Graduates from Kootenay Studio Arts at Selkirk College in Nelson opened an exhibit of their work last week at the Kootenay Gallery of Art in Castlegar. Artifacts on display and for sale include original creations in ceramics, fibre art, metal work and jewelry.
Students at the Studio Arts program combine hands-on studio work with academic studies in design, drawing and professional practice. Working, professional artists provide students with individual attention in small class sizes and extended studio hours.
In ceramics, students learn contemporary ceramic design as well as traditional techniques in hand-building, mold-making, wheel-forming, glazing and firing. There have been many interesting innovations in ceramics since the clunky coffee mug era of the 60s. We can admire and buy some of them at this exhibit.
Fibre art includes studies and design in weaving, felting, dyeing, screen printing and pattern drafting — in short, anything that involves fabric, from the clothes we wear to the drapes we use to adorn our homes. This is a marvelous opportunity to purchase something new and unique for our home or fall wardrobe.
In metal work, students learn how to design, mold and cast in bronze and other metals, reaching a level appropriate for a blacksmith. Many creative works by local metal workers are included in the Castlegar Sculpturewalk. Kootenay Forge in Crawford Bay, showcasing their interesting hooks and closures, is responsible for decorating many bathrooms and hallways in the area.
People have been making and adorning themselves with jewelry for over 100,000 years. The jewelry studio courses provide students instruction in jewelry fabrication, forming and casting techniques in non-ferrous metals as well as jewelry design processes. The outcome from previous students has appeared at many farmer’s markets and craft stores throughout the area. Now we have the occasion to appreciate and purchase innovative work by this new class of artists.
We’re fortunate to not only be able to admire the work from graduates of the Studio Arts program, but also have the opportunity to purchase some of their creations. If you are redecorating your home or are looking for a gift, why not consider a locally-made product?
The exhibit continues through Saturday, Aug. 1 at the Kootenay Gallery of Art. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located across from the West Kootenay regional airport on Heritage Way.