The Manitoba Craft Council’s 2012 Juried Exhibition SLOW CRAFT featured work in ceramics, textiles, metal, glass, and mixed media by Manitoba artists Kathleen Black, Pauline Braun, Teresa Burrows, Brook Drabot, Kami Goertz, Steve Grimmer, Takashi Iwasaki, Shawna Munro, Keith Oliver, Willow Rector, Melanie Riggs, Sonja Rosenberg, Elizabeth Roy, Peter Tittenberger, and Karen Wardle.
On encountering handmade goods, the first question most people ask is “How long did that take you to make?” A confession quickly follows: “I would never have the patience to do that!”
There’s no denying it – craft takes time. In a culture endlessly obsessed with speed and increasingly aware of its downsides, craft in its many varied forms may be the antidote of choice. The Manitoba Craft Council takes this idea as the starting point for its most recent exhibition, SLOW CRAFT.
For most craft-based artists, slow is all in a day’s work. The processes associated with craft cannot be hurried, and the skills associated with craft take years to master. Most craft artists embrace the slowness of their craft, and many are using their work to question Western society’s addiction to speed, to shopping and consuming, to unsustainable environmental practices. Taking its cues from the broader Slow Movement, the SLOW CRAFT exhibition asks viewers to slow down, take a breath, and consider the implications of the work on display.
As exhibition viewers could see, the works that made up SLOW CRAFT represented an array of craft media and techniques. Exhibiting artists at varying stages in their lives and professional careers each offered a unique interpretation of the exhibition’s theme.
Jurors for SLOW CRAFT had the challenging task of narrowing the field from the 52 artists who made submissions down to the 15 represented in the show. Jurors included Dr. Sandra Alfoldy, curator and professor in Craft History at NSCAD University; Jennifer Gibson, curator at Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg; and Alan Lacovetsky, ceramic artist and educator.
Special congratulations to Willow Rector, recipient of the Judith Ryan Memorial Prize for Best in Show and to Melanie Riggs, winner of the Marilyn Wolodarsky Levitt Prize for Functional Ceramics.