Carnival, caravans and houses continue the evolution of Terry Bouton’s travelling machines as the result of her latest voyage to a residency in Quebec city. In the closing months of 2010 she found an architectural wonderland and plenty of ideas in the historic wintery Quebec. Her newest work is the result of a ceramic residency at Maison des Metiers d’art de Quebec found in port side Quebec city: the oldest fortressed city in the new world.

Working with foreign materials and integrating travel with her work is not new to Terry who spent 3 months in New Delhi 5 years ago. This time, however, the architecture and the concept of sounds and faces moving through buildings provided the impetus to produce her Maison des Metiers, Maison de Carnival and Train of Trainers which were recently on exhibition in the city. Surrounded by turrets, shutters windows and French roofs the studios of Maison des Metiers d’art de Quebec offers the perfect facilities for an overseas residency. The ceramics atelier offers two floors of studio space with a range of electric kilns and a large gas kiln. The department also has a full glaze studio and a wonderful mould making studio where one can study traditional methods with a master from a family of plaster casters. The focus is on empowering students with technique and skill acquisition as well as the development of sound business knowledge. There are many specialist staff who teach weekly classes and each department also has wonderfully helpful technicians with most speaking some English. The studios are also open 6 days a week and most evenings till 9 pm which gives everyone that extra bit of time to work. Access is also available to the fabric arts and sculpture studios and an interdisciplinary approach is welcomed. A changing series of conferences promotes interaction between students, teachers and visiting lecturers. The director Carole Baillargeron, an artist herself, supports and fully understands the benefits of having resident artists.

While the residency is free it does not usually include accommodation. This however can be found cheaply nearby. Although the usual length of a residency is between 4 and 6 weeks, extensions may be possible. There are many experiences to enjoy in Quebec city during a residency. Just venture one block south to find the Art Dept of University of Laval and just across the park the Meduse contemporary art spaces. A little further away there are numerous art galleries and art studios. Quebec city is particularly supportive of unique crafts. Just below Maison des Metiers d’art de Quebec, at ground level is Centre Materia, a highly respected and contemporary international art space. While the art scene is fantastic further afield of course you can find wonderful sightseeing shopping and every other seasonal sport available. Three hours drive from Quebec is Montreal with its own galleries and craft institutions including Concordia University where Jean Pierre Larocque is the Head of Ceramics. While the ground floor of Maison des Metiers d’art de Quebec offers a large window space with the potential to exhibit at the end of your residency there are further opportunities to explore in Canada. Toronto hosts One of a Kind a couple of times a year and SoFA is held nearby in New York and Chicago annually. There are many smaller craft expos also and with a little French it may be possible to find oneself some new markets and galleries. So… if you have a desire to travel, make art and meet wonderful people, have a look at the residency opportunities at Maison des Metiers d’art de Quebec. I may see you there too. I enjoyed myself so much so that I even bought a house with studio space just 3 blocks away!

Bon voyage and bonne chance!

Postscript Opportunity:
Terry is looking for student/s who would like to help set up her studio in Quebec. For free accommodation and food you need to be willing to work 20 hours a week.
To apply send a resume, 10 images of your work and a letter stating why you would like this opportunity.

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