Coming done from the May residency and the group that came during that time, June became a much more quiet and focused affair. The artists who came in to Medalta were mostly seasoned artists with businesses and 4 of them had previous experiences of being an artist at Medalta- at the old Hycroft factory.
The artists were Todd Leech, Stephanie Craig, Brian McArthur, Dawn Detarando, Ira Richardson and Kyounghwa Oh.
Todd Leech was the person to meet. Surviving a double lung transplant due to Cystic Fibrosis, surviving that and now doing ceramics can be said to be much more than bravery. While Todd focuses on creating functional styled pieces, the results from glazing creates an appearance of sculptural work.
Stephanie Craig , wife to Todd Leech, is someone who I describe as a quiet, controlled artist. She always had a quiet way about her, more so when she worked , the focus was needed for the work she was making. I describe it architectural sculptures, hollowed out. I also relate the pieces to deconstruction of artificial objects, the decay over time. Social aspects are raised in her work as well, but I saw mostly the architectural replicas.
Brian McArthur and Dawn Detarando, another artist couple, hailing from Red Deer, AB. Brian and Dawn own a ceramic tile company, Voyager Art and Tile, but they focused on their love of sculptural ceramics during their time at Medalta. I found that they compliment each others work very well,while Brian focuses on the figurative sculptural and Dawn on the nature themed subject. These two brought a lively energy to the month of June, getting everyone together for pizza nights and general get-together’s and were always open to conversations from anything related to business within ceramics to organic farming.
KwyoungHwa Oh , winner of the 2013 Medalta cup show ( in which the prize awarded her the one month residency of June), is an artist from South Korea. I describe her work, and process of work, as simply “insane”. The work and detail she puts into each piece, and the time it takes to create these beautiful functional pieces is astounding. The detail itself speaks volumes as to the character of the maker.
Lastly, Ira Richardson is a student at the University of Michigan. Ira is a multi- disciplinary student, and his ceramic work while at Medalta showed one of his loves in life, fishing. He also left a little memento for everyone at Medalta, a knitted (in a sense) symbol taken from Medalta’s very own. Ira’s work was playful and also related to the history of the site, due to Ira using the clay found around Medalta.