Group projects are hard enough for adults, so imagine pulling together a group of young artists to collaborate on a single piece of art. That’s exactly what Arts Umbrella artist-instructors Amelia Butcher and Sam Knopp did, leading 12 talented teens on a creative journey that culminated into a large group installation at the new Telus Gardens Building in downtown Vancouver.
“The challenge of this piece was to design and produce a collaborative ceramic installation. Twelve teens came together with different styles and ideas but as the project went on we began to think as one. The piece evolved from our ideas about technology, community and the environment. We were inspired by representation of the growth of a forest, Wi-Fi signals, Vancouver’s mountains and city maps. We’re interested in the harmony and contrast between the natural and the unnatural. We also wanted to represent a community and the idea that many small things can come together and make a big picture. We hand-build all the pieces and formulated our own glaze. Every piece was built from soft wet clay, then refined before being fired in the kiln to a low temperature, glazed and fired again at a higher temperature. Working with clay and as a group has given us insight into other fields of art and collaboration.”