Longtime SCC staff member Leslie Potter has decided to retire. Les has decades of experience as a practicing artist, teacher, curator, preparator and vital member of the artistic community of Saskatchewan AND of course, as an SCC staff member.
As we celebrate his time with us over the next three months, the Saskatchewan Craft Council will be running Ask Les, your opportunity to ask him anything, about anything.
Submit your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Ask Les in the subject line.
We accept any and all questions (but can’t guarantee they will all be answered)!
Are you going to keep making art, Les? I hope you do!
Absolutely! I am currently writing songs, something I have been doing off and on in spurts for the past 45 years. I am trying to muster up the fortitude to perform, something that visual artists don’t have to do. Also, I am planning to engage in some painting activity, again, something I have been doing in spurts for the past 45 years. And, of course, I will always be working in 3 – D.
What are your top 5 exhibitions? Why?
The first one that comes to mind is “Music In Your Ear” which was probably my first “solo” curated exhibition. It brought together most of the makers in Saskatchewan and we had a variety of instruments, everything from a long Swiss Alps Horn through to Harps, Cellos, Violins and Guitars (and many more). Fury Guitar maker Glenn McDougall was featured; he was probably the first professional luthier in Saskatchewan and has been selling throughout the world since 1962.
A lot of exhibitions I was involved in were co-curated, partly because of job-sharing with colleagues and these were mostly focused on group exhibitions. “Early Saskatchewan Woodworkers” was a pivotal exhibition for me as I was able to work with Dan Ring from the Mendel Art Gallery and learned quite a bit about the curatorial process. We had joint exhibitions of early 20th Century furniture, objects and tools.
“Creativity and Spirituality” I co-curated with Lorne Calvert. I had long felt that the creative process is akin to spiritual development and this gave me the opportunity to become involved in displaying that notion with the able assistance of many makers. Lorne and I mused over many applications and I think the end result was a powerful statement on what happens when you relax your mind and create.
“The seeds for “Photographic Phantasmagoria” took a while to mature. It was a show I always wanted to do for many reasons, but mostly because of the changes in technologies over the past couple of decades. I think photography is like the canary in the mine – it is one of the first crafts to be affected so dramatically by technological change and should, therefore, serve as a wake-up-call to makers in other mediums.
Most recently, “Royal Ceremonial Tapestry” from the collector, Geoffrey Bendel has to be included because of its richness and powerful presence. These amazing textiles and artifacts from the people of Sumba showed all viewers that this was world class stuff. Ikat is a complex weaving process and through Bendel’s many educational components, visitors were able to understand this process and the culture from whence it came.
There are scores more: Guild Shows, Dimensions, Emma Shows, Spectacular One Person Shows. I could be writing forever!