True North: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics

Main Gallery

True North — the phrase comes from the Canadian national anthem — surveyed contemporary Canadian studio ceramics. The border with Canada is, artistically, an open one: important Canadian artists live and teach in the United States and some of the most important figures in Canadian ceramics were born in the United States. Representing such a large and diverse country and ceramic culture was not easy. True North brought together established figures and emerging artists. They represented the full geographical sweep of Canada from coast to coast, as well as the full spectrum of ceramic expression — from utilitarian pottery to abstract sculptures to mixed media creations. True North: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics was the first of two exhibitions highlighting the countries that share borders with the United States. The second exhibition, in September of 2015, will feature the works of contemporary Mexican artists.

Participating artists included: Robert Archambeau (Winnipeg, Canada), Alwyn O’Brien (Salts Spring Island, Canada), Bruce Cochrane (Toronto, Canada), Michael Flaherty (St. John’s, Canada), Léopold Foulem (Montreal, Canada), Xanthe Isbister (Medicine Hat, Canada), Rory MacDonald (Summerville, Canada), Amelie Proulx (Quebec City, Canada), Brendan Tang (Vancouver, Canada).

Related Educational Events

We were excited to welcome Alwyn O’Brien to Northern Clay Center as a resident artist for the month of September, in conjunction with this exhibition. O’Brien also gave a free lecture on Thursday, September 25, from 6 to 8 pm in NCC’s Library. 

Exhibition artist Rory MacDonald joined us in October for another special event. In addition to visiting with University of Minnesota students during his trip, MacDonald gave a special free presentation at NCC on Tuesday, October 21 at 6 pm.

View the Catalog

Related Resources

Robert Arcambeau

Manitoba Arts Award of Distinction, an overview of Robert Archembeau.

Rapheal Yu on Robert Archambeau, a video showcasing qualities of Robert Archambeau.

Bruce Cochrane’s website:

Michael Flaherty’s website: ceramicfundamentalist.comInspired by Nature, an article about Michael Flaherty.

The Grey Islands, a blog written by Michael Flaherty.

Xanthe Isbister’s website: xantheisbister.comXanthe Isbister​, a digital book with an overview of Xanthe Isbister​

Amelie Proulx’s website: Proulx: 2013 RBC, a short video made by Amelie Proulx

Brendan Tang’s website: brendantang.comBrendan Tang: 2012 RBC, a short video made by Brendan TangStudio Visit: Brendan Tang, a brief interview with Brendan Tang. This is found in the Ceramics Monthly; Feb. 2011

Thank you

This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation Minnesota, and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.  

Additional funding for True North and Regis Master: Walter Ostrom came from Continental Clay Company, George Reid, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and Anita Kunin and the Kunin Family, in honor of Myron Kunin.

Both exhibitions were made possible through the generosity and cooperation of many individuals and institutions.
Special thanks to David Kaye Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Cheryl Tissington, Karen Schwartz, Carol Dancer and Bill Captain, Charles Rebello, and Marie Foulem.