Alumna and Ceramics Faculty Member Janet Macpherson Recognized as NCECA Emerging Artists of 2018

Congratulations to Sheridan alumna and ceramics faculty member Janet Macpherson on being recognized as one of the NCECA Emerging Artists of 2018. The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is a dynamic organization that engages and sustains a community for ceramic art, teaching and learning. In addition to deepening knowledge within the field, NCECA expands it by working to cultivate the next generation of ceramic artists and enthusiasts through programming that affects professional artists, community centres, universities, museums, galleries, businesses, organizations, collectors and enthusiasts of ceramic art. Currently comprised of approximately 4,000 members from the United States and more than 20 other countries, NCECA reaches thousands of additional individuals each year through its programs, publications, events, exhibitions and resources. Work by the selected artists was on display at the NCECA conference. Each artist also presented a lecture on their practice.

Janet Macpherson studied ceramics at Sheridan College, and earned her MFA at The Ohio State University. Janet has exhibited her work extensively in Canada and the United States, including Slate Gallery in Regina, and the Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She has recently had a solo exhibition at the Gardiner Museum, and was one of NCECA’s 2018 Emerging Artists. Janet was the 2013 recipient of the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics, and has been awarded several grants from the Ontario Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts and Craft Ontario. Janet has been an artist-in-residence in the Craft and Design studios at Harbourfront Centre, and at the Zentrum für Keramik in Berlin Germany. Currently, Janet lives and works in Toronto. She currently teaches a second year mold-making and slip-casting class at Sheridan.

Hybrids present us with two things happening simultaneously. They are in flux, one always alluding to and challenging the other. The borders between humans and animals, the manufactured and the natural, the spiritual and the visceral are distinct yet permeable, illustrating differences while creating spaces for wonder and uncertainty. Influenced by my Catholic upbringing, I investigate hybridity within the context of Christian ideology, examining an array of sources from the margins of illuminated manuscripts, lives of saints and martyrs to the depictions of medieval monsters. The work has also been inspired by visits to the Ohio State Agricultural Fair, where farm animals were clothed in protective fabrics, tethered tightly to posts, awaiting exhibition and judging. Using molds cast from found toy animals, hunting decoys and religious statues, I dismantle and re-compose these objects to create forms that subtly reveal a discomforting reality. Animal heads and bodies are interchanged, vegetation grows in peculiar places, and faces are masked and obscured. Wrapping forms in damp porcelain sheets – binding, bandaging the figures, contemplating the intentions of these gestures, I examine the boundaries between devotion and coercion, pleasure and pain, animal impulse and domesticity.

Janet Macpherson




Images Courtesy of the artist. 


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