Metchosin’s annual “Fired Up!” contemporary works in clay is reaching beyond British Columbia to celebrate acclaimed ceramic artists from across Canada.
The Fired Up group is collaborating up with Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery in London, Ont., for this year’s event.
“It’s time they open up the door to other artists. This is the first time they have had a guest gallery,” Bancroft-Snell, said from London.
“The caliber of artists I show is on par with the caliber of the Fired Up artists. I’ve been showing members of the Fired Up group for 10 years.”
East Sooke potter Marlene Bowman, is one of the Fired Up veterans who displays her work in Bancroft-Snell’s gallery.
Bowman has been producing ceramic art professionally for almost 30 years.
“It was love at first feel,” said Bowman, 77. “My greatest pleasure is playing with the wet clay.”
When creating her art, Bowman uses computer circuit boards, a fish spine, a piece of a bleach bottle and a cactus to create texture.
“(The imprint) of the computer board becomes smooth and beautiful,” Bowman said as she slams and pulls clay slab on her work table.
Organizers expect ceramic artwork at this year’s Fired Up to vary from, functional to visual to abstract. The pieces are fired in a variety of ways including, salt, smoke, electric or reduction firing.
“Each one has a different outcome and different effects,” Bowman said, noting her pieces are fired in an electric kiln.
While Bancroft-Snell has been working with Fired Up artists for a decade, he also regularly attends the Metchosin event, now in its 27th year. Many of his gallery clients from eastern Canada and the U.S. also fly to Victoria to attend Fired Up.
“For the last two years I’ve flown out to see the show,” he said.
This year’s theme is “Axis of Art,” about about the relationship between the creator, connector and the collector.
Bancroft-Snell considers himself a connector between artists and customers. “Someone has to be the connector.”
“I own the largest Canadian contemporary ceramic gallery in the country,” he said. “Ceramic art is the last affordable art form in Canada.”
Bancroft-Snell said an immense amount of talent that comes out of the Fired Up group.
“They are united by their high quality of work,” Bancroft-Snell said. “You will not find any artist of this caliber anywhere else in B.C..”
Fired Up contemporary works in clay 2011 exhibition is at the Metchosin Community Hall, 4401 William Head Rd.
The show runs May 26 to 29. The opening gala is May 26 from 6 to 9 p.m. From May 27 to 29 the show is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
See web.me.com/glenysmarshallinman/firedup for more.