Mentor & Metalsmith: The Silver Art of Arthur Brecken & Wesley Harris

Labrador Wave (detail), Wesley Harris, 12×17.6×13.5cm,
sterling silver, fine silver, copper, 14k rose gold, 14k white gold. labradorite

Mentor & Metalsmith
The Silver Art of Arthur Brecken & Wesley Harris
Mary E. Black Gallery

1061 Marginal Rd. Suite 140, Halifax, NS
Opening: Thursday November 8, 6pm
On view: November 9 – December 21, 2018
Tuesday – Friday: 9am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am – 4pm

Mentor and Metalsmith takes us on a journey through the intertwined careers of two master jewelers. Wesley Harris has curated the late Arthur Brecken’s work into this exhibit as an homage to his profound influence. The exhibit constructs a narrative of the generosity and warmth Arthur Brecken offered to many students and jewelers in a lifetime spent perfecting his own craft. The aesthetic influence and mastery of medium shared between these two artisans is exhibited here in these extraordinary bodies of work from two silversmiths.

Mentor and Metalsmith
is an exhibition of intricate sculptural works touring across Canada. From his studio in Newfoundland, Wesley Harris has produced an astounding body of work that explores the formal influence of nature & humor and exhibits the precise construction & cumulative process of exquisite metalsmithing. By curating Brecken’s work into his own, Harris visually articulates the benefit of mentorship on a life’s work, and the rippling effect such support has on a community of artisans.

Wesley Harris will present a public artist talk on November 18 at 1:30 pm and will be available at the Mary E. Black Gallery to meet and speak with visitors from November 8th to November 18th. Interviews and tours can be arranged with Herrris through the Mary E. Black any time during this stay.

Wesley Harris began silversmithing under his high school art teacher. Both this gentleman and his subsequent instructor at Cranbrook Academy of Art allowed Wesley to work independently and to learn by trial and error. During this time he thought a lot about creativity relative to one’s sources of inspiration, and this became the subject of his MFA thesis titled “Design: Approaches and Personal Philosophy”.

The underlying inspiration in Wesley’s work is Nature. Its endless diversity within order parallels his own choice to create one-of-a-kind yet familiar objects. His work does not always quote Nature directly, but rather embodies its underlying principles such as fusion of form and function. Wesley lives in ruggedly beautiful western Newfoundland and his studio overlooks the ocean.

Wesley works full time as a professional artist and creates high-end pieces. His website ( features present and past work. The site also includes an educational tab called “Process” that shows how 32 of his pieces were made. In 2003 Wesley received a Canada Council grant to research the Japanese technique of mokume gane (woodgrain metal) and to create mokume hollowware. In 2015 Wesley was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA).

Mary E. Black Gallery recognizes the support for this touring exhibit that comes from theNewfoundland Arts Council.

For more information please contact:

Susan Charles
Director, Centre for Craft NS