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  • National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society 2020 Spring Online International Exhibition

    Location: , ON

    The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS) invites oil and acrylic painters..
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  • Land and Sky - 2 Artist/2 Perspectives

    Location: Windsor, ON

    PAINTING WORKSHOP AT SHO ART STUDIOS APRIL 3rd 4th and 5th 2020..
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  • Confluent Dreams

    Location: North Battleford, SK

    An afternoon exhibition, cranky theatre and musical performance all taking place at..
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  • Love At First Sight

    Location: Regina, SK

    Love At First Sight / Regina Art Collective members: Dave Gedjos / DeLee Grant..
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  • In Other Words

    Location: Regina, SK

    In Other Words / Regina Art Collective members: Nikki Jacquin / Derek Olson / Mark..
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  • Alee & Ayla: Approaches to Portraiture

    Location: Regina, SK

    H.J. Linnen; Patron of the Regina Art Collective will be exhibiting works from his..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Black & White Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Black & White online art..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020

    Location: Venice,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2020 Venice | April 09 – May..
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  • CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY 2020

    Location: London,

    CALL FOR ARTISTS: THE EXTENDED BODY – MIXING CULTURES ITSLIQUID International Art Exhibition THE..
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  • Call for Proposals: 2020 The WALL Artist

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Vancouver Heritage Foundation is now accepting proposals from independent artists and curators for..
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  • 10th Annual

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
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  • Appreciation of the Arts

    Location: London, ON

    Three day art and music event to recognize local artists in London, Ontario...
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  • Call to Artists - 2020 Sooke Fine Arts Show

    Location: Sooke, BC

    Artists are invited to submit work for consideration to the 2020 Sooke Fine..
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  • INK by Shawn Zheng

    Location: Saskatoon, SK

    Shu Cheng (Shawn) Zheng features his distinctive style of making marks in Chinese..
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  • North Shore Art Crawl

    Location: North Shore, BC

    The North Shore Art Crawl is a free community arts event March 7+8,..
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  • New Craft Coalition: Call to Artists

    Location: Calgary, AB

    New Craft Coalition invites applications from all mid-career and professional artists to be..
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  • TRAVEL EXHIBITION

    Location: Toronto, ON

    John Mantha will be participating in a group show at Twist Gallery in..
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  • David Tycho: Urbania

    Location: Vancouver, BC

    Guest artist David Tycho will exhibit 10 paintings from his latest series. This series..
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  • ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) 2020

    Location: Brussels,

    ACAF (Accessible Art Fair) is back on October 15-18, 2020 for its 14th..
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  • Clarkson Society of Artists 2020 Show & Sale

    Location: Mississauga, ON

    The Clarkson Society of Artists invites you to attend their annual show &..
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  • Call for Artists: Urban Matrix

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    North Van Arts is inviting artists to take part in an upcoming group..
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  • 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art is now accepting entries for the 9th Artist Spotlight Solo Art..
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  • Call For Artists: The Other Art Fair Toronto

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Other Art Fair are thrilled to present the newest edition of The..
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  • Call for Art - 4th Annual Colors Art Competition

    Location: Palm Springs, CA

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 4th Annual Colors online art competition. For this..
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  • Marlene Kawalez and Corynn Kokolakis

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. March..
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  • Jane Selbie and Joseph Farrugia

    Location: Toronto, ON

    Presented by: Cedar Ridge Gallery. Part of the Cedar Ridge Gallery Contemporary Exhibition series. February..
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  • “Grey” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline February 28, 2020

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Grey surrounds us, sometimes in surprising ways. In beach pebbles, a..
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  • on thin ice Polar Bear Art Exhibit

    Location: Toronto, ON

    On thin ice is a solo exhibit of polar bear portrait paintings by..
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  • Support the Worldwide Art Community | Participate in 6x6x2020

    Location: Rochester, ON

    Hello Artists in Canada, We want YOU to participate in 6x6x2020! Let your creative..
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  • Olivier Du Tre: New Works

    Location: CALGARY, AB

    January 7 to February 29, 2020 At HUB@302 302-1235 26 Ave SE, Calgary, AB..
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  • WAAH 124th Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

