The North-West Ceramics Foundation is proud to announce that the recipient of the NWCF Mayer Wosk Award of Excellence for 2021 is Robin DuPont of Winlaw, BC. The award is worth $5000 and provides tangible recognition of an individual ceramic artist who has resided and worked in BC for at least 5 years, who has exhibited his or her work publicly, and who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the ceramics community. The pool of nominations from the province was outstanding, a testament to the depth of talent in BC, but the decision of the jury was unanimous.
Nominated by long-term friend Cameron Stewart, Robin DuPont exemplifies the professionalism, dedication and expertise of a consummate craftsman. As Stewart notes in his nomination:
“Robin’s functional atmospherically fired pots continue to push boundaries of form and surface. His insatiable research into new ceramic surfaces, resolving and diagnosing technical challenges, and the development of new clay bodies and kiln design is unparalleled in current Canadian studio ceramics. Robin is on the leading edge of atmospheric surface research in North America, and continues to expand his knowledge and mastery of his multiple wood and gas kilns, utilizing and exploring diverse wood species and varied cooling techniques to achieve his unique and expanding palette of surfaces.”
Robin graduated in 2004 from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Alberta, and received his MFA in Ceramics from Utah State University in 2011. In the ten years following, he attended residencies at Archie Bray in Helena, MT, a kiln-building residency at the Banff Centre, and numerous workshops as a participant and presenter in Canada and the US. He has exhibited widely in Canada and the US and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards.
The NWCF MW Award of Excellence recognizes the recipient’s contribution to ceramics in BC. DuPont has raised the profile of ceramics in BC through his role as Head of Ceramics at the Kootenay Studio Arts (KSA) at Selkirk College in Nelson, BC, where, in the words of Cameron Stewart, his “commitment and passion for passing on his knowledge and enthusiasm for the medium of clay has re-invigorated this well-established studio-based program, creating the next generation of working potters with a focus on making well-crafted pots with technical proficiency and a dedicated personal creative development.”
Robin DuPont describes his work as “an inquiry into the ceramic process and the relational aspects of utilitarian objects. Utility is the vehicle that allows for deeper engagement with my work; one that promotes not just visual and intellectual engagement, but physical interaction so that the work can become a conduit for a social circumstance or experience. I make objects that are accessible and have the ability to perform in many contexts; in the kitchen, at the table, on the wall and in the gallery setting. My work is created with the intention for it to go on to have a life of its own, one beyond my influence.”
Congratulations Robin—well done! We all look forward to your work as you carry on.