Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Holidays!

The Arts Centre will be closed @ 5:00pm on Friday the 17th of December. It will remain closed until Monday Jan. 3rd , 2011 @ 9:00am.

On behalf of all the NMPAC staff, wishing you and your families the joy and happiness during this Christmas/Holiday season and an exciting and art filled New Year!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Custom Christmas Classes!

In addition to our registered seasonal programs, NMPAC will be offering an additional series of four art workshops in celebration of winter. The focus will be on exploring mixed mediums, experiencing a variety of sculpting techniques, and practicing design fundamentals.

If you are interested or would like to register for any of these custom programs, please visit the office or contact us at 403-221-3682.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

NMPAC Pottery Studio Member's Christmas Sale

It's that time of year again! The return of ever popular NMPAC Member's Studio Christmas Pottery Sale! The sale takes place at the Triwood Community Association Hall on Sunday, November 7th from 10am to 4pm. Bring a friend, tell a friend!

"Out of the Blue" 2010 Staff Exhibition

By all accounts, this year's staff exhibition entitled "Out of the Blue" has been a great success. The wide array of media and level of skill on display this year continues to attract the attention of visitors and students. This show features the work of 23 working artists who are also instructors and staff at NMPAC. The Exhibition will remain up for public viewing until November 6th.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gwendolyn Yoppolo Workshop

During the last week of August, 12 students attended this Summer's 2010 Ceramic Workshop at the North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre. Gwendolyn Yoppolo was the featured artist and spent 5 days in studio teaching and demonstrating her interesting and sensitive ways of making clay objects.

There was opportunity to engage, create, explore, dialogue and socialize. The staff and participants at NMPAC wish to extend thanks to Gwendolyn for the journey here to graciously share her practice. Gwendolyn continues her residency at Archie Bray in Helena Montana through to January 2011.

If you would like more information regarding any other professional workshops hosted at North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre, please call the office at 403-221-3682. - Laurie Yearwood, NMPAC Arts Specialist

Monday, August 30, 2010

Alberta Landscapes Acrylic Painting Workshop

This summer’s annual Adult visual arts workshop was a great opportunity for students to challenge themselves to portray a familiar subject which is also endlessly diverse. Instructor Sandra Civitarese was on hand to provide valuable, insightful knowledge on capturing Alberta’s wide-ranging terrain. Everything from the open plains to the expansive foothills to the Rocky mountain vistas was represented by the participants in this unique two day course.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Then and Now - 1945 to 2010

Thanks to the thoughtfulness of Wilma Sorenson, whose father Irving Vanderburgh was Principal of the Mount Pleasant School in 1945-46, we received a packet of black and white photos taken by Mr. Vanderburgh. Interestingly, children attending the Arts Centre for summer art camps still take their play breaks in the field on the south side of the building.

Not much has changed for the Mount Pleasant Bungalow School! The building still serves as the heart of the community, providing high quality fine arts instruction for children, families youth and adults. The Arts Centre is a place of multigenerational engagement and a venue for inquisitive learning and inaginative creative play. It is a vital community hub serving families from all parts of north Calgary, intimately connecting the past, present and futures of our city's citizens.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Another successful wood-fire!

Art instructor and ceramic artist Laura Sharpe was the latest to take on the challenge of a solo wood-fire. North Mount Pleasant’s 30 cubic foot wood kiln took approximately 12 hours to fire and the results were beautiful. You can find Laura’s ceramic creations at artist markets and gallery’s across Alberta.

The coming fall looks to be a busy time for our wood kiln, more to come! - Aura Carney (NMPAC Ceramics Technician)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Art Venture camps in full swing!

This is just a small sampling of the wonderful work being produced here each day throughout the summer.

It’s hard to believe that we’re already half through this busy summer Art Camp season. The past weeks have been full of artful activities and fun as this summer promises to be our most successful yet.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Gwendolyn Yoppolo Profile

We are very excited to be hosting this workshop next month at the Arts Centre. There has been an overwhelming response and we are happy to announce that it is full!

Gwendolyn Yoppolo is currently a studio artist in residency at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. She has spent previous years as a Studio Technician at Alfred University and as Assistant Professor at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, before leaving to devote more attention to her studio practice.
Her roots in clay go back to her experience at Supermud community pottery in New York City in the early 1990's, when she worked with peer apprentices to build a wood kiln out in the country. The experience of collaboration and the exhilaration of firing those early pots with wood cemented her passion and dedication to working with clay.Gwendolyn has spent time at Arrowmont, Penland, Haystack, and Watershed. She completed her MFA at Penn State University in 2006, receiving two fellowship awards for her research using the scanning electron microscope. Recent awards include Grand Prize in Pottery Making Illustrated's Thinking Outside the Bowl contest, and exhibition awards including in the Jersey Shore Clay National, the 6th Annual National Juried Cup Show, Strictly Functional Pottery National, and the 4th Annual Soda/Salt National. This past year she served as juror for the Down to Earth pottery exhibition and event, which brought together potters, chefs, and farmers in a celebration of local community and culture.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Toast 'n Jam Gig Poster Workshop

On Thursday August 5, NMPAC Instructor Tom Bagley will be leading a Gig Poster workshop for band members from the 2010 Toast 'n Jam high school band competition.

