Jeanne Letourneau wins the 2023 RBC Award for Glass!
The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery is thrilled to announce that Jeanne Letourneau of Montréal, Quebec is the winner of the 2023 RBC Award for Glass! Letourneau will receive the $10,000 prize which will support the development of her career at this critical time. The only national award for emerging glass artists in Canada, the RBC Award is a prestigious honour. Presented through an ongoing partnership with RBC Emerging Artists, winners and finalists of this award are recognized as the best and brightest of the future of Canadian glass art.
We also celebrate the achievement of the finalists for this year’s award. The jurors of the RBC Award for Glass have selected to honour Charlie Larouche-Potvin (Montréal, QC) as the runner up, with a prize of $2,500, and Nadira Narine (Toronto, ON) as a finalist with a prize of $1,000. This summer, the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery will feature the winner and finalists in our awards exhibition, Emergence. The exhibition will provide a rare opportunity for these emerging makers to share their work with an extensive audience while helping to build their careers at a pivotal moment.
Charlie Larouche-Potvin is a 22-year-old glassblower from Montreal. He started glassblowing in 2017 and finished his three-year college program at Espace Verre. Charlie was a member of the Fusion program at Espace Verre from 2020-2022. He had the chance to take classes with some renowned glass blowers at the Corning Museum of Glass as well as taking maestro Davide Fuin's class, in Murano, two times where he fell in love with the traditional Venetian glassblowing process. With the knowledge Charlie gained from these formations, he was able to be a finalist for the Prix François-Houdé 2021-2022 and the RBC Award for Glass 2022.
Charlie's work is mainly focused on goblets. He finds in the technical aspect of their fabrication, the teamwork required in their manufacturing, the knowledge of the material required in their making, and the rich cultural background they possess a way to grow as a maker and also as a person. Mostly inspired by work from Venetian masters of the 19th and 20th centuries, he strives to stay authentic to the techniques he was shown in Murano while bringing his own touch to this kind of work.
Jeanne Letourneau is a glass artist from Montreal, Quebec. She graduated from the glass program at Espace VERRE in 2021. During her short career as an emerging artist, she was a finalist and laureate of several awards such as: The 2nd place of the 2021 Student Exhibition Award given by Glass Art Society, the Bourse Faire la différence and the Bourse Houdé-Mendel. She participated in exhibitions including Virtual 2021, GAS Student Exhibition, Evolution - A Showcase of Emerging, International Talent, and Onirique, a group exhibition for the Espace Verre 2021 graduates. She was also chosen as a Pilchuck Emerging Artist in Residence (EAiR) for the fall of 2022. Currently, her works combine engraving and lost wax techniques using mainly glass and crystal to represent her ideas of the beauty that surrounds us.
Raised in Panama City, Nadira Narine has a deep interest in her cultural roots. Having lived in Canada for 10 years, she explores objects and memories from her childhood as a means of self-discovery and connection to home. Nadira Narine is a current Artist-in-Residence (Glass) at Harbourfront Centre.
The 2023 RBC Award for Glass was juried by Susan Edgerley, Jessamy Kelly, and Julia Reimer. On selecting this year’s winner and finalists, the jurors state:
“The quality and diverse range of excellent glass work created by all the finalists for the RBC Award for Glass was a pleasure to view and we were in unanimous agreement upon the merit of the three finalists. The high standard of the work submitted to the award is testament to the wide range of new creative works that are being realised today within the thriving Canadian art glass scene. The work of the winning finalist Jeanne Letourneau shows an unusual commitment to glass making at such an early stage in her career with a strong and well thought out conceptual framework. Jeanne’s current work is focused on the contemporary urban environment and her proposal for new work will shine a new light on everyday urban objects and how they can be revered as status symbols when transformed into kiln-cast glass. She plans to carry out a range of material tests and experiments in kiln-casting, before creating a new body of artworks for exhibition; the award will provide her with specialist materials, equipment, and studio space to carry out her artistic work. This award supports her clearly defined project proposal and will support her continued creative practice in the unique medium of art glass. The jury were thrilled to be able to support such a strong and able applicant, ensuring that Jeanne will be able to continue to fully contribute to the Canadian art glass scene. In addition to funding the overall winner, it was decided that two additional awards be made, in recognition of the two other finalists’ applications and their strength of proposals for the award. Their dedication and desire to gain a deeper understanding of glass through making new work was marked for special commendation and we hope that these additional prizes support them in their endeavours. Charlie Larouche-Potvin will be awarded $2,500, which we hope can part fund his residency plans, and Nadira Narine will receive $1,000 to develop her new work. We anticipate the full fruition of these exciting art glass projects and look forward to seeing all of their work exhibited in the Emergence exhibition this summer atthe Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery.”
Susan Edgerley is renowned for her singular and poetic glass practice. Her large-scale glass and mixed media works have been exhibited in North America, as well as in Europe and Asia. Involved in glass education and the glass community in Canada for over 35 years, at Espace Verre in Montreal, she was responsible for founding FUSION, a hot glass studio for graduates. Represented in corporate and private collections, her work is also included in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and the Canadian Museum of History. In 2019 she received the Governor General Award for the Arts, the Saidye Bronfman Award, Canada’s highest distinction in crafts.
Dr Jessamy Kelly is a glass artist based in Edinburgh, she completed her BA in ‘Glass and Ceramics’ at the University of Sunderland in 2001 and went on to complete a Masters in Glass at Edinburgh College of Art, in 2002 and a PhD in glass and ceramics at the University of Sunderland in 2009. She is a Lecturer in Glass at Edinburgh College of Art and is the vice chair of the Raft research group, a network that supports and explores the changing identity of craft practice. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK as well as internationally throughout Europe and the United States.
Julia Reimer’s distinctive blown glass pieces contain an aesthetic inspired by crisp prairie light and windswept grasslands reflecting this environment's simplicity of light and form. Her original design and meticulous craftsmanship have been recognized through scholarships and awards from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, The Corning Museum of Glass and the Canada Council for the Arts. As well, her work is featured in the publication 500 Glass Objects and she is the inaugural recipient of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery’s National Award for Excellence. Her work is in the collections of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the Emperor and Empress of Japan. She has been selected to create public art for Canada’s 150th and the Royal Tyrell Museum, Illuminart Festival.
About the RBC Award for Glass
The RBC Award for Glass is presented annually by the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery and is supported by the RBC Foundation. This prestigious $10,000 award allows practising early-career glass artists to undertake a period of independent research, or other activities that advance their artistic and professional practice. Up to 5 finalists will each receive a $1,000 award to support the development of their practice. Each summer, the winners and finalists of the RBC Award for Glass and Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics will have their work presented in an awards exhibition held at the Gallery.
Recipients of the award represent some of the best emerging glass artists in Canada. To learn more about the previous winners, click here.
About RBC Emerging Artists
RBC Emerging Artists supports organizations that provide the best opportunity to advance an artist’s career trajectory in genres such as visual arts, music, theatre, performance, literature and film. Every year the RBC Foundation donates millions of dollars to hundreds of arts organizations globally to help emerging artists become established.
For additional information, contact Peter Flannery, Curator & Collections Manager, at 519.746.1882 x235 or email@example.com.