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Robin DuPont appointed Nelson’s 2023 Cultural Ambassador

By Contributor
February 21st, 2023

The Cultural Development Committee (CDC), on behalf of the City of Nelson, is pleased to announce ceramic artist and educator Robin DuPont’s appointment as Nelson’s 2023 Cultural Ambassador. 

The award comes with an $1000 honorarium.

DuPont moved to the Kootenays 25 years ago to pursue an arts education at Kootenay School of the Arts, attracted by the supportive and diverse arts community in our region.

Cut to today, and his professional profile as a ceramic artist and educator has garnered both national and international attention. He’s exhibited and lectured widely throughout North America and has received numerous grants and awards, most recently the prestigious Northwest Ceramics Foundation Mayer Wosk Award in 2021.

His work continues to push boundaries of form and surface, while his research into new ceramic surfaces, diagnosing and resolving technical challenges, and the development of new clay bodies and kiln design is unparalleled in current Canadian studio ceramics.

Currently a faculty member of the ceramics program at Kootenay Studio Arts at Selkirk College (KSA), his commitment and passion for sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for the medium of clay has re-invigorated this well-established studio-based program, encouraging the next generation of working potters to make well-crafted pots that demonstrate technical proficiency and dedicate themselves to personal creative development.  

Through his many national and international contacts, DuPont connects KSA students to working potters by bringing in visiting artists and through opportunities after graduation.

“As an arts educator, I take careful responsibility for the role I can play in contributing to building culture here,” says DuPont.

“Each student I teach has the potential to become a ripple of our community and instills in them the importance of arts and cultural development. Culture and the appreciation of the arts is part of the fabric of our community here and it is an honour to be recognized for my contribution. In addition to teaching, maintaining my own creative practice yields yet another layer of engagement abroad by sharing my love of how art and culture can contribute to a more meaningful life.”

In 2023 DuPont is pursuing many opportunities including a month-long artist residency in Northern California, jurying the Alberta Potters Association teapot exhibition, bringing a curated exhibition to the Canadian Craft Symposium in Burnaby, leading a firing workshop in Prince George, and locally, mounting an exhibition with KSA students at The Craft Connection.

Each of these commitments contribute to the visibility and cultural reputation of our region.

“Robin has found the balance that many artists seek, furthering his own artistic practice while generously sharing his knowledge through his teaching,” says Sydney Black, Chair of the CDC.

“We are proud to present him with the 2023 Cultural Ambassador Award, formally acknowledging his accomplishments as both an artist and educator who contributes so much to this community.”

The CDC established the Cultural Ambassador honour in recognition of local individual artists, groups or collectives who have achieved a high standard of excellence in their artistic discipline and who are active not only in Nelson’scultural community but extend their talents to other communities and countries.

The Cultural Ambassador is expected to represent and promote the City of Nelson on their travels, increasing the visibility and cultural reputation of Nelson.

Previous Cultural Ambassadors include author Jane Byers, author Roz Nay, artist/performer Marilyn Hatfield, singer/performer Allison Girvan, dancer Slava Doval, writer Eileen Delehanty Pearkes, visual artist Ian Johnston, musician Bessie Wapp, filmmaker Amy Bohigian, actor Lucas Myers, dancer Hiromoto Ida, author Anne DeGrace, fibre artist Angelika Werth, and the Corazón Youth Choir.

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