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