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Joe Lyons discovered his love for clay as a child. A memory he holds close is of his mother bringing him to their local community center in Seattle, Washington for a pottery class, where he made a lemon juicer on the wheel with the help of his instructor. He went home later that day with a package of clay and proceeded to make a dragon sculpture.


Today, Joe is a professional ceramic artist as well as a professional DJ and recording artist. His work is influenced by hip-hop culture. Timeless and celebrating diversity, Joseph looks to honour his influences in the pots he creates through painting. “Graffiti represents personal freedom, risk taking and creating artwork for love and fame, not for financial gain. I love painting the objects I make, sometimes using spray paint, stencils and pens, like I did as a teenager.” He enjoys every part of the creation process, a place he says he finds relaxation and healing is at the potter’s wheel. 


Selling his work at local galleries and markets, Joseph continues to connect with people of all ages through clay. “Ceramics are an essential way I connect with people and form meaningful and productive relationships.  I feel passionate about the collaborative spirit integral to the ceramic medium and specifically my practice.” A teacher at the Bowen Park Pottery Studio, Nanaimo Ceramic Arts and local schools, he encourages his students to see the reward in the process of creating works with clay.

Joe graduated in 2020 from the VIU Visual Arts Program. He and his fellow students had their exhibition online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pandemonium: The Unofficial Graduation Exhibition.

View the exhibition HERE


Want to see more work from Joe?

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The Arts Council of Ladysmith & District and the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery is excited to announce that Joseph will be teaching online pottery workshops in the coming months. Registration and more information will be available soon. Please check back for further details on our website or social media.


Our interview with Vancouver Island Potter, Joe Lyons! Hear his story!


#vancouverisland #vancouverislandpotter #ceramics #canadianartist #ladysmithwaterfrontgallery #artscouncilofladysmith

Born into an artist family, Aleta Crawford, a Vancouver Island artist was introduced to art before she could walk by her father. “It was from him that I would learn an unapologetic love of line, movement and colour, as well as how to grow in my human and artistic expression”. Her world is inspiringly rich with colour and texture-from the ocean’s shores to the rainforest green to the geometry of geology and architecture. An award winning educator in earth sciences and after a lifetime of art, as she works into the night in her studio, she believes that she is only the messenger. “Without an emotional response from the viewer, art is empty. Regardless of genre, images I create are part of the deeper human experience-from melancholy to contemplation to joy.”



Aleta’s work submitted for our current online exhibition, Stories of the Forest, features artwork in cold wax and oil paint. She began her journey in this medium after taking a workshop with Rebecca Crowell that was offered by Vancouver Island Workshops owned by Mary Stewart.


“It is an extremely versatile medium and I have many examples of what can be done with it.  I usually work with large geometric examples. In painting, I’m often pushing the edges of what a medium and various surfaces can produce.”


Aleta’s three pieces in our currently monthly exhibition, Forest Dusk, Forest Dawn, Forest Light, showcase the beauty of light and tranquility.

From left to right: Forest Dawn, Forest Light, Forest Dusk by Aleta Crawford, exhibited currently in 'Stories of the Forest' exhibition


“As an artist on Vancouver Island, I have always been so appreciative of our natural places, some of the most remarkable being our forests.  I usually do non-representational art, but in this case, I choose to go to abstract, my other favorite place.  The glory and wonder of light in the forest was my inspiration.  I don't know how many times I have stood in wonder in the Rathtrevor Provincial Park and quietly spoke words of appreciation and gratitude for the joy of these moments.  I know that I am not alone with that feeling.”


From left to right: Abstract in Red, Cold Wax & Oil on panel board 12x12" and Spirit of the North, Cold Wax & Oil on panel board 36x36"


When asked about her artistic style and journey for her three pieces, Aleta says “I love to experiment with cold wax and oil paint.  They are so versatile and forgiving to work with.  My experiment this time was to introduce Gamsol to the mix and it resulted in some very nice light scenes.  I consider myself a process artist.  I love the process of challenge and discovery.  Every new discovery usually comes after many attempts.  I am a patient person and this has proven to be a heaven sent.  If I was product oriented, I would never have made the new leaps I have been able to make.  Bob Burridge once said, "Jump and the net will appear." I have learned to jump and eventually the net does appear. I love the obstacles and push back that happens in my art studio at times.  I hope that it is something that will always keep me fresh and out of my comfort zone. My grandmother once said, "Every penny has two sides".  I think the same is true for art.  have often said that art is the greatest self- indulgence and the harshest critic.  Maybe these are the two sides of the penny.  I've never thought of that before, but it does make sense.”


Aleta’s cold wax and oil pieces are being used to produce reusable face masks as protection during the current COVID 19 crisis. 


To purchase Aleta's work from this exhibition, please head to: https://www.stories-of-the-fores.ladysmitharts.ca




View more work by Aleta

Website: aletacrawfordart.com

Facebook: Aleta Crawford Art



To view and purchase Aleta’s reusable face masks: art-a-porter.com/aleta.crawford





Gordon Towne has never exhibited his work before this year and we are so excited to have him as a member of the Arts Council of Ladysmith and District with three pieces in our current exhibition 'Stories of the Forest". We admired his beautiful brushwork and movement with ink that we reached out to him to learn a little more about his inspirations as an artist.



"I have always drawn instinctively, but in art school I decided that painting was obsolete and experimented with video images and photography. I liked Kodalith film, which gave a high contrast print with very dense blacks and allowed a range of unusual effects in the darkroom.


A career in the movie industry as a scenic painter followed during the 80's, 90's ( that's painting on an industrial scale! ) and I found that painting may not be obsolete after all.

It was a course given by a visiting Japanese calligraphy master that inspired an interest in the dynamic possibilities of ink and brush. Making that first very black line on the emptiness of a white surface was exciting. However, this beginning lay dormant for years.


After moving to the island, I began wandering a little by oar and sail through our coastal waters, absorbing the endless variations of clouds meeting rock meeting water, the forests that have evolved from a few seeds, uniquely, on every island and outcrop and the contrasts of light and shadow everywhere. I picked up the brush again... a quick and direct way of drawing on memories of the the yins and yangs of our landscape... sort of  'mental photographs'.




Images above from left to right: Weather Shore #3, Beach Path #5, Ink #3


Eventually, I became aware that what I was doing is an ancient practice.

"Sumi-e  (meaning ink painting ) was introduced into Japan in the 14th C. by Zen Buddhist monks. The goal of Sumi-e is to capture the perceived 'spirit' or 'essence' of a subject over direct imitation."


I find this kind of 'meditation' very satisfying, and am moving towards more abstraction and a larger format. I am grateful to this very welcoming gallery for providing an opportunity to share my work."


View Gordon's work along with other artists for our current online exhibition 'Stories of the Forest'. 📲https://www.ladysmitharts.ca/onlinegallery


To purchase work from our exhibitions, please contact the gallery at manager@ladysmithwaterfrontgallery.com




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