Prairie Excellence

Gallery 1C03


Robert Wilson, Sliced Antler Vessel, 2009, antler, pine form, casting resin, dark roast coffee, 8 by 8 in. + finial. Image courtesy Manitoba Crafts Council.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta Crafts Councils present

Prairie Excellence

at Gallery 1C03

April 28 - May 28, 2011

Opening Reception:
Thursday, April 28 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. at Gallery 1C03

Panel Discussion: Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m. in Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall. Speakers will be: Selection Committee Member Helen Delacretaz and artists Tibor Bodi, Grace Nickel and Sue Sutherland.

Prairie Excellence is a juried exhibition representing the very best of contemporary fine craft from the Prairies distilled into one exhibition. Featuring pieces by 35 artists (selected from 163 submissions) the show is a unique and balanced blend of work from each of the Prairie Provinces. While some of the featured artists, like Winnipeg's Grace Nickel, Kathryne Koop, and Keith Oliver, are well established, the exhibit also showcases craft artists who are relatively new to the scene. This is a unique opportunity to view the work of emerging, mid-career and established artists under one roof.

The call for entry for  Prairie Excellence was widely distributed throughout Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta in late 2009. The response was both exciting and daunting—276 pieces were submitted by 163 artists. A selection committee consisting of one curator from each province was assembled. In their first round of review based on submitted photos, resumes, and print material, the committee selected 50 pieces. An in-person selection stage was held at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery in Edmonton and 35 pieces were eventually chosen for the exhibition. The committee was challenged to look at work in all craft media, ranging from jewellery to large sculptural pieces. They discussed and sometimes argued about issues of conceptual, creative and technical excellence. They were further challenged to choose recipients for best of province awards, and recipients for best emerging, mid-career and established artist awards. To reflect the breadth of the submissions, the committee members also opted for an honourable mention in each of the emerging, mid-career, and established artist categories.

The show marks an exciting new collaboration between the Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta Craft Councils. These organizations exist to promote the work of craft artists from their own province by developing the careers of new and veteran artists and by increasing public awareness about great art being created in our midst. By working together, the prairie Craft Councils can take this mission even further.

Manitoba artists in this exhibition include Grace Nickel, Kathryne Koop, Robert Wilson, Sue Sutherland, Teresa Burrows, Dave Wasylyshen, Jordan van Sewell, Crystal Nykoluk, Keith Oliver, Nancy Hall, and Tibor Bodi.

Prairie Excellence will make Winnipeg its third stop in a tour of Western Canada after shows in both Edmonton and Saskatoon, showing at Gallery 1C03 (University of Winnipeg) from April 28 - May 28, 2011. An opening reception is planned for Thursday, April 28, 5:00 - 7:00 pm at Gallery 1C03, with many of the Manitoba artists in attendance. A panel discussion will take place on Thursday, May 26 at 7:00 p.m. in Eckhardt-Gramatte Hall, 3rd floor of Centennial Hall at The University of Winnipeg.

For more information please see:

Regular Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, noon to 5:00 p.m.
Admission to Gallery, opening reception and panel discussion are and open to everyone.

Jennifer Gibson
Curator, Gallery 1C03
The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB  R3B 2E9
Ph: 204.786.9253
F: 204.774.4134