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Turning Earth Into Art – Design and Living Magazine – Design & Living Magazine

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Photos by Josiah Kopp and provided by Annette Marchand

The tactile nature of ceramics allows for the artist to explore the relationship between the sculptural and functional.

For artist Annette Marchand, she thrives in the expressive yet controlled nature of ceramic art. Marchand is motivated to continually push the clay further, innovating with form and instilling new ideas and emotions into her work.

Discovery and Practice
Marchand’s passion for art has been with her since she was a child. She didn’t come from a family of artists and didn’t have access to museums, but she would see art on magazine covers.

“I would look at a Picasso on a Time magazine cover and hear people say, ‘That is art? I could do that.’ And I’d think, ‘Why would they put it on the cover of a magazine if it wasn’t art?’” Marchand said. “I needed to know what makes that art. I wanted to learn about that.”

From a young age, Marchand was determined to become an artist. After throwing a perfect form during her first ceramics class in high school, she was hooked and took more pottery classes when she entered college. One of the most formative moments in Marchand’s development as an artist was a trip she took to Europe in college, visiting England, France, Italy and Germany. While in Venice, she ventured off on her own and stumbled into a little art gallery showing one of Picasso’s beach scenes. “It made me feel good because I found something that was really unique,” she said. “I’m always totally into learning, learning more and doing more.”

Marchand was trained as a painter but had a natural skill for clay. “Part of what really attracted me to it was the whole community and social aspect of being a part of that environment, versus being a painter where you’re really isolated,” Marchand said.

As a painter, Marchand spent a lot of time alone with her canvas, which was a great experience for her, but ran out of inspiration. At the same time, she was spending more and more time learning and working with clay.

“I feel limited by the two-dimensional surface,” Marchand said. As an abstract painter, Marchand poured energy into her work, getting aggressive and wild with her brush. She transferred that same energy into her clay. “I felt like I had a little bit of an edge on a lot of ceramic artists that didn’t have that ability to cut loose and be comfortable messing things up and going a little wild with the surfaces of their clay.”

Marchand is especially drawn to abstract expressionism. The wilder, the better. She incorporates that looseness and expression of painting into her ceramic work, which in comparison is a much more controlled medium. In this regard, art is as much of a therapeutic process for Marchand as it is an expressive outlet.

“I just kept going deeper and deeper and it became a really meditative process for me. I always say clay is a healer. You can put your sad energy into it and you can put your happy energy into it. it kind of takes it in and gives you something in return.”

Annette Marchand, ceramic artist

Inspiration and Innovation
“My ultimate goal is to innovate and to think outside of the box, and to move in a direction that other potters might not have explored,” Marchand said.

A series of pieces gathering buzz is Marchand’s bee bowls. Inspired by the organic shapes of a beehive and by the pollinators themselves, these vibrant and warm yellow bowls feature Marchand’s hand drawings on the clay. The work is elegant yet whimsical as it combines Marchand’s expertise in both the two- and three- dimensional art forms.

Some of Marchand’s other work includes her artful yet functional butter dishes and wood fire jugs.

“I’m always trying to push my own personal limits. I’ve done pretty tight and controlled work, but I’ve also done work where I altered the form and pushed it toward sculpture. I also love that. I’m on the verge of being ready to move back to doing that because I like a little funk in my form.”

When sitting down behind the wheel, Marchand’s goal is to create precious individual pieces, putting meaning and thought into the shape of the clay. Each piece has its own story. She enjoys experimenting with different forms and textures through her work. These variations that Marchand incorporates into the clay make the pieces appear to be from different artists on the surface, but her thoughtful eye and intuitive touch are evident through each piece.

“I get on a whim and I do this and then I get on a different whim and I do that. Whatever catches my eye or whatever mood I’m in pulls me in different directions.”

One of Marchand’s biggest inspirations are organic shapes found in nature. A leisurely walk can turn into a font of ideas for her future work.

“I’m obsessed with textures and patterns. I go for walks and I look around at nature. I find patterns in the snow or on the sidewalk that come from the changes in the weather and I’ll sit and obsess on them and draw them in detail.” Marchand even drew the beehive pattern on the bee bowls by referencing a natural beehive.

