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Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics

Amy Duval, “Originate/Replicate” Mixed media wall installation in the Tumbleweed Project Space, Medicine Hat, Alberta (window Vitrine 3/3), 2022. Ceramic, unfired clay, mesh, spray paint. 426 x 213cm.

Amy Duval Wins the 2023 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics!

The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery is thrilled to announce that Amy Duval of Medicine Hat, Alberta is the winner of the 2023 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics! Duval will receive the $10,000 prize which will support the development of her career at this critical time. The only national award for emerging ceramic artists in Canada, the Winifred Shantz Award is a prestigious honour. Presented through an ongoing partnership with The Keith & Winifred Shantz Fund for the Arts held at Waterloo Region Community Foundation, winners and finalists of this award are recognized as the best and brightest of the future of Canadian ceramics.

We also celebrate the achievement of the finalists for this year’s award. The jurors have named François Grenier (Chatham, ON), and Brianne Siu (Burnaby, BC) as finalists of the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, each receiving a prize of $1,000 to further their practice. 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.

Born and raised in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Amy Duval received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2017 where she focused on large scale ceramic installation based work that combine her various conceptual and technical interests. In 2017 she was accepted as a Ceramic Artist in Residence at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto where she lived and worked for two years. She currently resides in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where she continues her private studio practice while working as the Residency Coordinator at the Shaw Centre for Contemporary Ceramics, an International Artist in Residence Program.

Francois' path to ceramic art is not a typical one. His interest with clay first began with the study of surface treatment. From there, he progressed to hand building as a mean to create a canvas for the dry glazes - the 'crusts'. A large portion of his practice continues to focus on developing dry crusts for clay shapes designed to give life to the materials enrobing them. Francois' research into surface treatment has been transferred into a technical book for the ceramic students, offering a method that demystifies the nature of glazes and allows the learner to work and research raw material independently.

Francois' current focus is an examination of the relationship between texture and form, and how dry glazes can be extended to large figurative installations.  His work has been shown in twelve group exhibits and his first solo show is scheduled to open in June 2023.

Brianne Siu is an emerging ceramic artist based in Vancouver and has been working in ceramics since 2015. After earning her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2019, she has gained valuable teaching experience working at various art centres across Metro Vancouver sharing her knowledge and passion for ceramics.

Brianne has worked as a studio assistant to Heather Dahl and learned a lot about her successful business and practice. Brianne has also completed a year-long residency at Medalta in the Historic Clay District in Medicine Hat, Alberta from 2021-2022. Meanwhile, she has been dedicating her time creating a new body of work and continuing to grow as an artist at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts for a 4 month residency. She hopes to continue developing her artistic practice by either continuing residencies or pursuing further education.

The 2023 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics was juried by Elaine Cheasley Paterson, Robin Dupont, and Roswitha Wulff. On making their selection, the jurors state:

“Our 3 finalists for the Winifred Shantz award this year all showed exceptional promise, and we as jurors agreed that we will undoubtedly observe them all contribute to the ceramics community here in Canada in the coming years. Although all three presented solid proposals, Amy Duval rose to the top. Her varied and uninterrupted career path in ceramics since her undergraduate studies, exhibits a maturity and commitment that sets her aside from most artists with this tenure. Amy has both built a career for herself while meaningfully contributing to our community through exhibition, teaching, public presentations and working in arts administration.”

Dr. Elaine Cheasley Paterson is Professor of Craft Studies in the Department of Art History at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Concordia University in Montréal. Her research concerns women's cultural philanthropy in early 20th century craft guilds of the home arts movement and for tracing a lineage from this historical material to current expressions of craft. A new line of her research focusses on education, settlement, social benevolence and imperial philanthropy (through the migration of people, craft practices and objects) in early twentieth-century Britain and Canada. Some of her publications include Craft and Heritage: Intersections in Critical Studies and Practice (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021), a special issue on Identity, Craft, Marketing of the Journal of Canadian Art History (2018), and Sloppy Craft: Postdisciplinarity and the Crafts (2015) with Susan Surette.

​Robin DuPont is a ceramic artist and educator specializing in atmospheric firing techniques. His work is an inquiry into the ceramic process and the relational aspects of useful objects.

With a Masters Degree from Utah State University, Robin has also participated in several artist-in-residence programs, research and work studies abroad and has professional experience in kiln building and teaching at the post secondary level.

Roswitha Wulff was born in Tabrize, Iran but spent her early childhood with her mother, potter Helma Klett, in Germany. She came to Australia at the age of eight. In 1964, she obtained a ceramics certificate from the East Sydney Technical College. From 1964-65, she worked with Robin Welch and Ian Sprague at Sprague's Mungeribar Pottery in Upper Beaconsfield, VIC. In 1966 she worked at the Sturt Pottery in Mittagong, NSW under Les Blakebrough. Between 1967 and 1969 she travelled overseas, spending 6 monthe with Robin Welch after his return to England and 9 months as a full-time thrower at Briglin Pottery, London, as well as working in potteries in Denmark and Germany. From 1969-70, she worked in North-West Pakistan as a research scholar for the Smithonian Institute and the University of NSW. Returning to Australia in 1970, she set up a workshop in Paddington, NSW, with the help of an Australia Council grant and taught part-time at the East Sydney Technical College and the Willoughby Workshop Art Centre. Since then she has been a lecturer and Head of Ceramics in many institutions, including the National Art School. In the 1990s, she moved her studio to Botany Bay, NSW, where she still lives and works.

About the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics

The Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics is supported by The Keith and Winifred Shantz Fund for the Arts, held at Waterloo Region Community Foundation. This prestigious $10,000 award allows practising early career ceramic artists to undertake a period of independent research, or other activities that advance their artistic and professional practice. The winner and up to five finalists are also included in a group exhibition at the Gallery.

Past recipients of the award truly represent the best of the emerging ceramic artists in Canada. Matthew O’Reilly of Medicine Hat, Alberta was the winner of the 2022 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics. Click here to learn more about the winners of the award in past years.

About Winifred Shantz

The late Winifred Shantz was a driving force for the arts in Waterloo Region for more than 40 years. A successful ceramist, entrepreneur and visionary philanthropist, she was committed to finding ways to enable artists to reach their full potential.

About Waterloo Region Community Foundation

Waterloo Region Community Foundation (WRCF) collaborates with partners to create sustainable, equitable and thriving communities. We connect regionally and locally, working with three cities and four townships – to include the people and places across our region. Together, we develop forward-thinking innovative solutions and seize opportunities to meet current and future needs of our community. We make philanthropy easy for individuals and companies to support organizations and issues they care about. WRCF is focused on Granting, Impact Investing and Convening to make measurable and sustainable impacts. Gifts are directed to WRCF’s endowed funds that drive positive change through grants with the income generated being distributed in partnership with Fundholders to support a wide range of charitable causes within our community. A portion of the endowed funds are also used for impact investments that deliver both financial returns as well as positive social or environmental outcomes. As a leading community-building organization we also work to amplify voices and issues of importance by convening conversations and sharing information, while approaching our work with an equity mindset.


For additional information, contact Peter Flannery, Curator: 519.746.1882 x235 or