The end/ the beginning

December 18, 2011

Technically, today is the last day of residency at Sturt. People keep asking me if I’ve had a good time here, if it’s been worth it. I always reply that I need time to reflect and digest. Which is true, I do. I’ve met some great people and seen some cool things (thanks to those great people) and made some work. But like everything, it wasn’t all roses. But it was mostly great.
The powers that be were very kind to let me stay an extra couple of days, giving me some extra time to get organized and see some more things. So many things to see. I just can’t fit it all in. On Tuesday, I will head for the Blue Mountains, just outside of Sydney, to do some hiking and chilling out. I’m looking forward to getting moving, heading north, finding some real heat. Hopefully, I will be better at photographing and posting for the rest of journey.
Anyway, here are a few pics from the last kiln load.

check this

April 5, 2011

Looky looky. I made it to page 3 of the Arts and Entertainment section of the Chronicle Herald.

Workshop photos

April 2, 2011

On March 26th I had a little workshop in the studio. Some really lovely ladies came and made some really lovely things with slabs. A few photos thanks to Rebecca Wild.

working away

Paula Cameron and her beautiful cup

a difficult shape – lots of problem solving

Rebecca painstakingly carving a border for her bowl

ta da! finished pieces ready for bisque firing

It’s actually official

March 22, 2011

NSCAD logo, purple copy.jpgNG-LogoColour

Town of New Glasgow and NSCAD University launch

New Glasgow Community Studio Residency Program

Innovative partnership provides recent NSCAD graduates opportunity to create, teach and share art with the community

NEW GLASGOW, MARCH 18, 2011…….A unique grassroots partnership designed to help newly graduated artists jump-start their careers was officially launched today by the Town of New Glasgow and NSCAD University.

The New Glasgow Community Studio Residency Program will offer selected NSCAD graduates the opportunity to develop their professional practice while living and working in the community. The Town is providing studio space in the newly renovated Community Destination Centre (part of an expansion to the New Glasgow Library through Phase 1 of the Downtown New Glasgow Revitalization) on Dalhousie Street in the former Roots Society Offices.  In return, the residents will work with elementary and secondary school students on art projects, as well as offer workshops and lectures to New Glasgow area residents.

Under the program, the Town of New Glasgow will host upwards of three young artists at a time, for terms ranging from six months to one year. The first resident, ceramic artist Alana Wilson, BFA ’10, has been creating and teaching in New Glasgow since December 2010, and recently exhibited her newest works at the Atlantic Craft Trade Show and NSCAD’s “In Residence” exhibition.

“This exciting new partnership is part of our Town’s commitment and vision to support the creative economy,” says New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan.  “It is also an important completion of yet another element of our Downtown Revitalization plan and will support our strategies to strengthen opportunities for new artists as well as provide our community with broader exposure to a variety of talented artists, specializing in numerous mediums. This is a program that is progressive and innovative and a tangible representation of our flourish brand in action. We are very proud to have established this partnership with an educational institution of such high creative standard as NSCAD University.”

For these emerging artists, the studio residency is a transition year, from the security of school to the entrepreneurial world of the arts,” says David B. Smith, President of NSCAD University. “By taking some of the financial pressure off these new graduates, the program frees them up to create and begin promoting themselves as artists.”

“From our five years of experience with a similar program in Lunenburg, we know these residencies are a wonderful way of authentically engaging community members with NSCAD and these amazing young artists,” explains Sharon Blanchard, Director of NSCAD’s School of Extended Studies. “We are delighted to be expanding this successful model to New Glasgow.”

“This official launch is just the beginning for ongoing artistic presentations and opportunities for community partnerships through our new NSCAD Community Studio,” adds New Glasgow’s Director of Community Development Geralyn MacDonald.  “It is a program that will advance and grow the creative assets of our town and region.”

The public is warmly invited to visit the studio and meet Alana along with Town of New Glasgow and NSCAD representatives at a special open house on Thursday, March 24 from 4:00m. – 5:30 p.m. at the new Community Studio at 182 Dalhousie Street ( behind the New Glasgow Fire Department in the former Roots Society location).

That evening, NSCAD fashion professor Gary Markle will present the inaugural New Glasgow Community Studio Residency Program public lecture, 7:00 p.m. in the Community Rm of the New Glasgow Library. Admission is free and all are welcome.

About NSCAD University: One of North America’s premier universities of the visual arts, NSCAD University educates the creative leaders of tomorrow. Founded in 1887, NSCAD offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in fine arts, design, craft and media arts.

About the Town of New Glasgow: New Glasgow is a picturesque town of approximately 9,500 residents located in northern Nova Scotia. New Glasgow is the commercial service centre for a regional population of 50,000 and is the largest town in the region of Pictou County.  New Glasgow is one of only 14 communities across the country selected for the national Climate Adaptation Environmental Initiative, is a member of Partners for Climate Protection, was named the 2010 national Communities in Bloom Community of Gardeners across all population categories for beautification of both private and public spaces and outstanding civic pride ; and was named Nova Scotia’s Model Volunteer Community in 2008.



Thanks to Dawn Mackenzie Decoff for snapping some photos of her students and myself hard at work.

This past weekend, the kids from the Lunenberg residency and I were given the opportunity to participate in ACTS as part of the Emerging Artist Showcase. It was a crazy weekend. Lots of wonderful things to look at and interesting people to meet and talk to.

the booth

Amelie Jerome, painting

George Cho, ceramics

Rebecca Roher, watercolour

Alana Wilson, ceramics

Me, again


After the take down and clean up of the ACTS booth, it was off to the NSCAD Port Loggia to set up for our In Residence show, which opens on the 15th at 5:30 and is up till the 26th. If you’re in Halifax, please go check it out.

show invite

January 26, 2011

if  you’re in halifax, come check it out.  it’s me plus the great great folks doing the lunenburg residency. there should be some great stuff to look at.

applications are scary

October 14, 2010

so, still here in new glasgow with no access to studio space. i know, wah wah wah. anyway, i’ve decided to spend a little time doing research into other better residencies for the future. ones where i don’t have to stress out about whether or not i have a kiln. so far, i’ve managed to get an application together for sturt, a contemporary craft and design centre in australia. i find it very daunting to write about my work and try to explain what it is i want/ am trying to do. here’s what i wrote as a proposal. please feel free to give feedback.


Mark Viner October 14, 2010

Head of Strut

PO Box 34

Mittagong NSW 2575



I find the richness of earthenware to be the most seductive means of expressing myself through clay. With pliable slabs of this beautiful chocolate porcelain, I use templates to create functional table ware, folding and bending the clay as you would a piece of paper. Carrying on the paper reference in my surface treatment, I use a variety of methods to draw on these objects, such as photocopy transfers, underglaze pencils and overglazes.

I am currently interested in exploring the use of pattern in surface decoration and feel that participating in a residency atmosphere where textile, basketry, and jewelry makers are also present would be very conducive to pattern observation and investigation. Wood firing earthenware is also something that I look forward to undertaking.

While at Sturt, facilitating workshops in handbuilding and surface decoration would be of great interest to me. Sharing knowledge with participants would be an inspiring means of furthering my own understanding of my art practice.

A residency at Sturt would be a great benefit in developing my artistic goals. If chosen, I would demonstrate a high level of enthusiasm and commitment to this program and would prefer to begin October 2011. I look forward to hearing from you.







Alana Wilson