Jack Sures, "Untitled," 1987, underglaze pencil, black glaze, porcelain, 19” x 19” x 4.7”. Collection of the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery.
JACK SURES: Tactile Desires
June 6 to July 27, 2013
Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon
This retrospective exhibition by one of Western Canada’s leading ceramic artists, Jack Sures, features highlights of five decades of his work. Born in Brandon in 1934, Sures trained as a painter and printmaker, but became interested in ceramics in the 1950s while attending graduate school at Michigan State University. On his return to Canada, Sures set up a pottery studio for a time in Winnipeg, before moving to Regina, where he helped launch the ceramics program at the University of Saskatchewan. The exhibition, organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina and the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound, Ont., considers Sures’ role as an educator as well as his work, which challenges boundaries between craft and fine art. Sures also completed mural commissions at the Sturdy-Stone Centre in Saskatoon and the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que. Along with Victor Cicansky, Joe Fafard, David Gilhooly and Marilyn Levine, Sures was part of the Regina Clay group, which used clay as a sculptural medium. Still, Sures retained an interest in vessels and is known for the sensual quality of his work. In a documentary that accompanies the exhibition, Sures recalls the first time he touched clay: “You could feel this kind of organic living mass ready to grow into something,” he says. “That’s the nature of clay. It can become anything.”