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Jan Grove, Vase with Double Neck

Jan Grove, Vase with Double Neck (1967), fired earthenware with black decor [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, Jan 21-May 28] Photo: BOb Matheson, Collection of Alexander Forrester

Jan and Helga Grove
Life with Clay: Pottery & Sculpture

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Victoria BC – Jan 21-May 28, 2017

Jan Grove, Jug

Jan Grove, Jug (1967), hard-burned earthenware with matte glaze [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC, Jan 21-May 28] Collection of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery

Jan and Helga Grove in the garden at the Sooke Rd. studio c. 1970

Jan and Helga Grove in the garden at the Sooke Rd. studio c. 1970, Photo: Karl Spreitz

Curated by Allan Collier, a furniture designer and enthusiast of post-war Canadian design, this comprehensive retrospective celebrating the storied careers of Jan and Helga Grove includes approximately 60 pieces of pottery and 40 sculptures, as well as a series of archival photographs and exhibition catalogues.

The Groves met while in apprenticeship to Jan’s mother, a master potter, and his father, who together ran a pottery studio in Lubeck, Germany. After several years working in small ceramics factories, Jan, a master potter himself, and Helga, a journeyman potter, moved to Istanbul for five years, where Jan worked as a teacher and where both artists were further influenced by regional design traditions.

Arriving in Victoria in 1965, the Groves were immediately embraced as world-class craftspeople. They were invited to participate in many groundbreaking craft shows, most notably Canadian Fine Crafts at Expo 67, as well as a solo exhibition in 1972 hosted by the Canadian Guild of Potters in Toronto. Members of the renowned Limners, the Groves operated a very successful pottery studio in Colwood and later in Metchosin, producing thousands of pieces of functional pottery and eventually devoting all of their studio time to the creation of expressive sculpture.

Christine Clark

 Wed, Feb 8, 2017