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March 2, 2011

Mary Ann Steggles: Ashes to Ashes

Ash to Ashes, an examination of contemporary practice in wood fired ceramics, will be the topic of a lecture by Mary Ann Steggles at the Millenium Library, 251 Donald Street, Anhang Room, on Tuesday, March 8, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.   

Steggles introduces the matriarch of Canadian wood firing, Ruth Gowdy McKinley, whose functional ceramics and classes at Sheridan College influenced numerous Canadian potters until her death in 1981.  

Mary Ann Steggles studied fine arts at the University of Oklahoma before moving to Canada where she established Maple Grove Pottery near Graysville, Manitoba.  Steggles was one of the founding members of the Manitoba Craft Council, co-editor of The Blister and a participating artist in the Manitoba Arts Council’s Artist in the Schools programme from 1977-85.  
In 1985, Steggles returned to university. She received her MA degree from the University of Manitoba in 1990 and traveled to England as a Commonwealth Scholar to read for her Ph.D. in art history.  
Steggles returned to Canada in 1992, teaching at Bishop’s University and then at Acadia University. She is currently Professor of Art History at the School of Art, U of M.  She believes she has ‘come full circle and returned home’.  

Steggles is the international expert in British sculpture commissioned for South and Southeast Asia. Her book Statues of the Raj was published in 2001 and a new book British Sculpture in India – Old Memories and New Views will be released in 2011.  Steggles is a regular contributor to the German Potters Association journal Kalkspatz, and recently presented two talks at the First European Wood firing Conference in Germany.  

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