FUSION Creative Directions
Cultivate: Artist Talks
Free Online Events in collaboration with the Gardiner Museum Shop
Hosted by ceramist and founder of the FUSION Creative Directions program, Barbara Banfield, exhibiting artists Claire Nicole Waddick and Aneela Dias-D’Sousa will discuss their recent mentorship with artist Angelo Di Petta. Past participant Hana Balaban-Pommier will reflect on the program’s lasting impact.
Hosted by Barbara Banfield, exhibiting artists Danielle Skentzos, Jason Schiedel, and Eekta Trienekens will discuss how their mentorship with Angelo di Petta guided their creativity and the refinement of their works. There will also be a brief virtual studio tour.
About the artists:
Barbara Banfield came to clay after twenty years in the garment industry. A lifetime of working with her hands led her to the Sheridan College Ceramics Program, from which she graduated in 2010. Further studies in glaze with Michael Sheba in Haliburton, and Pete Pinnell, Steven Hill, and Robin Hopper in Metchosin, B.C. prepared her to establish her studio in Georgina, Ontario. She previously served as President of FUSION: The Ontario Clay and Glass Association, where she was instrumental in establishing the Creative Directions mentorship program.
Claire Nicole Waddick grew up in Southwestern Ontario and spent time on her grandparents' farm in Kent County. She graduated with a BA in Aesthetics and Cultural Studies from Carleton University that included studies in Industrial Design, as well as studying Painting and Drawing at the Ontario College of Art and Design. In 2010, ceramics became her main artistic practice. Like her paintings, her ceramics are inspired by rural landscapes. She has completed artist residencies at Medalta in Medicine Hat, Alberta and the London Clay Art Centre in London, Ontario.
Aneela Dias-D’Sousa established herself as a ceramic artist after graduating from the University of Mumbai with a B.F.A. Ceramics. Since immigrating to Canada, she has continued her education at Sheridan College as a mature student. Aneela currently lives and works in Pickering, Ontario, and has pursued residencies at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and the International Ceramics Centre in Kecskemet, Hungary. Her minimalist work reflects her personal experiences—passing thoughts, transient phases, and fleeting emotions.
Hana Balaban-Pommier is a Toronto-based ceramic artist. Originally from Bohemia, she took her first pottery class shortly after immigrating to Canada and found in clay a perfect medium for expressing her ideas and interests. She works with porcelain slip and draws on the characteristics of the material to explore the themes of strength and fragility, similarity and contrast, diversity and unity. Her formal education includes the Sheridan College Art and Design Program (Ceramics), the Fine Arts Program (Drawing) at George Brown College, and the Art History Program at the Harvard Extension School.
Danielle Skentzos lives in the fields of Oro-Medonte, Ontario. When she first experienced the feeling of clay smoothly turning through her hands on a pottery wheel, it unearthed a feeling of home; of early years spent watching animals and acres grow, and a youth of tending local gardens with friends. Danielle learned ceramic techniques from a variety of generous artists, as well as time spent at the Haliburton School of Art. She founded Shiralee Pottery to share her work, inspired by the beauty found near her home.
Jason Schiedel is originally from Waterloo, and currently lives on the shores of Lake Huron in the rural town of Port Elgin. He studied Fine Art, earning an undergraduate degree in Sculpture/Installation from the Ontario College of Art and Design, and an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Jason worked in a wide variety of media before centring his practice in clay, where he discovered a material rich for exploring the subjects of intimacy, relationships, and connection. His approach to ceramics is largely self-taught, enhanced by workshops in mould making and design with Angelo di Petta and Peter Pincus.
Eekta Trienekens grew up in the Netherlands and lived in the medieval cities of Amersfoort and Leiden before moving to Canada a little over a decade ago. Her mother is from Panjab, India, and Eekta spent many seasons there for extended visits with her grandparents. The extreme contrast between these two worlds is a strong influence on her work, oscillating between a sense of belonging and otherness. She has a degree in Arts Education (Utrecht) and South Asian Studies (Leiden). Though she works with a variety of materials, ceramics has been her main artistic practice since 2015.