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Ceramic exhibition will get Cowichan Fired Up!

The exhibit opens on April 4 at CVAC gallery, with a second show at Metchosin Hall on May 24 and 25

It has been said that in the wrong hands clay is just dirt, but in the right ones it becomes art.

Fired Up! which was first formed in 1984 is a group of professional ceramic artists and potters who are honouring 40 years with two upcoming art shows, one bringing their works to Cowichan.

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“It feels great and really kind of remarkable, it’s hard to believe that the time has gone by so quick,” said artist Cathi Jefferson. “With this being our 40th year we wanted to celebrate the fact that we’ve been together for four decades.”

Fired Up! is the longest running ceramic exhibition group in Canada. Their first ceramics exhibition was hosted in Metchosin 40 years ago by the renowned Robin Hopper and Judi Dyelle when they first brought together 12 ceramic artists. Their goal was to show the public how many diverse ways there are to work with clay, while promoting the understanding and appreciation of ceramics as an art form. Over the years there have been 28 members with the group that represent some of the most important and influential Canadian ceramic artists of our time — there are 11 members currently. Jefferson who has been creating art for 50 years started off as a guest artist with the group and was approached to become a member in 1998. For more information visit

“When I was asked to be a member of the group, I was just so honoured,” said Jefferson. “It meant a lot to me.

The display featuring contemporary work from current artists as well as iconic work from past members will first be unveiled at the Cowichan Valley Arts Council Gallery on April 4 from 5 to 8 p.m., and as a part of recognizing this impressive milestone this art expo will run out of that space until May 2. The Cowichan Artisans, a local group of 16 professional artists who are known for doing spring and fall tours, will be showing their work in the smaller gallery. The opening for both displays is on April 4. The exhibit will then have it’s regular weekend show in Metchosin Hall on May 24 and 25.

“The Cowichan Artisans are all full time professionals. You will just be amazed at the variety and the quality of the work in both shows,” said Jefferson. “We have really tried to not only show the breadth and styles of pottery but what all can be done with clay.”

Jefferson said that one of her favourite parts of this annual event is coming together as a group.

“It is kind of like family in a way,” said Jefferson. “We have all exhibited together, so it’s really quite wonderful to be together with each other. The huge variety that the group creates is quite astounding. I hope people come away feeling wow, that was made with clay. There is such variety and skill involved in the work that they’ll see.”