Marchand has studied and worked with many mediums in addition to clay and painting, including drawing, printmaking and glassblowing.

“I’d actually really like to get back into painting and drawing some more too because I feel like it’s the heart of everything I do. I think for any fine artist, the better you can draw, the better you can sculpt, the better you can do almost anything. There’s something that happens in that drawing phase where you’re really focused and connected. I analyze all that stuff.”

Ceramic Artist Annette Marchand
Marchand hand draws the bees onto the ceramic pieces, showcasing her skill in both two- and three-dimensional mediums.

All of Marchand’s past studies and experience in different mediums inform the piece’s resulting form. In some ways, this process creates a tangible documentation of Marchand’s current state of mind and interests.

When working on a piece, Marchand is very deliberate about its form, carefully considering every component from the shape of the lip to the belly and feet.

“I want to push the clay around. I want to see new forms. I want to think about functionality and also about simple sculptural essence.”

The physicality, movement and energy of working with clay are all part of Marchand’s love for the art form. Looking to the future, Marchand wants to continue to push her forms further and communicate new ideas and feelings through the clay’s form.

“You have to build a whole relationship with clay. I think about that a lot, you have to learn how to touch the clay. It takes a long time sometimes to get it. It’s fun and challenging.”

Marchand is sharing her insight and also showing others the beauty of art through her work as a visual art teacher at the North Dakota Center for Distance Education and as an instructor at the Plains Art Museum.

“Everything is important. Then I also say, ‘Don’t get too precious on everything.’ With my students, I don’t want them to get discouraged. It might look lumpy right now but it’s important. It’s a record of what you’ve created. It shows your progress. At the end of the day, it’s nice to say you accomplished something.”


Marchand’s work is on display and available for purchase at the Dakota Fine Art Gallery.

Instagram: @appollomarchand
Website: www.annettemarchand.art

 




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New art installation illuminates downtown Vancouver (PHOTOS/VIDEOS) | Curated – Daily Hive

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Please note: As recommended by BC’s provincial health officials, gatherings of any kind and unessential travel in the province is not recommended at this time. Please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing and frequent hand washing, and wearing a mask or face-covering in public indoor and retail spaces. If you are sick, please stay home. 


A new art installation is lighting up downtown Vancouver in an effort to lift the city’s spirits.

Called BRIGHT Downtown, photos from the show’s inaugural night show bold animations dancing across the façade of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Put on by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), the show explores “how art is intrinsically interwoven into every step of the human experience.”

The free instillation will run nightly until March 12, and can be seen from “šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square,” also known as the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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Art gallery launches #myessential community mural project – Woodstock Sentinel Review

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What is essential to you?

Answers to this question by local youth – in the form of drawings and photographs – will guide a #myessential community mural project that will be created by Durham artist JP Morel inside Owen Sound’s Tom Thomson Art Gallery.

“We’ve really only been using this word ‘essential’ because we’re hearing about it in news and such and we’ve been told what’s been essential during this global pandemic,” said Heather McLeese, curator of public projects and education.

“And now we’re flipping that and asking people – what has been essential to them and their experience and what’s really gotten them through this difficult time of living through a global pandemic?”

Morel, a visual artist who has created several outdoor murals in Durham, said she plans to be at the gallery each weekday over the next two weeks to paint the #myessential mural on the walls in The Jennings David Young gallery space.

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It will be her largest mural to date.

“The kids provide the content, which are the images, and I would say the artist’s job is to answer that question – how does it come together?” said Morel, a youth workshop leader.

“That has to do with sitting with the ideas and absorbing them and stewing on them. There’s technical things; I’ll be dealing with composition and I’ve got a colour palette, so I’m concerned with all of those artistic questions. But I do want to really stay faithful to their images. I’m really interested in their images because it does lend their voices to the mural.”

The mural is one component of the community art project #myessential, which officially launched Saturday with the reopening of the gallery, following the recent provincial lockdown. It will run until May 1.

Also part of the project is an invitation to gallery visitors and others to share their answers to the #myessential question.

“I want it to be a project that really has a ripple effect through the community,” McLeese said.

Morel is no stranger to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. In 2017, the visual artist worked with the gallery on a large-scale mural project involving high school students.

