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Keith Campbell

Keith Campbell

Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design

Degree: Ceramics and Glass

Year of graduation: 1970

Crafting a Canadian Identity

Keith Campbell’s work has appeared in over 260 exhibitions with works included in the permanent collections of the Royal Ontario Museum and the National Museum of Civilization. He has won 48 awards, including Canada’s 125th Commemorative Medal (a Governor General’s Award) and the John Mather Medal from the Ontario Craft’s Council. Keith has been honored by Fusion: the Ontario Clay and Glass Association with the tile of Elder. In 2009 alone, he won a Best in Show Award at the national exhibition, Powerplay 2009 and the Award of Excellence in the provincial exhibition, Ontario Craft ’09. He is one of Sheridan’s first graduates.

My style of clay work has been described as visual storytelling utilizing humor and sarcasm. If so, I have told many epic stories over the past four decades. I have conducted over 40 workshops and lectures across Canada, including a lecture about my work at Toronto’s George Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art in September, 2010.

I have taught at Sheridan, George Brown and Canadore College in North Bay, where I remained for 32 years. After retiring from Canadore in late 2009, I received the title of Artist in Residence Emeritus from the college. I am now picking up my career as a full time studio artist once again. My current project is an exhibition called “A Journey Through Time” that will travel to select galleries across Canada starting in September 2011.

Sheridan in the late 1960s was a fantastic environment on all levels. The first students had to build most of the equipment in the Ceramics Department. The faculty was dedicated, open and enthusiastic, giving us the support and opportunity to exhibit our work. The atmosphere was electric and we were riding the wave of a crafts revival in the world at large. As such, we first graduates had the world at our feet, in a way. We had a blank sheet to develop craft education, organizations, trends and a way of life. Those early Sheridan graduates influenced and set in motion what craft has become today.

We may have had the chance shape the world of crafts, but today’s alumni have other opportunities that were not available to us. Artists can now advertise and sell their work to an almost unlimited market, thanks to internet websites, blogs, facebook and flickr. There are more shops, galleries, shows and other venues through which artists can sell their creations. And, of course, today’s arts students have the outstanding reputation of Sheridan as the best crafts school in Canada behind them when they graduate.

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