September Newsletter, 2023

The Pretty Ugly : Art Beyond Beauty Show asked artists to consider the notion of “ugliness” in a real and dedicated way and present pieces that represented a risk, a reveal of something perhaps not usually presented as a “commercially viable” art piece. Take in artworks that will take you “Beyond Beauty” – from materiality to content- you’ll see artworks that show a depth of courage to reveal something “real” and vulnerable. Each artist has looked either deeply within themselves or out into the world to explore the powerful theme of what is seen as “ugly” in the context of our culture.

Free Expression Workshop

Date and Time: Sat, Sept 9th 9:30am- 4:30pm
Fee: $205
Location: 4495 Happy Valley Road, Metchosin Arts and Cultural Center
Contact Angela:  to register

Free Expression Painting is a means of touching the thing that many people feel is missing in their lives – an authentic way of expressing the images and stories that we all have inside. Each of us has a unique vision of the world. The greatest and most masterful painters were those who had the need and the courage to express their original vision, even if it stood outside the acceptable norms of the time. “Different” or “ugly” is often later understood as genius.
We will use very simple inexpensive paints and brushes, journaling and various other writing techniques to open us to the creative self. Students interact with the teacher one on one, but there is no critique or analysis of the work within the class. Your paintings are for you. No one is allowed to comment on anyone else’s work. My chief goal is to create a safe place for everyone to explore the immense joy of finding a space of trust in the power of their creative core. This happens by allowing and accepting whatever images come up within the process.

Cyanotype Workshop Coming Soon

Photos of a weekly model are sent out Sunday evening or Monday mornings to all portrait painters who have signed up. Create your own portrait in any medium and have fun! Please contact Diana to sign up, or for more details, at 250-888-9533, or

Tuesday Life Drawing

This is an open invitation to artists of all experience to join us Tuesdays from 10-12 in the upstairs DIY studio at Metchosin Arts and Cultural Centre. Sessions are $10 payable in cash on the day you attend. Models are nude and the room holds 20 people (first come first served) and sorry, is not wheelchair friendly. For more information contact the coordinator, Janet Moore at

Shore to Shore West Shore Pottery Tour 2023: Metchosin Tour Site

The Shore to Shore tour has been running every October since 2021 and celebrates and showcases the many ceramic artists located on Greater Victoria’s West Shore. We have 14 participating potters this year, and stops on the map include: View Royal, Comwood, Langford, Metchosin and Sooke. Metchosin ArtPod is thrilled to showcase five of those artists who are members of our collective.

Diana Smith:
I have been making art, working with clay, thinking, talking and writing about art for many decades. I graduated in ceramics from Emily Carr University in 2011. I combine clay and encaustic to make mostly two and a half dimension artwork. Clay is a perfect companion medium for encaustic, both of which I combine to make two-and-a-half dimension artwork for the wall. I am a founding member of the ArtPod collective and have participated in the Shore to Shore Tour for the past 3 years.

Memet Burnett:
I am a self-taught ceramic and 2D artist and have interests in both the sculpted and written word. I first worked with clay alongside my mother, and have taken workshops and courses with diverse mentors over the past 25 years. I helped found the Westshore Pottery Studio drop-in programme, and remain as a volunteer in this public studio. I make sculptures and decorative art which tell stories. I am drawn to bright colours, and enjoy the vibrancy and immediacy of underglazes. Reading and research inspires many of my sculptures, as does writing and poetry. I like to think of my works as sculpted words.  I am a founding member of Metchosin ArtPod and have participated in the Shore to Shore Tour for the past 3 years as a committee member and an artist.

Derek Kasper
I am amazed that I have been working with clay for 30 years! Most of that time has been as “an artist with a day job” but have taken it up full time for a little more than three years now and am loving the ability to focus on ideas and challenging work. I focus mainly on larger work, and textured surfaces. Textures of all sorts are a constant in my work and my glazing is primarily designed to make those textures pop. Large chatter-textured bowls are a staple of my practice, as well as architectural faceted handbuilt forms. I mostly work with porcelain and porcelaneous stoneware, generally fired to about 2230 deg F in an oxidation kiln.Three main areas of exploration are thrown large stoneware bowls and jars, faceted forms, and highly chattered and thin translucent porcelain bowls. My curiosity and creativity have allowed me to try many concepts in ceramic art and I constantly strive to push the limits of my abilities and the materials. I am  a previous winner of an Award of Excellence at the Sooke Fine Arts Show, was an award winner at the Sidney Fine Arts Show and  in 2018 and was the winner of the Best 3D entry in the Art Victoria Now show. I have attended numerous sessions at Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts. (MISSA), am currently represented by the Avenue Gallery on Oak Bay Avenue where some larger works can be found. I am one of the newest members of the ArtPod collective and have participated in the Shore to Shore Tour for the past two years.

