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FUSION MENTORSHIP: Perceptions in Flux

Exhibition opens at the Gardiner Museum Shop on May 3rd, 2024

Reception June 5th, 6-8pm

This mentorship is currently ongoing. The group comprises clay & glass artists.


"This mentorship offers me a great sounding board for new ideas as well as a chance to reconnect with the ceramics community in Ontario." Annette ten Cate

"Susan encourages us to develop our work and go further in search of our voice; the ensuing discussions bring up so many valuable ideas and tricks and everyone shares from their studio practice " Catharina Goldnau

"The mentorship engages a group of experienced artists in a platform for growth with the benefit of an excellent positive critical eye " Brenda Nieves

Mentorship participants in Susan's Studio on Brunswick Ave 
from right: Terri del Signore, Christie Gruppe, Anette ten Cate, Elissa Barber, Jacquie Blondin, Anne McDonald, above: Susan Lowbeer, Nancy Hilborn, Brenda Nieves, Catharina Goldnau
missing: Heidi McKensie, Nadie Tasci, Rob Durante
Participating in Fusion's ceramic mentorship was truly transformative. The program offered unparalleled freedom to explore and present new ideas, all while benefiting from the guided collaboration of our mentor and fellow participants. The wealth of knowledge within the group allowed for alternative solutions and inspired innovation. With the goal of pushing our ideas forward, we worked towards an exhibition at the Gardiner Museum, grounding our exploration with a tangible outcome. This experience not only expanded my artistic horizons but also fostered a deep sense of confidence in my craft. I highly recommend Fusion's mentorship to anyone seeking to elevate their ceramic practice.
Jacquie Blondin
Mentorship participants in Susan's Studio on Brunswick Ave 
from right: Susan Low-Beer, Annette ten Cate, Heidi McKenzie, Elissa Barber, Jacquie Blondin, Christie Gruppe, Terri del Signore,
Brenda Nieves, Annie McDonald

missing:  Nadia Tasci, Rob Durante, Catharina Goldnau

After a few months of feeling stuck in my sculpture practice, my mentorship year with Susan Low-Beer, and our talented group has been the perfect incentive for me to take on some new risks.  The mentorship program through Fusion is a rare opportunity to jump off a cliff while holding hands with supportive colleagues who share enthusiasm about clay!  


It is great to have this opportunity to try out new ideas in our own studios, then meet monthly to check in.  The critique process offers a glimpse into what several careful viewers might see, or visually read into the work I experiment with.  Susan Low-Beer’s depth of experience with insight is particularly helpful.  We also get the benefit of learning from what others have to say about each member’s work.  


I can strongly recommend this experience to anyone who wants to stretch their practice in new directions.  It is an exceptional opportunity that Fusion offers!

Annie McDonald

The mentorship with Susan Low-Beer has been inspirational in so many ways. It has kept me moving forward in developing new coloured glazes and claywork and the sharing of resources has been fabulous. Great comradery and great fun!

Nancy Hilborn

This Mentorship is intended to be a significant, transformative learning experience for clay and glass artists. It is ideal for those who have been developing their work over several years of studio practice and who wish to rethink or re-evaluate their current work and examine ways of pushing and expanding it beyond familiar solutions or limits. 


It is suitable for artists making functional or sculptural work.  


The Mentorship has begun with a session during which participants present their work. Each participant was then asked to set learning goals and objectives to guide their journey over the next eight months. The group meets every month in person at Susan’s Toronto studio to review their progress, participate in group critiques, and revise objectives as necessary.  Participants meet from September 2023 to the Spring of 2024.

Suitable candidates are actively involved in an artistic practice, producing work, exhibiting, and : 


• have completed basic training (equivalent to three years of study)

• are willing to make a multi- month commitment to researching new sources and making new work intensively in their own studio

• are prepared to offer critical feedback to other artists in an open, rigorous, positive and inclusive environment

• through discussions with the mentor and others in the group,  participants set learning goals and  take risks with their work

• meet the criteria established by the mentor 

• are members of FUSION and maintain their membership for the duration of the mentorship & exhibition.


The FUSION mentorship is a year-long seminar for  experienced clay and glass artists to expand their technical skills, develop critical thinking participate in and receive critical feedback and build confidence.

Participants are given the opportunity to critically examine their own work and embark on an individual project that will generate either a new body of work or will resolve current issues in their own work.

About Susan Low-Beer


Susan Low-Beer was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.  She has exhibited internationally in Europe, United States, Japan and Korea, as well as nationally in both juried and invitational exhibitions and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards.


Susan has been teaching since 1970 in many institutions including: the Ontario College of Art and Design, Sheridan College, and Emily Carr University. Over the years,  she has delivered numerous workshops and mentored many students across Canada.  


Susan Low-Beer is represented among others, in the collections of: the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the National Museum of Modern Art in Japan; and the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in North  Carolina. Her retrospective called Embodiment: 30 Years of Sculpture finished at the Waterloo Clay and Glass Gallery in 2018. Since her traveling retrospective ending at The Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, she has been traveling a new show called Specimen which references the viscera of the body, its vulnerability and its mortality and in a broader sense, its relationships and intimacy. The show has recently been to the RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston, ON and will be traveling to Gatineau, Quebec and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton N.B.

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FUSION: The Ontario Clay and Glass Association is the only not-for-profit organization dedicated to clay and glass artists in Canada. FUSION's mission is to encourage and promote excellence and quality in clay and glass, provide opportunities, a sense of community and continuing educational resources for members and people interested in clay and glass through tolerance, caring and acceptance.

FUSION creates opportunities for artists working in clay and glass through the Creative Directions program. Participants are mentored by a professional artist through a series of workshops, meetings and critiques where they expand their technical skills, develop critical thinking and build greater confidence in their work.

The culminating exhibition is the end manifestation of every participant's artistic path.

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