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Culture Days 2023: The Weight of Clay Exhibit

September 22 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

How heavy is the weight of clay?

Explore this free exhibition. Over the last forty years, the AGB has amassed the largest comprehensive collection of contemporary Canadian ceramics in the world, totaling more than 4,000 works. This year, we celebrate the anniversary with The Weight of Clay, an exhibition and programming series honouring the artists, curators, educators, volunteers, and donors who have built the gallery’s holdings and contributed to the intellectual growth of ceramics in the country.

The Weight of Clay presents a broad selection of work in the collection, ranging from functional ware to sculptural installations that illustrate the intersection of technical proficiency and artistic expression, by artists from across the country. The exhibition is not an encyclopedic survey but a more intimate and personal approach to the collection’s history, told via the testimonials, stories, archives, and energies of the artists, curators, gallery staff, collectors, committee members, and clay communities who have, over the decades, demonstrated that the collection truly is a sum of its parts.

At the center of the exhibition is the selection of forty works by forty artists representing each year in our forty-year history. Looking at the archive of work from 1983 to 2023, the AGB’s Curator Emeritus, Jonathan Smith, compiled a chronological timeline of works illustrating the growth of the collection. From Jim Hong Louie to Brendan Lee Satish Tang, the assembly of works reflects a history of burgeoning techniques and the rise of clay in the country.