    Location: Hamilton, ON

    Who:  The Women’s Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) at the Art Gallery of..
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  • The Indian Contemporary Art Competition

    Location: New York, NY, ON

    The Indian Contemporary Art Competition (ICAC) aims to discover and promote talented artists..
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  • The Loft On King Street

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Loft On King Street is one of the most unique private event..
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Keith Campbell: Figure Emerging (New Work in Clay)

By Gil McElroy May 10, 2004

} Keith Campbell: The Figure Emerging (New Work in Clay) By Gil McElroy Ontario-based ceramist Keith Campbell has staked his career on a thorough exploration of the possibilities of porcelain. In the 1980s and early 1990s, his work came under the stylistic influence of rococo and the baroque; sequences of plates, bowls and vessels of curvaceous, sinuous form were the hallmark of the period, works with tremendous visual fluidity and motion that seemed to grasp for the unattainable goal of unarrested movement. Ghost In the body of recent work that comprised this exhibition at the White Water Gallery in his hometown of North Bay, Ontario, Campbell opted for the visual expression of motion of another kind, one integral to the very essence of the thrown clay vessel form. Campbell has given porcelain a twist. Literally. These 23 pieces, while ostensibly investigating the sculptural (i.e. figurative) possibilities of clay, also experimented with the visual expression of torque. In a nutshell, while the human body was central to much of Keith Campbell's newest work, a significant portion of it had everything to do with the screw. Now, the screw is a form indeed central to ceramics, or, more accurately, to wheel-thrown or coil-form clay. On the wheel, the screw is the only path that can be taken by clay as it rises in the hands of the ceramist, as a clay mass becomes a vessel. The screw is the initial, underlying condition of the ceramic object, however much we might prefer to ignore it. Movement in Yellow But, like it or not, it is there, narratively tracing out the creation of a meaningful form from a meaningless clay mass. It just happens that, in some of Keith Campbell's newest work, the proverbial background noise that is the state of the screw in contemporary ceramics has been promoted to the foreground figure of an actual signal. Campbell, in short, wants us to see it. Case in point: the porcelain vessel Ghost. Higher than it is wide, Ghost reaches a point where the lip of the vessel has collapsed in upon itself. The form exhibits a structural instability that precludes any possibility of functionality. As a vessel, it teeters at the very brink of utter failure. As a screw, however, it makes overt the condition of its very making, spiraling upward and leaving flabby clay love handles sagging in its wake as evidence of its passage. Classic Vase Movement in Yellow exhibits many of the same features: initially a thrown porcelain vessel, its form has been warped and deformed by hand, pinched and poked, and in the end girdled with a single love handle rising, screw-like, along the lower half of the piece. Both Ghost and Movement in Yellow occupied one end of Campbell’s recent clay spectrum. The end opposite it was comprised of work of a purely figurative bent, like Classic Vase, in which the thrown vessel form was then configured by hand to form a woman’s torso, its softly curving belly, dimpled navel, and cleft buttocks matched to a pair of disproportionately stubby legs. Figure Emerging Most works, though, occupied center ground, where thrown clay screw and figurative impetus collided headlong. Figure Emerging twists up from its base to become handmade deformations of the thrown vessel form that resemble just what its title states: figurative elements - arms and legs - only just asserting themselves within the clay surface. With Stepping Out, Campbell pushes the mix to the absurd extreme, the screw of thrown clay evolving into a pair of legs, one extending well out beyond the underlying vessel form and kicking upwards so high as to give the work a passing resemblance to a long-necked goose. With his newest work, Keith Campbell has dispensed with the need to borrow from a antique decorative style. Instead, he has opted for a sculptural direction that acknowledges and even embraces its source in the wheel-thrown vessel, while simultaneously pushing beyond it. It’s a difficult balancing act, though the rewards of mastering it can be enormous. Here’s hoping he succeeds. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2002 Gil McElroy Gil McElroy is a critic, independent curator, artist, and poet currently living in Colborne, Ontario. His latest books are Gravity & Grace: Selected Writing on Contemporary Canadian Art (Gaspereau Press), and a book of poetry, Dream Pool Essays (Talonbooks). View Gil's curriculum vitae.