Regina Clay: Worlds in the Making
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The end of an era.
Run Time: 1:51 | File size: 6.7 MB


Because the Regina clay scene never developed into a movement with a formal manifesto or a defined membership, it is not surprising that interpretations of the movement did not give shape to it as history until the end of the decade. In 1979, official recognition came to Malach, Sures, and Cicansky in mural commissions for the provincial government’s Sturdy-Stone Building in Saskatoon, the same year that the Susan Whitney Gallery opened in Regina, providing an essential commercial outlet for many of the artists.

By this time, however, much of the earlier momentum had been lost, especially in the university art department. In addition to the departures during the mid-1970s of Levine, Keelan, James, and Beug, by 1976 both Yuristy and Thauberger had given up clay in favour of other media. Fafard and Cicansky continued to work in ceramics for another decade, but they moved into bronze in the mid-1980s. Of the artists in this exhibition, only Sures provided continuity for ceramic practice in the university art department where he remained until the 1990s.

In retrospect, the Regina clay artists are notable for being among the first in Canada to win respect for ceramics as a sculptural medium. Despite the limitations of producing small scale works without a theoretical agenda and in a regional centre, their work succeeded in gaining international attention. Furthermore, the worlds that they created engage viewers today with a vitality that derives from their intuitive understanding of the complex cultural issues that continue to shape our globe.

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Virtual Museum of Canada REGINA CLAY: WORLDS IN THE MAKING MacKenzie Art Gallery