The 2013 RBC Emerging Artist Award Nominees in Ceramics have been announced. I am pleased and proud to announce that two of the nominees are currently teaching in the Ceramics program at the University of Manitoba. Robin Dupont is completing a one-year term as a sabbatical replacement in our area and Monica Mercedes Martinez has been teaching as a sessional instructor since graduating with her MFA from the new School of Art graduate program at the U of M. Congratulations Monica and Robin!

We are currently featuring the work of the two nominees in our Ceramics Case Study exhibition project – Case Study No. 2: Monica Mercedes Martinez, and Case Study No. 3: Robin Dupont. Their work will remain on display in the glass cases at the entrance to the Ceramics and Sculpture Building on the U of M campus until May 31, 2013.

Robin Dupont (Photo: Emma Love)
Robin Dupont (Photo: Emma Love)

ROBIN DUPONT makes work that is designed to further his knowledge of the behavior and potential of using the flame as a mark-making tool, as it is often surface that initially persuades the user to engage with the form. It is utility that allows for a deeper engagement with his work; one that promotes not just visual and intellectual engagement , but physical interaction. He is committed to creating work that is accessible and has the ability to perform in some of the most meaningful contexts in life – the surfaces and forms become conduits for creating a social circumstance or experience.

Dupont’s professional development includes a three-year apprenticeship with studio potter Jim Etzkorn, several research and work-studies in Canada, U.S.A, Australia and Korea, and artist-in-residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Red Deer College and the Medalta International Artist in Residency program. He received his BFA from the Alberta College of Art & Design (ACAD) in 2004 and his MFA from Utah State University in 2010. Robin was the 2011–2012 Visiting Artist at ACAD in Calgary, Alberta and is currently a visiting faculty member at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg with the School of Art.

Monica Mercedes Martinez (Photo: International Ceramics Studio Kecskemet, Hungary)
Monica Mercedes Martinez (Photo: International Ceramics Studio Kecskemet, Hungary)

MONICA MERCEDES MARTINEZ is an object maker with an interest in all media, with ceramics playing an intrinsic role in her artistic practice. Primarily a figurative artist, Monica’s practice has delved into topics such as body image, racial heritage, ancient art, cultural concepts of beauty, and the power of memory. Currently the study of her mixed Chilean and Canadian identity has moved to the forefront. By using the heat of the kiln as another part of the forming process, Martinez explores the boundary of the ceramic convention that says reaching the final maturing temperature of clay is the last step in the creation of an object. Her work uses that point as just another step in the transformation of her forms as the pieces are heat-moulded, sandblasted, then perhaps carved to help illustrate the experimental possibilities of clay.

Martinez was a visiting artist in residence at the International Ceramics Studio in Kecskemet, Hungary in September 2012, as well as at the Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China in October 2012. She received her BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2010 and completed her MFA at the University of Manitoba in 2012. She currently teaches as a sessional instructor at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg with the School of Art.

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