May 31, from 5-7 pm. The gala is open to all members of the PGBC and their guests--we hope to see you there!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wasn't that a Party!

BC-in-a-Box 3: The Edge of Here opened at the Fraker/Scott Gallery in Seattle for a special NCECA event March 29 from 5 to 9 pm. Our 34 artists were joined by the eleven BC ceramic artists of Fired Up!, whose exhibition Celebrating the Salish Sea was also on view. As you can see from these photos taken by Keith Rice-Jones, the event was lively and well-attended. At top are four of the women who helped make this a reality, from left to right, Nora Vaillant, Jinny Whitehead (past PGBC president), Sheila Morissette and Denise Jeffrey (current PGBC president). Thanks so much to all of them for their hard work and vision. Now that the work is safely back from Seattle, we look forward to the final exhibition at the Gallery of BC Ceramics--keep posted!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BC-in-a-Box in Seattle!

BC-in-a-Box 3:The Edge of Here opened March 1 in Seattle at the Fraker/Scott Gallery, 121 Prefontaine Pl S, in Pioneer Square. The exhibition was featured as part of "First Thursday," Seattle's monthly art walk, and will be up for NCECA. There will be a special opening on Thursday, March 29, 5-9 pm, for those of you coming to the conference. We are teamed up with Fired Up!  in their exhibition Fired Up! : Celebrate the Salish Sea, honoring the history and ecosystem of the Pacific Northwest watershed now officially recognized by the US and Canada as the Salish Sea. We hope you can all drop by the gallery, see these two fabulous BC Ceramic shows--and sport your free "I'm a BC Potter!" button picked up at the PGBC Resource Table in the NCECA Resource Hall. So much to do, so little time! Enjoy!
The website for the Fraker/Scott Gallery is 

Friday, February 10, 2012

BC and AB at Medalta!

BC-in-a-Box: The Edge of Here and AB-in-a-Box :Wide Open exhibited together in Medicine Hat at the Medalta-Yuill Family Centre from January 17 to February 16. The very beautiful exhibition gallery at Medalta is set within the historic structure. Light streams through the windows, making the tiny works appear like intricate jewels. It was great to have both exhibitions combined so visitors could see the range of talent and ceramic expressions produced by artists in our two provinces. Many thanks to the team at Medalta--Aaron Nelson, Jenn Demke, Quentin Randall, Joyce Yamamoto and all the rest who made the show look so beautiful.
For more information on Medalta and on the Artist-in-Residence program, please see their website at

After closing in Medicine Hat, BC-in-a-Box moves to Seattle, where we will exhibit alongside the Fired Up! Collective at the Fraker/Scott Gallery. The exhibition will be up for the month of March, with a special reception during NCECA. For more information on Fraker/Scott, please see their website at and stay tuned for more information on this leg of the journey!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Should Pots be in Museums?

Image: Bowl, Jinny Whitehead

For the most part, this blog is used to keep members apprised of the travelling exhibition BC-in-a-Box and the APA component Wide Open. However, we are considering having a blog with different questions to get members thinking about issues in contemporary ceramics and to give them a chance to express their point of view. We are hoping you will take the time to log in and leave a comment.If we get interesting comments, we'll report them in the next PGBC Newsletter.

On Friday, September 9th, the North-West Ceramics Foundation sponsored a panel discussion at Emily Carr University on the recently-published book Thrown: British Columbia’s Apprentices of Bernard Leach and their Contemporaries. The book grew out of a very successful exhibition held at the Belkin in 2004 that included some 600 studio pots made by Leach apprentices Glenn Lewis, John Reeve, Michael Henry and Ian Steele as well as by BC ceramists influenced by these apprentices including Charmian Johnson, Gathie Falk, Wayne Ngan and others. Works for the exhibition were selected from collections around BC and Canada, with some literally being taken out of their owners’ dishwashers. Archival photographs, letters and other materials contributed to the understanding and context of the exhibition and the subsequent publication.

An especially interesting and heated discussion arose among the participants regarding whether or not ceramics should be collected by museums. One person expressed the opinion that pottery is kept alive through use, and museums are nothing short of a tomb. Another disagreed, stating that it is in museums and galleries that ceramics become valued additions to the artistic lexicon, and that by collecting ceramics, museums and galleries contribute to the value and context of these works. One potter suggested that ceramics go through different stages of function, beginning with use and then finding a new role to play in being displayed, especially as the work gains provenance, while another thought ceramics could spend more time developing the sort of discourse the art world admires and through which museums justify their collections of art.

What do you think? Should pots be collected by museums or left out to be used by the people who treasure them? If you attended the panel but did not get a chance to express your point of view, or even if you did not, please log on to our BC-in-a-box blog and have your say. We hope to hear from you—if we get some interesting ideas, we’ll print them in the next newsletter.

Thanks to Debra Sloan for her notes on the panel.
For more information on the North-West Ceramics Foundation, please see our website at

"Wide Open" opens at the Gallery of BC Ceramics

The Alberta Potters Association exhibition Alberta In A Box: Wide Open  opened in Vancouver at the Gallery of BC Ceramics November 12 and will be on view until December 1, 2011. For more information on the show, please see our earlier post for August 29. These pictures come to us courtesy of our main tech volunteer, Linda Lewis. The gallery certainly looks lovely during one of our all-so-rare sunny days, so we hope that our members and friends in the Vancouver region come and see what their fellow potters in Alberta are doing. We hope to see you here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Edge of Here in Medicine Hat

BC-in-a-Box: The Edge of Here is on display in Medicine Hat, Alberta until October 26. It looks just great in the gallery, and it seems as if quite a few people are getting a chance to see it. These pictures came from Louise Cormier, who is one of the organizers of the Alberta show Wide Open. I had to crop a few close to the boxes as I didn't have permission from the people in the pictures, but they were certainly looking closely at the show. It's a beautiful gallery. The last three close-ups are of works by Glenys Marshall-Inman, Gillian MacMillan and Sheri Ukrainetz. Just above that, on the table with four works, you can just make out works by Nora Vaillant, Amy Gogarty, Danny Kostyshin and Chris Heywood. Be sure to check out the on-line catalogue that is on the Potters Guild of BC website for information and images of all the works.