Last week-end, I went to what now feels like my personal pilgrimage, my annual rendezvous with local clay artists and friends: 260 Fingers (Glebe Community Centre, Ottawa). I usually peruse the aisles, mostly chatting with colleagues, longing for work by mentors and friends Leta and Don Cormier, checking out what other artists have been doing, discovering the year’s guests, wishing I was one of them some day, except that this year I came back with 2 pieces. Part of the reason I bought pieces this year is because I have been working as a Gallery Artist/Curator/Manager and I often hear people saying ”I’ll buy from you next time, next year…”, which always feels as a missed opportunity for both the artist and the potential collector. And I realized I had been doing the same for a few years, though to be fair I haven’t had any so-called “income” in a while being a full-time artist and mother to a toddler. This year though I allowed myself to indulge in buying art pieces I will treasure, while also choosing consciously to reinvest some of my earnings into the Arts Community.
I talked to Toronto artist Chiho Tokita, whose sculptures allude to functional work. I loved the fact that she works with coils and through addition and subtraction, constructs her pieces without the use of a mold. My favourite was the one that looked like a boat, of course…
This year, one of the guests’ work by Toronto artist Jeannie Pappas, reminded me of local artist Stefan Thompson, whose work I always found a little creepy but fascinating to look at. This is what I mean.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the direction artist Susie Osler is going. I knew of her colourful work but it never resonated with me as much as her series called “Objects for the hand and heart” does now. I can’t wait to see where it will lead her. The pieces are so tactile, soft like bones and antlers can be, “spirit-like” in their white porcelain body, cold to the touch, organic in their shape and “shamanic” in nature. Loved, loved, loved.