Phyllis Schwartz:
My art career includes photography, ceramics and publishing. At Emily Carr University, I consolidated these interests with a concentration in photography. Between 2005 and 2020, I worked as an artist in residence in Lower Mainland schools and maintained a long-term residency at Tupper Secondary School, where I continued my experimentation in glaze development and surface design. In my ceramic practice, I explore glaze materials and effects in sculptural and functional forms. This work makes it possible for me to share the social history and ecology of BC ceramics, and the connection between earth materials, art and technology. My art is an attempt to transform texture, colour and form into a playful aesthetically engaging object. Working in photography, clay and drawing, I seek to express whimsy, surprise and the opportunity for viewers to bring their own experience to my artwork. My artist practice also provides me with the opportunity to not only use my art as a means to create imagery but also one that provokes viewers to look again and look for more. I am an experimental ceramic artist who works spontaneously in a wide range of ceramic processes: traditional firing methods, gas firing, wood firing, pit firing and raku firing. My preference is to work with porcelain, but if there is an opportunity to experiment with native clay, I set everything aside to discover what this source has to offer. I am a glaze maker and spend many hours formulating, testing and tweaking materials for a dazzling surface design.  Currently, I am a member of the Metchosin ArtPod where I continue to share, show and sell my work. This is my first year participating in the Shore to Shore Tour.

Irene Ives:
I have been engaged in ceramics and visual arts for over 40 years and produce and sell my work from my home studio in Colwood, BC. I am heavily influenced by the materiality of clay and consider my work to be a collaborative dialogue between my creative instincts, and the properties and demands of the clay itself. My work is about texture, patina, erosion, accretion -the pieces are imperfect, and irregular; reflecting the ever-evolving surfaces and forms found in nature. I continue to be fascinated by the archival qualities of clay and the relationship between this medium and humans over time. My process purposefully includes evidence of the maker’s hand and I strive to create pieces that beg to be touched and handled. I employ a variety of handbuilding techniques and Cone 6 oxidation or alternative firing processes to produce both decorative and functional ceramic pieces.  I am a member of the South Island Potters Guild, participate in Victoria’s TD Paint In, am a member of  the Metchosin ArtPod artist collective and my work is often featured in the ArtPod Gallery. I am a founding member of the Shore to Shore West Shore Pottery Studio Tour Committee and will have my home studio in Colwood open as a Tour destination, while also having work at the ArtPod Gallery.


Congratulations to Diana Smith, Mary Wulff and Margo Farr for receiving jurors choice awards, in our current show Pretty Ugly: Art Beyond Beauty.Congratulations

Home Exhibition Next

ArtPod’s member exhibit, beginning in October 2023, explores all things “Home”.

Home is a concept we hold in our hearts, a place more felt than touched. Home is about much more than little boxes on the hillside, more than a cliché, a term usurped by big box stores tied in with consumerism.  Homes come in all shapes and concepts.  It may be the part of the planet with which we most identify and feel comfortable.  It may be held by a community or persons alive or passed or found in traditions or objects that hold memories.  It may be a place we go to in our imagination, like in Alice in Wonderland or The Chronicles of Narnia.  It may be a view from space of our tiny blue planet and the narrow spectrum of climate that we live in and can call Home, or it may be a look at the borders that lawfully define where we are permitted to call Home.  Home may be deeply rooted and present, or an innovative concept, a dream of a place that is yet to exist, or an invented technological organism capable of providing the essential protection that Home offers.


Exhibition Dates: Oct 6 through Nov 12, 2023
Gallery Hours: FRI through SUN 11-4
Gala: Oct 7th, 2 pm-4 pm. Open to all.
Location: 4495 HAPPY VALLEY RD, Metchosin, BC

Small Art Works Winter Show and Sale

You are invited to submit a minimum of three sample images of small artworks to our
juried show, Small Artworks Winter Show & Sale. Work can be submitted from
September 1st until the deadline, midnight November 3rd .We hope to have a diverse range
of engaging, small artwork of all mediums available for visitors throughout the six-week
show which runs from Friday, November 17th to Sunday December 24th . The gallery is
open Fridays to Sunday 11am to 4pm.