Marianne Burlew. Study X, 2012. Circuit wire. Image courtesy of the artist


Marianne Burlew, Shane McNutt, Grant McRuer, and Amber Zuber

September 21–December 29, 2013

Curated by Melanie Egan and Patrick Macaulay



It is an extraordinarily special feeling when you come across something that sparks your sense of wonder. An emotional or intellectual response is triggered and you become aware of a connection.  This work is to be marveled at and suspend you in a moment of thoughtful consideration.

These artists present an array of remarkable things full of wonder; strange yet familiar, curious and unusual.


Marianne Burlew

Beginning with the idea of weaving as the manifestation of humanity’s basic need to build and create, Marianne Burlew parallels the technique of crochet with architectural design by appropriating mathematic patterns and industrial materials into her work.

Through her practice, Burlew creates small studies that play with colour, surface, form, patterns and stitch types. These small experiments represent an effort to create objects that instigate physical responses between audiences and the materials of a space. Circuit wire, yarn, glue, and ceramic are used playfully as material investigations for larger sculptural pieces that strive to form links between our bodies and the technology that surrounds us.

Marianne Burlew graduated with a BFA in studio art from York University in 2011, with special interest in sculpture and installation. She has since exhibited around southern Ontario in such galleries as Gallerywest, Gladstone Hotel, Gallery 1313, Gallery 918, the Mississauga Livings Arts Center, and the Niagara Arts Center. She has also had the opportunity to exhibit at the Torpedo Factory Art Centre (Alexandria, Virginia). Burlew is currently an Artist-in-Residence in the Textile Studio at the Harbourfront Centre.


Grant McRuer

My work takes a look at the serious and the whimsical sides of life. With the use of non-traditional and traditional materials I fashion my interpretations through what I have witnessed in my many travels, the knowledge I have gleaned through books, or what I have heard and seen in today’s multitude of media outlets. My creations directly seek to interpret my thoughts and through thoughtful manipulation of materials bring forth objects that are both jewellery and works of art. I seek to better understand my surroundings by interacting with ideas that have come before as well as ideas that are both related and not to create a whole new aspect that can be expounded upon. For me it is not the “original idea” that is of most importance, but the amalgamation of past ideas with new interpretations that bring forth a wellspring of creativity and new forms to the world of wearable art.

– Grant McRuer

Born and adopted in Ottawa in 1970, Grant McRuer lived and worked on a dairy farm for 17 years. Following the sale of his father’s farm, Grant embarked on an exploration of the world. Trying his hand at many occupations and finally falling in love with the creation of jewellery. After working for a local goldsmith for several years he decided on furthering his studies in jewellery design at Georgian and George Brown Colleges. Setting up a home business in the late 90’s saw little movement due to financial and family needs. After a 10-year hiatus from the designing of jewellery, he returned to complete a BFA in jewellery at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University. His love of travel and ethnic jewellery has fueled his creative spirit giving him a wealth of ideas and inspirations that are prevalent in his assertive designs.


Amber Zuber

My work engages in concepts of identity. Through the making of objects that elicit memory, whether experienced or imagined, my work is an investigation of the self and to our attachments. I have a sentimental longing for the past and use ceramics and humour as vehicles of expression in order to examine, re-invent and poke fun. I make objects about myself, and my place in the world.

Family Portrait is a series of objects whose form and utility have been replaced in the everyday by newer technologies. These redundant objects from the past, souvenirs of yesterday, are still representative and filled with meaning. These forms signify identity, an idea, a status, a moment in time, an individual or a collective memory…a dream.

Remember, imagine and make believe.

– Amber Zuber

Amber Zuber has a BA in History from McMaster University. She studied Ceramics at the Sheridan College, School of Craft & Design. She completed a summer assistant residency at Peters Valley Craft Centre in the ceramics studio in 2012. She was accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence programme in June 2013 and was awarded a scholarship.

Zuber has received many awards, most recently two graduate exhibition awards for best in show: The Gardiner Museum Award and The Ottenmiller Graduate Exhibition Award, while in her final year at Sheridan.


Shane McNutt

My current earthenware work focuses heavily on imagery, more specifically late 80’s and early 90’s video games. I have a love of video games and 8-bit pixelated images, which stems from a sense of nostalgia and an interest in fantastical stories and mystical worlds. The bulk of this new series of work is comprised primarily of wall plates and domestic objects. The video game imagery has become the base for my surface decoration, which allows me to create a narrative while the objects themselves have become more of a canvas rather than a mere functional piece of pottery. With this work I am attempting to lure in a younger demographic and expose them to an art form they may have not had an interest in before while at the same time educating a new generation about craft.

– Shane McNutt

Shane McNutt is a Toronto-based ceramic artist. He received his education from the Ontario College of Art & Design, majoring in Ceramics and has also received training from Sheridan College (Oakville, ON). Over the last few years his work has focused primarily on thrown porcelain domestic objects, thick slip decoration, and carved surfaces. More recently, McNutt has completed a year-long Artist-in-Residence position at Medalta (Medicine Hat, AB). Over the year, his work has evolved into thick slab-built earthenware wall plates and domestic objects inspired by video game imagery. In September 2013, McNutt began the Artist-in-Residence programme at Harbourfront Centre. Shane McNutt has exhibited both locally and nationally and sells his work through various retail outlets.

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