Sheridan Faculty, Students and Alumni win multiple awards with Craft Ontario

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Since 1981, Craft Ontario has awarded their prestigious Craft Awards to recipients who have proven to be accomplished and dedicated practitioners in the field of craft and design. From makers that create innovative and exceptional work to curators, administrators, writers and volunteers who support the craft community, each recipient is recognized as an important contributor to contemporary craft practice. The program assists makers in various stages of their careers through professional recognition, as well as financial support for further training, studio development and supplies. This year, as part of their 40th anniversary celebration, Craft Ontario hosted an exhibition of recipient work that was on view at the John B. Aird Gallery. During the Ceremony, twenty outstanding recipients we awarded over $32,000.

The program takes place on a yearly basis, and consists of two components: awards by application and awards by nomination. Out of the 18 application recipients, 9 are current/past students of Sheridan’s Craft and Design Program, and both of the nomination recipients of the Margaret Reid award are Sheridan grads.

Click here to see a gallery of the award recipients’ works.

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The first recipient of the Craft Ontario Margaret Reid Award is Mark Lewis.  With a long established background in the performance arts, specifically in music and theatre, Mark created his sculptural work to include dynamic aspects similar to a beautiful performance piece. After graduating from Sheridan College’s School of Craft and Design, Mark spent three years as an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre. After completing his residence, he continued to establish himself as an exciting and innovative craftsman. Mark’s work has been displayed in galleries all over the world, including an exhibition in Japan, and as a representative of Canadian craft in Barcelona during the Olympic Games. Mark Created a glass studio in a converted barn on his farm, called Beaver Valley Glassworks, in Kimberly, Ontario. In the last few years of his career he has shifted his focus to craft beer and has become the Brewmaster for the Manatoulin Brewing Company, where he continues to support the local and the handmade. Mark’s connection with Craft Ontario began in 1986, when he received a scholarship while studying glass at Sheridan College. Since then he has been an active member, and a Board member from 2005 to 2010. During his time as President, Mark put forth an incredible effort to promote and advocate for craft and craftspeople. As a volunteer for Craft Ontario, he gave extensive hours of service and donations of objects to the betterment of the organization. In 2008-2009, he assisted with Craft Ontario’s involvement in the 2009 Cheongju craft Biennale in South Korea, and in particular, led Craft Ontario through one of its major transitions when it moved from Designers Walk to Queen Street West. Not only did he ensure that the move was possible, but contributed his time to renovate the space and create a new home for the organization.

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The second recipient of the Craft Ontario Margaret Reid Award is Gordon Thompson.  Gord is the Coordinator for the Bachelor of Craft and Design Program at Sheridan College, and has taught ceramics, craft history, and other craft and design courses since 2003 at both Sheridan and OCAD University. As a potter making functional vessels, Gord has exhibited internationally and participated in a variety of artist residencies. Gord works actively in the craft community, having served as President of the Board of Directors of Craft Ontario and as an advisor to the Craft & Design Studio at Harboufront Centre. He sits on the Exhibition and Education Committee of the Gardiner Museum, and is the Senior Editor and Chair of the editorial committee for Studio magazine. Gord is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Communication and Culture at York University, with a research interest in craft and cultural theory. He studied ceramics at Sheridan College from 1994-97, after first completing degrees in Cultural Studies at Trent University, Media Studies at Concordia University, and History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at the University of Toronto. Gord served on Craft Ontario’s board for six years from 2008 to 2014, including as President between 2012 and 2014. Gord is a deeply motivated advocate for craft practice, and over the past seven years has given both invaluable insight and guidance for the organization’s strategic planning and special projects. In addition to financial donations, he has given his time through serving as a juror for award programming, as well as his ongoing commitment and guidance for Studio magazine, which has become one of Craft Ontario’s most successful national initiatives.

Below is a full list of current Sheridan students and Sheridan alumni who have received awards. Click here to learn more about Sheridan’s Craft and Design Program.

Name Award Name
Stephen Dalrymple James H. McPherson Award in Woodworking for $500
Reid Ferguson Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Undergraduate Award for $1,500
Clayton Haigh Pattie Walker Memorial Award in Architectural Glass for $1,000
Joon Hee Kim Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Award for $2,000
Jing Huang The Pottery Supply House Clay or Glass Supply Grant for $500
Heidi McKenzie One of a Kind Show Craft Community Award for the Spring 2017 OOAK Show
Lindsay Stead RBC Emerging Artists Studio Setup Award for $5,000
Nurielle Stern Tuckers Pottery Supplies Ltd. Clay Supply Grant for $500
Jake Whillans Don McKinley Award for Excellence in Wood for $500

Artwork images © the artists. Award ceremony images courtesy of Craft Ontario. 

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