The Youth Guild Juried Show showcases artworks by young artists aged 14-18. The show includes clay & class artworks made at home, at school, and at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery during Youth Guild workshops.
The submitted artworks were judged by our panel of jurors, including Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery Curator Peter Flannery, University of Waterloo’s Professor of Ceramics Bruce Taylor, and Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery Coordinator and Professional Artist Cheyenne Mapplebeck.
The Youth Guild Juried Show Opening Reception took place on July 29th 2023.
The Youth Guild workshops and Juried Show were offered with generous support of the Waterloo Region Community Foundation, Youth in Recreation Fund – Ontario Endowment for Children and Youth in Recreation Fund.
Cover image: Coasters made by Youth Guild Members during a workshop on glass fusion with guest artist Kat Looby.
1st Prize Winner, Yengkong Lynhiavu
Meadow of Tragedy
“Meadow of Tragedy was constructed using Sculpey polymer clay and appears to be a peaceful and serene setting yet contrasts with the dark and tragic display of a dead girl. What is shown is the dead body of a delicate girl lying in a field of flowers. The flowers have been punctured through her heart and eyes, symbolising the fragility and innocence of the girl. The flowers also serve as a metaphor for the fleeting nature of life and the fragility of human existence. “
2nd Prize Winner, Xander Cluney
“This is one of my first clay pieces and one that I love with all my heart. This piece was partially inspired by HP Lovecraft, and his well known work Cthulhu, but it was much more heavily inspired by thalassophobia, the fear of deep bodies of water. This piece reflects how little is actually known about the ocean and its inhabitants, and what we deem to be possible to exist.”
3rd Prize Winner, Zoe Aguilar
“Amidst the hurry to grow up and conform to society’s narrow view of success, we often lose sight of the freedom, innocence, and fresh perspectives that define our childhoods. My art piece, created during the Juried Show Boot Camp, seeks to explore the effects of this loss. Drawing from my childhood memories, I constructed three alphabet blocks using the pinch pot technique, adding imperfectly rounded edges and a wooden texture to represent our natural childish tendencies. I also carved various childhood symbols, such as a playful whale and puzzle piece, each placed on different sides of the blocks so that the audience could admire the blocks from unique angles as curiously as a child would. The bold primary colours decorating the blocks create a deep contrast with the cold, harsh grey tones of the chain and lock surrounding it, representing the societal pressures that keep our childhoods locked away. As we grow up and try to fit into the moulds created for us, our childlike spirit remains a part of us. The purpose of this piece is to show that we can still break the chain to unleash our youthful creativity and innocence. In doing so, we can only strengthen our perspectives on the world.”
People’s Choice Award, Zayna Siddique
“My artwork is called Skull Bust. I was inspired by artists like Christina West who makes busts with half the face cut off, but instead of cutting off a piece of the face I did a half and half. I also took inspiration from clay artist Christopher David White, who references nature in his busts, by adding the leaves, vines and flowers. The overall message would be how opposite and different each side of the bust is. My piece communicates this message by demonstrating one side being a skull which represents the dead, and the flowers, leaves and vines represent the living. “
Sweet Taste of Comedy
“I was inspired by one of my childhood favourite TV shows/ cartoons, Tom & Jerry. Made into a small candy dish to hold the sweet memories of childhood, sitting on my couch eating candies and watching my favourite show.”
The Tree House
“The Tree house is a fantasy themed cabin inspired by the long-abandoned log houses you might find deep within a forest or national park. A birch tree grows inside of it from years of being left alone. Made from stoneware clay, acrylic paint, and tissue paper to incorporate mixed media, the most challenging part when making this piece was sculpting the initial form of the house and making the log wall pattern. The Tree House allows viewers to imagine the story of this tiny home, for instance, Who lived or lives there? How did it get there? Where is it from? How was it built?”
“There is no meaning, I just wanted to make the meme of Kirby with a knife and I wanted to make food too so I made him a chef.”
Alien (left) and Rat Clown (right)
Alien is a diptych of small stoneware pieces, influenced by my own dissociative thoughts and the uncomfortable feeling of not recognizing myself, past and present. While this art is mostly for myself, as a way of exploring and understanding my thoughts and emotions, it also helps to explain what my world looks like to others. During the school year, I had been researching so many artists, and now creating my own art I’m inspired by their passion and how they convey their human experience.
Images from the Opening Reception, July 29, 2023
Thank you to Student Art Innovation Lab for leading a Community Canvas activity during the opening reception.