June 21st, 2024

Hat-based Amy Duval recognized as one of Canada’s top emerging ceramic artists

By KENDALL KING on February 28, 2023.

The Winifred Shantz Award is presented annually to an emerging Canadian artist who demonstrates exceptional promise within and commitment to the field of ceramic art.--NEWS PHOTO KENDALL KING, FEB. 24, 2023


A Medicine Hat-based artist is being recognized as one of Canada’s “best and brightest” emerging ceramic artists with the Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics.

Amy Duval says words can’t describe her gratitude of being chosen recipient of the annual award which highlights emerging artist whose work is innovative and indicative of a promising career.

“I’m so honoured and excited,” Duval told the News. “I first found out about this award when I was in my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (as) my ceramics instructor Ying-Yueh Chuang had been a recipient of this award, and she had always been a mentor and a teacher to me, and she still is that.

“Then I did some more research into it and looked at a long list of artists that had won this award and thought ‘Wow, that’s a really inspiring list of people.'”

Duval remembers reading the eligibility criteria for the award and thinking it would be difficult to even qualify as applicants were required to have graduated a minimum of five years from the date of their application and must have maintained a studio space consecutively throughout those five years.

“I feel like a lot of people leave school and then they don’t make art anymore because real life kind of catches up with everybody,” said Duval. “So, I remember thinking if I could even be considered as eligible, I would consider that very successful because it would mean I graduated and was still making work five years after that.”

Originally from North Vancouver, Duval graduated from Kwantlen Polytechnic University in 2017, then moved to Toronto to complete a ceramic artist residency, before moving to Medicine Hat in 2019.

Currently, Duval works at Medalta as the coordinator for its International Artists in Residence Program, while still maintaining a private studio practise.

While Duval admits her artwork has changed and developed over time, she often uses a technique called slip casting to create pieces which explore themes related to transformation and growth, with particular exploration into the relationship between mechanic and organic materials.

As this year’s award recipient, a selection of Duval’s work will be displayed at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ont., alongside pieces from runners-up Brianne Siu, who was a resident artist at Medalta in 2022, and François Grenier.

Duval will also take home a $10,000 cash prize which she can put toward further development of her career.

Duval says she is grateful to the all those involved with the award for considering her work and selecting her to be this year’s recipient, but is also grateful to those who supported her in the first few years of her career.

“There’s been a lot of people who really supported me along the way,” she said. “It’s just been a long lineup of all these all these women behind me pushing me but also helping hold me up. So I’ve been very sentimental (thinking of them).”

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