Surrey Art Gallery has announced the purchase of a group of three ceramic sculptures by Keith Rice-Jones for its permanent collection.
The purchase was made possible by a matching acquisitions grant from the Canada Council for the Arts ($8,600) and a gift of $7,000 raised by Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA).
The purchase price was not made public.
In a statement, the gallery said the acquisition honours the gallery’s “longstanding support of ceramic practice and the volunteer contributions of SAGA members,” particularly past-president Joan Owen.
“Convention” is by master clay artist Rice-Jones, who bridges the traditions of the craft potters’ use of moulds and repeated production of forms with methods of the sculptor, creating unique works in clay.
“I do not set out to make figure equivalents, but all the strong figurative references to head, body and feet are undeniable, and they all stand with their own personalities,” the artist stated.
The gallery has long supported the production and exhibition of clay-based art practices. It has a pottery studio facility within its operation and actively uses clay in its education programs, including hosting residency projects with master artists such as Sally Michener, Les Manning, and Brendan Tang.
Rice-Jones, originally trained in England as a woodworker, turned to clay in the early 1970s. He has an extensive exhibition history in B.C., as well as in Britain and Japan.
Looking ahead, on Sept. 8 Rice-Jones will chat about his clay art during a Thursday Artist Talk event at Surrey Art Gallery. For details, visit Surrey.ca/artgallery or call 604-501-5566.