Good Earth: The Pots & Passion of Walter Ostrom
NOW AVAILABLE AS A VIRTUAL TOUR!
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Co-curated by Dr. Sandra Alfoldy, Shannon Parker, and Dr. Julie Hollenbach
Energy. Enthusiasm. Knowledge. Honesty. Inspired. Ardor for material. These are the terms that describe Walter Ostrom and his relationship with clay. They can also be summed up in one word: Passion.
Passion is a simple word and yet the immense complexity of it as a concept is at the core of Ostrom and from it flows the worldwide mosaic of his relationships, his incredible devotion as an educator, his drive for knowledge, and his love for creativity in all aspects of his life, but particularly for pottery.
Walter Ostrom is one of Canada’s foremost ceramic artists. He revolutionized clay from ethical brown earthenware to colourful, bright maiolica and inspired generations of ceramists who follow him to this day. This exhibition investigates Ostrom’s earliest work in stoneware and porcelain, his conceptual projects at NSCAD University, the many ways his love of gardening—and particularly rhododendrons—influenced his work, the huge impact China and its ceramic traditions and ceramists had on his life and practice, and his lifetime commitment to the exploration and reinvigoration of the ancient ceramic tradition of tin-glaze.
Good Earth examines Ostrom’s practice of altering form, surface treatments, and the rich elements of social commentary, geographic references, art history, and political statements he imbues in his work. An inspired instructor for over 40 years, Ostrom’s influence on a selection of his many celebrated students is also reflected in this exhibition.
Ostrom is celebrated internationally with galleries dedicated to the collection and presentation of his work in Canada, the United States, Europe and China. This bilingual touring exhibition is the first major retrospective to chronicle Ostrom’s career and impact on the field of global ceramics.