Tactile Desires: The Work of Jack Sures

July 15 to October 14, 2012
Curators: Timothy Long, MacKenzie Art Gallery & Virginia Eichhorn, Tom Thomson

Maquette for the Waterloo Potter’s Guild Workshop Mural, 1984

Organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. This project has been made possible in part through a contribution from the Museums Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.

This exhibition is the first retrospective of one of Canada’s most significant 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 comprehensive look at his work from the early 1960s to the present, this retrospective will address his important role and influence as an educator and mentor.

Over the past fifty years, Jack 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, honed his ceramics skills initially in London, England at Chelsea Pottery and studied the works of ceramic artists in the museums and galleries of Europe and the Middle East. In 1962, he returned to Canada and set up his own pottery studio in Winnipeg, eventually moving to Regina, 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. He is part of the group of maverick ceramists including Victor Cicansky, Joe Fafard, David Gilhooly and Marilyn Levine, who in the 1960s liberated ceramics from its traditional, functional role and instead utilized it as a sculptural material. The “Regina Clay” group, as they came to be known, rallied against anything that could be considered dogmatism within the constricts of visual arts and ceramics. However, Sures never rejected the fundamentals inherent in vessel-making continuing to incorporate them as part of his craft. Link to the 5 minute web trailer (you need QuickTime to play – see link on trailer page) from the full length Jack Sures documentary features the intro sequence and a portion of the Canadian Museum of Civilization mural sequence. Click link to go to new window. Jack Sures: A Senual Touch.

Click here to watch a video of this exhibition.