Major retrospective exhibition on one of Canada’s most significant ceramists opens
CHARLOTTETOWN – This fall the Confederation Centre Art Gallery presents a major retrospective from renowned Regina-based ceramic artist, Jack Sures.
© Submitted photo
Untitled, 1987, underglaze pencil, black glaze, porcelain.
Collection of the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery
“Tactile Desires: The work of Jack Sures” is the first retrospective of one of the country’s most noteworthy ceramists – a multi-faceted figure whose exuberant and sensuous work traverses the categories of craft, fine art, and public monument. In addition to offering a far-reaching look at Sures' efforts from the early 1960s to the present, this retrospective addresses his important influence as an educator and mentor.
Kevin Rice, director of the Art Gallery, says, “I hope the diversity of Jack Sures’ work will be of great interest to the crafts community and the general public.”
Over the past 50 years, Sures has contributed significantly to the advancement of ceramic art in Canada, including his implementation of the printmaking and ceramics programs at the University of Regina in 1965, where from 1969 to 1971 he served as chairman for the Department of Visual Arts.
Sures trained as a painter and printmaker, honing his ceramics skills initially in London, England, at Chelsea Pottery, and studying the works of ceramic artists in the galleries of Europe and the Middle East. In 1962, he returned to Canada and set up his own studio in Winnipeg, Man., eventually moving to Regina, Sask., where he continues to live and work today.
In 1969, Sures initiated the exhibition “California Ceramics: Shaw, Frimkess, Gilhooly, Melchert” at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, which introduced Regina to the California Funk movement.
Sures is part of the group of maverick ceramists that includes Victor Cicansky, Joe Fafard, David Gilhooly and Marilyn Levine, who during the 1960s liberated ceramics from its traditional, functional role and instead used it as sculptural material. The ‘Regina Clay’ group, as they came to be known, rallied against anything that could be considered dogmatism within the constraints of visual arts and ceramics, however Sures never rejected the fundamental processes involved in vessel-making, continuing to incorporate them as part of his craft.
This exhibition was organized and circulated by the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, Ont., and was supported by the Museums Assistance Program, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The exhibition’s official opening reception and ArtTalk with Jack Sures will take place in the Gallery on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m. “Tactile Desires: The work of Jack Sures” will be on view from Sept. 28 through Jan. 12, 2014.
A publication of the same title accompanies this exhibition and is available for sale in the gallery. It features essays from the exhibition’s curator Virginia Eichhorn, as well from as Julia Krueger, Timothy Long, Sandra Alfoldy, and Matthew Kangas.