Teachers and graduates of Espace Verre:
Marie Hélène Beaulieu, Annie Cantin, Maryse Chartrand, Zou Desbiens, Carole Frève, David Frigon-Lavoie, Jean-Marie Giguère, Cédric Ginart, Detlef Gotzens , Karina Guévin, Catherine Labonté, Lisanne Lachance, Michèle Lapointe, Caroline Ouellette, Gilles Payette, Patrick Primeau, Donald Robertson, Cathy Strokowsky, Jean Simon Trottier
April 20th – May 20th 2017
Vernissage : April 20th, from 5 to 8pm
All through history, periods of great glassmaking coincided with times of economic effervescence, be it in the Orient, in Rome, Venice or in the “Art Nouveau” period of the last century. Establishing a glass school needs an affluent society. Could it be done in Quebec? After overcoming many hurdles the project became a reality. In 1988, Espace Verre opened its doors to the first class of students. It was a concentrated course of one year. Today, the professional course lasts a minimum of three years. Ronald Labelle and the few glass-makers in Québec had so far only limited glassblowing experience. It fell upon Houdé with his extensive schooling at Sheridan College and his own experimentation at the University of Illinois in Normal, U.S.A., to establish a curriculum with a variety of techniques, not just in glassblowing, but also molding, slumping and cold working. Quite naturally he invited his old co-students at Sheridan College to assist him: Susan Edgerley, Donald Roberston and Laura Donefer…
The first years were difficult. Various times the enterprise nearly collapsed because of insufficient funds. Today, Espace Verre is a world class facility. Apart from its own excellent teachers, the school invites national and international artists for workshops where students can acquire a wide variety of knowhow.
Presently many of the school’s highly skilled teachers are former graduates such as Jean-Marie Giguère, from the first graduating class in 1989, and Patrick Primeau, one of North America’s best glass blowers, who can easily measure up with Venitians in the variety as well as the technical and artistic perfection of his creations. Thanks also to Donald Robertson, internationally recognized expert in the most difficult of all the glass techniques, lost wax casting, Espace Verre students profit from a training of the highest standard.
Thus you can admire in this exhibition, glass art of an extraordinary variety: blown at the furnace, at the lamp, slumped, cast in sand and in the lost wax technique. Espace Verre has come a long way since its inception more than 30 years ago to arrive at its present excellence and this is a unique chance to see the fruits of this labor of love.
PS: 1985 – 1999, Elena Lee was on the Board of Directors of Espace Verre (Centre des métiers du Verre du Québec à Montréal)
From January 1st to April 14th 2017, Galerie Elena Lee will be open only by appointment.
November 30 – December 31, 2016
Apart from a selection of work from the previous shows of Canadian glass, we have a vast array of charming small and not so small objects suitable for that special gift for a special person !
Susan Collett, Steven Heinemann and Jean-Pierre Larocque
October 13 – November 12, 2016
Jean-Pierre Larocque has exhibited widely throughout the United States and Canada with excursions to Europe and Asia. Before returning to his native Montréal he taught art and ceramics at various US Universities. His work is in many prominent collections and Museums, here and in the US. Houses, horses, human heads – Larocque’s sculpture deals with the essence of the human experience. Contemporary sculptural sensibility is infused with knowledge of the past. Ceramics has been the first medium in which human intelligence has manifested itself throughout the world, and Laroque is very much wedded to its teachings. It is therefor fitting that a large exhibition of his works should have accompanied the reopening of the restored Gardiner Museum of Ceramics in Toronto with its world-class universal and historical collection.
Another giant of contemporary ceramic art – Heinemann - is constantly in search of the very essence of his medium - clay. He first examined inner and outer forms in the vessel, then studied the empty imprints of fossils in massive rock. It inspired his series of negative and positive geometric spaces. From here he moved to an investigation of simple organic forms, like pods and seeds.- Flattening them, magnifying them, attaching them to the wall, these organic shapes now have become abstractions of their original intent. – At the same time Heinemann continues his exploration of surface, from baby skin softness to scorched earth roughness , and here and there a pattern, like imprints of the human spirit. Through his extensive teaching and lectures throughout Canada, USA, Europe and Asia, he participated in shaping an awareness of ceramics as a distinct practice, but related to a broader discourse in the visual arts. His work is in private and public collections worldwide and has garnered him numerous distinctions not just in North America, but in Europe and Asia as well.
The youngest of the three artists, but already a master ceramist in her own right, Susan Collett‘s work is like a breath of fresh air, audacious and imbued with spirituality. Heaving, disrupted, uprooted forms hover in space, between the solid and the fluid, between order and chaos. Collett pushes the limits of the possible in exploring the tension of strength against fragility. Hand built out of stacked paper clay platelets, tilted and refired many times she builds up the strength needed for these images of movement, fragile and solid at the same time. Collett has exhibited extensively worldwide and her work is in numerous private and public national and international collections.
When you consider the work of these world-class artists, you may come to understand why ceramics is a distinct art form. No other medium, be it bronze, stone or paper, can be used to express so powerfully and at the same time delicately, aspects of the human condition: Made of earth, hardened through fire, fragile and strong at the same time, it bears witness to our history since time immemorial.
We have a new schedule at the gallery.
We are now open only from Wednesday to Saturday, 11am to 5 pm.