Grace Nickel is an award-winning artist who has been successful in numerous competitions, including the Mino International Ceramics Competition, Japan and the Taiwan Ceramic Biennale. Her work was selected for the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in Korea and several times for the NCECA Annual Exhibition.
Public commissions include Donors’ Forest created for the Beechwood National Cemetery of Canada in Ottawa and her work has been collected by numerous public institutions including the Museum of Modern Ceramic Art in Gifu, Japan, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She has been in many group exhibitions and her solo exhibitions include A Quiet Passage at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Devastatus Rememorari at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and Arbor Vitae at the Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery.
With a BFA from the University of Manitoba and an MFA from NSCAD University, Grace has a long history of involvement with the arts community and teaching art. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Art at the University of Manitoba and a member of the RCA.
While at Medalta I’m investigating work that navigates the zone between tradition and innovation, between nature and culture, between sculpture and the vessel. With a return to my roots in ceramics, looking to ceramic history for information and inspiration, combined with a close observation of nature, I am re-introducing the vessel into my practice after many years of moving away from it and concentrating primarily on architectural ceramic sculpture.
My new works explore the metaphoric potential of the vessel to show decay, fragility, and vulnerability, but also implying sustenance, strength, and longevity within a medium that is timeless, resilient, and permanent. By combining the vessel and sculpture, old technology and new, I am working to establish a connection between my forms that reflects the shared experience and empathy that exists between living beings in distress.