She applied last year to participate in the gallery’s upcoming community artist spotlight, which provides local artists with a chance to display their work in the atrium on a rotating monthly basis.

She said she proposed in her application creating a mural with community input.

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But McLeese said the spotlight series was put on hold due to the lockdown.

While the gallery was closed, staff came up with the #myessential project idea and decided Morel would be the “perfect artist” to lead it.

To kick off the project, Morel led a series of virtual drawing classes last week with Jenn Klemm’s Grade 9 art class at Owen Sound District Secondary School. The 25 students submitted a combined 100 drawings, each answering the #myessential question.

“How JP is translating the mural in this space is through three different vantages – what has been essential in the past, what is essential now and what will be essential in the future?” McLeese said.

“The drawings the students did are really timely. There’s everything from Netflix to cell phones to family members to music to things that have really gotten these kids through a weird time.”

McLeese said John Fearnall’s photography class at OSDSS will be taking on the project this week by responding to the same question, but through digital images.

The gallery will show the students’ photographs on monitors in the #myessential space.

There’s also a table set up with pencils and paper, so visitors can contribute to the project. People can also participate on social media by answering the question in any form – a drawing, poem or photograph, for example – and using the myessential hashtag.

“I think it’s a question that everyone should be thinking about and perhaps haven’t really taken the time to think about what has been vital to them through COVID-19. I think it’s important to really reflect on those things that have been making the days go by and us adapting to this new normal of living,” McLeese said.

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“It’s been so refreshing and invigorating having youth answer this question, but it’s something that our whole community can answer and really get something from. I think it will be a wonderful experience to welcome people back into the art gallery, asking them that question about what has been essential to them through this pandemic.”

Along with the #myessential project, the new exhibition David Beirk: A Sanctuary for Thought also launched Saturday. It features art from the gallery’s collection – some of which has never been presented publicly before – that highlight the late painter’s “anxieties over a threatened ecological landscape and the erosion of beauty, humanism and morality in art,” the gallery says.

The popular exhibition Group of Seven: The View from Here, which showcases the gallery’s collection of Group of Seven works, will also continue.

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Art Fx #10: "Spring Melt" by Janine Marson – Huntsville Doppler – Huntsville Doppler

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Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.

“Spring Melt” is a framed original oil on birch board measuring 8″ x 10″ and is painting #7 from Janine Marson’s Rural Roots Collection, for which she created 50 paintings to honour her roots at Oxtongue.

“Spring Melt” was painted on location at Boyne Creek in Dwight during the spring melt. “The deep mysterious blues contrasted beautifully with the bright white snow and caught my eye enough to want to paint it,” said Janine. “I pulled off to the side of the road and grabbed my trusty paint box to head down closer to the water to sit and paint. I’ve seen this annual melt year after year and it always cheers me up to see the melting ice and trickling waters usher in the promise of spring.

“Next time you drive out towards Dwight, take a peek on your right hand side and you may just catch a glimpse of this ray of hope.”

“Spring Melt” is painting #7 from Janine Marson’s Rural Roots Collection. It is available for $375. (supplied)

About the artist:

Janine Marson is a seasoned artist with a B.A. Fine Art from the University of Guelph and a Diploma of Art and Design from Georgian College. Her art career spans over 30 years creating works of art in all media. Janine shares her wealth of knowledge with students at the Haliburton School of Art and Design and out of her own studio in Huntsville. She created a wildly successful exhibition in 2017 of 100 paintings to honour the 100-year anniversary of Tom Thomson’s death. It was followed by another series called Rural Roots, 50 oil paintings that honoured her roots at Oxtongue, which was revealed June 29, 2019 at the Oxtongue Craft Cabin and Gallery. In 2020 Janine exhibited in the group show LANDED: a Gallery Exhibition Celebrating the Land with her colleagues at The Barn, Hillside.

Janine’s studio is at 2-6 West St. N. in Huntsville. Connect with her at 705.789.6843, online at
janinemarson.com, or on the following social media channels: Facebook @JanineMarsonArt, Instagram @janinemarson, Twitter @throughtomseyes, and LinkedIn @janinemarson.

See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.

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