Crafts and Design – Ceramics Alumnus Won 2013 TOAE Best of Exhibition

zimraA recent alumnus of Sheridan’s Crafts and Design – Ceramics program, Zimra Beiner, has come out on top of this year’s Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE), earning the “best of exhibition” title.

The inspiration for his award-winning piece came from “obscure sources such as a 9000 year old Pestle from Papua New Guinea, to the most generic furniture found at every Walmart in North America.” He expanded to explain that his interests in the material arts lies in “the overlap between situations which occur in the studio (my reality), the home (everyone’s reality) and the gallery (the reality of art), and I use my own language of line, volume, and composition to make sense of these places and things for which I have both great admiration and skepticism.”

I asked Zimra about his practice, and he said that he prefers simple, lo-tech methods – “primarily basic coil and pinch techniques” – to facilitate a clear and direct transition from idea to object. “While I do use many materials, the approach is the same whether I’m using a pencil and paper, or kilns and clay.” Zimra’s award-winning ceramics piece is pictured above.

“Sheridan’s program had a wonderful influence in developing a strong technical foundation for me,” Zimra said. “This allowed me the freedom to explore and experiment with ease for the rest of my education.”

As for what advice Zimra has for current and graduating Material Artists: “to succeed in the craft industry, I feel you simply need to put yourself in a position where you can constantly be working hard in a sustainable way. This includes not only working at making things, but also being aware of your market and thinking about the culture you’re living in.”

You can see more of Zimra’s outstanding ceramic works at and learn more about TOAE at

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