2018 – Stefanie Smith

Stefanie Smith is an Ontario-born artist now based in St. John's. She earned her BFA (Visual) from Memorial University in 2007, and completed the Ceramics Certificate Program at Haliburton School of The Arts in 2011.

Stefanie’s current work explores alternative firing techniques, with a special focus on pattern, ornament, and surface treatment. She is drawn to the ceramic medium because of the intimacy it allows her in the creative process. Every step must be carefully considered and planned for, but never so much so that it compromises spontaneity or intuition. While creating with clay she keeps fully focused on her material; what it feels like, how it moves, and where it wants to go. Through this the process becomes not just an intimate experience, but a spiritual one.

To communicate this sense of intimate spirituality Stefanie explores forms that urge the viewer to hold and caress them. They’re frequently decorated with ornate imagery that’s symbolic in nature, with use of repetition and fragmentation that encourages the viewer to look more closely, and from all angles.

Her work has been a part of 15 group exhibitions, including two shows that exhibited in New Zealand. Her work has also been displayed in Ontario and Nova Scotia, as well as in a number of St. John’s galleries.

Smith has created a series of six ceramic tiles inspired by her Clearing the Ashes collection which she did a solo exhibition with at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Annex Gallery in 2015. The collection of tiles interlinks to form one unified artwork to highlight the connectedness of the arts sector and the Newfoundland and Labrador cultural identity. Of the work, Stefanie says, “every artist being honoured at this awards gala is being recognized for their unique contributions to the arts sector, and through this they are being embraced by a beautiful community of highly skilled, talented, and one of a kind creators.”

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