Ceramist and sculptor Peter Powning 30th recipient of Saidye Bronfman Award

October 25, 2006

Ceramist and sculptor Peter Powning 30th recipient of Saidye Bronfman Award

Gatineau, Quebec, October 25, 2006 – Peter Powning, one of Canada’s leading craft artists, has been named the 30th recipient of the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in the crafts. The announcement was made at a press conference today by Nancy Rosenfeld, Executive Director of The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation. The Foundation, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canada Council for the Arts are partners in the Award.

Peter Powning lives and works in Markhamville, New Brunswick. A ceramist and sculptor, he uses a creative mix of media that displays a mastery of the manipulation of clay, glass and metals to a degree rarely achieved even by those who specialize in one of these individual medium. His work is easily identifiable by its mix of media – many of which are transformed by fire – as well as the inspiration that he draws from nature and history. Powning has had an influence both nationally and internationally and has received recognition for his accomplishments from private galleries as well as public institutions.

In bestowing this year’s award, the peer jury recognized Peter Powning’s outstanding practice as an innovative ceramic and mixed media artist. “For 30 years now, Powning’s work has been characterized by continuous experimentation and a rare ability to transcend a single medium. His remarkable technical mastery is evident in the way he applies the transformative powers of fire to clay, glass and metal – seamlessly blending them together and creating works of great strength.”

Peter Powning’s work will be displayed as part of a major exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, entitled UNIQUE! 30 Years of Outstanding Crafts, which will be on view from October 26, 2006 through August 5, 2007. This exhibition will focus on 30 years of Canadian craft production as documented in the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s collection, including work by all 30 recipients of the Saidye Bronfman Award. This year’s award recipient will also be featured in a 30-second Artspots profile, created by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), and presented on the national television network.

Other finalists for the 30th Saidye Bronfman Award were Kevin Lockau, a leading innovator in hot glass casting techniques, from Bancroft, ON; Michael D. Massie, from Kippens, NL, a noted silversmith and sculptor; Peter Pierobon, an outstanding furniture maker based in Vancouver; and Anna Torma, one of Canada’s leading fibre artist, who lives in Baie Verte, NB.

In addition to the $25,000 cash prize awarded to the recipient, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, through a further grant from The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation, acquires works by the Saidye Bronfman Award recipient for its permanent collection. In recent years, the Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation has contributed over $270,000 for the purchase of works by previous Award recipients.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Saidye Bronfman Award was established in 1977 by The Samuel and Saidye Bronfman Family Foundation to honour the 80th birthday of Saidye Bronfman, O.B.E., a long-time supporter of the arts, and to provide leadership in recognizing and honouring the high levels of excellence achieved by Canadian craftspeople. The $25,000 annual award is one of the largest individual visual art prizes in Canada.

The Canada Council for the Arts administers the nomination and adjudication processes. The peer jury that adjudicates the Award considers all aspects