Amanda Henderson, Anticlastic Bracelet Design Process, 2009. Photo courtesy of the artist.

First Hand

Jesse Bromm, Stephanie Fortin, Amanda Henderson, Janet Macpherson

June 18–September 25, 2011

Curated by Melanie Egan and Patrick Macaulay


Artists newly accepted into Harbourfront Centre’s artist-in-residence programme exhibit their works, demonstrating they are among the best and brightest of Canada’s contemporary craft scene.


Jesse Bromm

The need to ask questions and pose ideas, to challenge or discuss, to create a voice; these are the needs that drive me. My work revolves around you, around human action and progress. I strive not to judge or lay flat the problems of man, but to discuss and feel the things that are close to my heart. I believe glass to be the perfect material for this, because it is something that exists only in our own perception of it. Through my relationship with glass I believe I can craft change.

– Jesse Bromm

Jesse Bromm is a proud Canadian who is just getting into the Toronto art scene through a fulltime residency at Harbourfront Centre. He graduated from Sheridan College, where he held a teaching assistantship.

Stephanie Fortin

I choose to work as a textile designer to be part of a creative chain reaction of sorts. My textiles are created to inspire beautiful garments that, in turn, will inspire style.

My designs all start with one initial inspiration, mark-making influenced this particular collection. I find it intriguing that a single mark can suggest endless opportunity and creativity. This collection combines traditional methods of print and dye to create contemporary designs.

– Stephanie Fortin

Stephanie Fortin grew up in Kincardine, Ontario on Lake Huron. She attended Sheridan College for Illustration and went on to obtain her BFA with a focus in Textiles and Art History from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University in 2009.

Fortin has showcased her textiles in the Off the Cuff fashion design competition in 2009. In 2008 Seeds Gallery at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design University she was invited as one of the spotlight artists in the Nocturne: Art at Night festival, where she exhibited fashion illustrations.

Fortin currently resides in Toronto, where she is preparing to launch her business Coeur De Lion Textiles which will focus on providing eco-friendly collections and custom designs for the fashion industry.

Amanda Henderson

Jewellery creation is a true passion of mine. I begin with a multi-stage design process to ensure unique and attractive jewellery. The soft curves and exciting twists that are distinctive of my designs imbue my work with a style that recalls the Art Nouveau period, yet the technical refinement creates a clean and modern quality.

There is a single day that stands out in my mind as the day that influenced my style as an artist. My grade 12 art teacher told us that everyone can draw a line, but only artists draw beautiful lines. I took this simple phrase to heart and to this day I strive to create beautiful lines.

– Amanda Henderson

Growing up in Winnipeg, Amanda Henderson has always been an artist at heart and began her career by drawing on the walls at home. Through art classes, her passion flourished, and there was never again a wall left undecorated.

While studying in George Brown College’s Jewellery Arts program, Henderson refined her style and learned to incorporate three-dimensional form and volume into her work. She graduated with honours and received several awards for her jewellery and gemology studies. She has been featured in Fiat Lux, an exhibition at Calgary’s InFlux Gallery, and has recently received third place in the Hoover and Strong Harmony Jewelry Design Competition.

Janet Macpherson

The objects I make live in a complicated space. They are emotionally loaded sculptures full of pathos and palpable intensity, but they are also tied to the world of collectible porcelain. At first glance they are the innocuous occupants of the shelf or the mantle, but upon closer inspection their subversive reality is exposed. Heads are duplicated and pushed together, limbs are amputated or obscured, and faces are masked and perforated. Human and animal forms are combined to create grotesque hybrid beings. I am interested in investigating peculiar things that live on the edge of normal, incongruous things that exist side-by-side, and things that make us wonder and compel us to look again.

– Janet Macpherson

Janet Macpherson received her BA in philosophy at York University in 1997, and in 1999 she began studying ceramics at the Sheridan Institute of Technology. Macpherson maintained a successful studio practice in Toronto for six years, and exhibited her work at several galleries in Toronto, including the George R. Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art and the gallery of the Ontario Crafts Council. She has also shown work internationally in Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia and Cincinnati as well as The Pottery Workshop in Hong Kong.

Macpherson received her MFA in ceramics from the Ohio State University in 2010. Presently she lives and maintains a studio in Columbus, Ohio, and is a lecturer in the department of art at the Ohio State University.