This workshop is a partnership with CNS North (Aaron Taylor) and CNS West (John Merriman) to add a visual arts element to the "Industry Sessions" programs that are offered to the band members to support their efforts.

Tom Bagley is not only a professional cartoonist and graphic artist, but also a musician and band member of "Forbidden Dimension" punk rock band.

We felt Tom's abilities would be a perfect fit for Toast 'n Jam and we hope this workshop may become an annual event to add another professional element to this excellent program for youth band members.

North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre is proud to support and host this important initiative for Calgary's youth.

Instructor Profile: Tom Bagley

Tom Bagley is an illustrator, musician and instructor born and raised in Calgary. After a few early childhood years spent in Edmonton and Toronto, he has resided here since 1974.

Tom has been working professionally since 1988, when he graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Having latched onto lifelong interests in dinosaurs, monsters and rock & roll at quite a young age, his work has been used in numerous publications and advertising campaigns as well as on books and CD covers. He has also illustrated 25 years worth of posters for various bands and venues across Canada and abroad.

Drawing inspiration from such sources as old comic books, movies, paperback covers, children’s books, animation and advertising design, Tom combines a "vintage" look with modern subject matter, using a variety of commercial illustration techniques.

For the last few years, he has been enjoying the challenges of teaching the arcane secrets of Comics and Cartooning to a young clientele at the North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Calgary Historic Tour "A Walk Through Time"

Yesterday we hosted 42 avid historians at the Arts Centre for a discussion about the buildings' architectural significance as the only remaining example of three "bungalow" four-room schools that were built between 1912 and 1915. Many of the tour participants lived in the neighborhood and considered the building an iconic community centre. It came as a surprise to many of them how busy the Arts Centre was yesterday - 84 children in 6 classrooms making art projects, as well as a small number of studio potters in the members studio. Lorne Simpson, heritage Architect, gave a very in-depth lecture on the architectural features of the building and of the ceramics wing he designed in 1993/94 after significant consultation with staff and studio members at the time. Very informative lecture tour! We also had former students and the daughter of a former school principal, who brought vintage photos taken by her father in 1945/46. We will post these photos after we scan them into a digital archive file.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Alberta Landscapes Workshop!

Spots are still available for this unique painting workshop in August! Whether you're a Sunday painter, just beginning or looking to add something new to your repetoire - this is a great opportunity!

Call 403-221-3682 for more infomation or to register.

Arts Centre heritage building

The North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre operates from a heritage school in Calgary's northwest, which was built in 1913 as a four room country school, serving the surrounding farming and ranching community. The school was built to be a temporary structure of modest and rigorously symmetrical "bungalow" design. It is wood-framed and clad in cedar with large sash windows facing north and south to capture abundant sunlight. The studio rooms (previously classrooms) are warm and cheery because of the enormous windows.

A purpose-built ceramics wing was added in 1994/95, designed by Calgary's pre-eminent heritage Architect Lorne Simpson. The new wing contains a large and bright studio/classroom, the members ceramics studio and damp room, a bisque kiln area containing five electric bisque kilns, clay storage, a glaze "kitchen" and glaze mixing lab. Attached to the new wing is an outside fenced courtyard containing an iconic round gas kiln shed, a raku kiln area, salt and wood-fired brick kilns.

We are currently working with Calgary's Heritage Planning department to give the historic building official municipal heritage building status, which will protect the exterior architecture in perpetuity. This will happen before 2013, the building's centennial year.

This coming Monday July 26, at 2:00 pm the North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre / Mount Pleasant bungalow school will be toured as part of Historic Calgary week 2010 "A Walk Through Time". The tour will be led by David Peyto of the Chinook Country Historical Society, and Mr. Lorne Simpson, Architect will also be in attendance, along with former students and the daughter of a former school principal, who will share their stories and observations about the school and its importance as a community centre for the past 97 years.

Come to the Arts Centre for a visit or to take a class - and stay for life!

Blog Site Launches July 23, 2010

Hello and welcome to the North Mount Pleasant Arts Blog site. The Arts Centre is a centre of excellence for ceramics and pottery in western Canada, with three classrooms, a members studio and a wide variety of kilns - electric, gas, salt, wood and raku.

We also offer a full spectrum of visual arts classes and workshops for families, children, youth and adults, as well as custom designed programs for groups, businesses, corporations and schools. Not to mention our ability to host arts-based birthday parties on request on Fridays and weekends here at the Arts Centre.

Our classes are advertised seasonally (fall, winter, spring and summer) in the Recreation Program Guide and online at

The staff at the Arts Centre will use this site to advertise special workshops, lectures, demonstrations, special events, wood-firings, kiln-buildings, parties, art showings, .....what have you's. Hey! We're a busy place....

Give our friendly and expert staff a call at 403-221-3682 if you have any questions about our program offerings or other activities. We'd also like to hear from you on our blog.

Michael Benoit, Supervisor