Christian D Barr January 13 2014

Christian's Artist Statement

I am a potter, clay artist, and designer.  I make pots, clay and mixed media sculptures.

My pots and sculptures are an expression of what is what was and what might be and often think that art is just a glimpse of a beauty that we are not meant to truly understand. Occasionally I get that glimpse.

I primarily work in the genre of Wood-fire ceramics, an ancient technique that I do necessarily view or use as an ancient technique. Wood-fired ceramics has a wonderful continuity to it. Ideas from the processing of clay, through the making, loading, firing then detailing, imaging, re-firing and responding to the work seem to flow back and forth from beginning to end, defying time and there is an extraordinarily strong connection between thought, art and process. This working cycle continually challenges me in many ways; what I think I know, my ideas of beauty, ugliness and expectation.

The works that emerge from the wood kiln are like portals allowing us an opportunity to see what might lie beyond the veil of this perceived reality. Often the work that comes out the kiln is not of the same nature when it went in and I have learned not to expect things from it but to accept it and in the case of my imaged works, to react to it, to change it through applied images and make it anew.   

My body of work is more about a way of thinking than it is about a process or an end product. I seem to work in a state between concept, process and material. Always acting and reacting, always questioning. Moving onward, sometimes to destinations I haven’t even considered.


Christian D Barr

Chistian's CV 


Juried & Invitational Exhibitions 

Vasefinder-  Invitational A Juried Exhibition                                                   2009,10,11

Prairie Excellence -Juried Traveling Exhibition                                                       2010-2013

27th Gold Coast International Ceramic Art Award, Gold Coast City Gallery, QLD, Australia             2010

2010 Clay- Alberta Foundation for the Arts permanent collection

Alberta Potters’ Association Cone Box Show-Cultural Centre Gallery, Medicine Hat, AB                         2008

2008 International Orton Cone Box Show - Juried traveling exhibition          Baker UniversityBaldwin City KS       2008

Affinity: Alberta Ceramics - Invitational juried exhibition.  In conjunction with Invisible/Visible Symposium,

The CODA conference,                Illingworth Kerr Galley, Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD) Calgary AB      2007

Distill – ‘the distill cup’- Juried exhibition                                                                               distill gallery, Toronto ON     2007

In Series – Juried traveling exhibition                                                               The Alberta Craft Council, EdmontonAB      2006

First Fire- Two-man juried exhibition                                                 The Alberta Craft Council, EdmontonAB    2004

Gems from the Firea juried exhibition                     Naked Truth International Wood Fire ConferenceCedar Rapids, IA  2004

Clay Creates Culture - APA Juried exhibition, Juror: John Chalke                           VAAA Gallery, Edmonton  AB      2004

Flashes of Greatness - Guest Curator & Invited exhibitor                   The Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton AB      2003

The Burning - Solo exhibition                                                          The Electrum Gallery in Edmonton AB    2003

Mugs & Jugs – Vessels of Libation - Juried group exhibit            The Alberta Craft Council, EdmontonAB      2003

2002 International Orton Cone Box Show - Juried traveling exhibition          BakerUniversityBaldwin CityKS       2002-04

The APA Member Exhibit - Invitational exhibit    The Aesthetics of Skill Int’l Ceramics Conference - Red Deer College, AB          2002

First Showing - Invitational group exhibition                                                   Full Moon Gallery, Bragg Creek AB     2002

New Works - Two-man show                                                                Muse Gallery, Grande Prairie AB      2002

Culture in the Making - Juried exhibition                                                                             Devonian Gardens in Calgary AB     2002

Instructors Exhibit - Invitational group exhibit            Extension Gallery, University of AlbertaEdmonton AB      2002, 01

Craft vs. Art-the great debate -Juried group exhibition                The Alberta Craft Council, Edmonton AB    2002

Traverse - Juried exhibition                                                                            Avens Gallery, Canmore AB      2001

Awards-Nominations -Residencies

Linda Stanier & Family Memorial Award Winner, Nominated by Richard Selfridge                                              2009

Vasefinder Nationals-Honorable mention award                                                                                                                      2009

Nominee, Linda Stanier Award, Nominated by John Chalke & Barbara Tipton                                                                2008

Invited Artist in Residence, invited by Jack Troy, Juniata College, Huntingdon,PA                                                           2003,04

Emerging Artist 2004, Ceramics Monthly, US                                                                                                                     2004

Bobbi Hoffman Scholarship– Co-recipient with Enzien Kufeld, awarded by the Alberta Craft Council           2003

$15, 000 Project Grant to build the Cat-Coffin wood-fire kiln, awarded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts        2002


Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Permanent collection                                                                                                      2010

The Kirkwood Foundation, Permanent collection                                                                                     2004


Art Unplugged- Article on us, Edmonton Journal, Calgary Harold, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, 2011

See Magazine- October                                                                                                                                                                                2010

Ceramics Review, UK Invited into gallery page                                                                                                                         2008,09

The Woodies of Wildwood- Woodfired periodical from Ireland                                     The Log Book issue 21       2005

500 cups                                                                                                                                                     Larks books, juried       2004

Excerpt from the ‘Book of Shards’… reprinted in Ceramics Review, England                                                                        2004

Another Excerpt from the Book of Shards                                                                                        2003

Excerpts from the Book of Shards column– The Alberta Potters’ Association newsletter                                 2003

One-of-a-kind pieces for the gallery in any home - Edmonton Journal                                                2003

Flame Throwers                                                                                         (One of the featured artists) Legacy Magazine          2003

Canadian Artists find beauty in life through love of Pottery -             Daily news, Huntingdon,PA        2003

Flashes of Greatness – wood fired pottery from around the province          The Alberta Craft Magazine      2003

Feature: Urban Forest Design Studio – Christian Barr & Enzien Kufeld                  The Alberta Craft Magazine       2002

Wood-fire Ceramic Artists enjoy enriched quality of life              Daily news in Grande Prairie, AB       2002

Why Wood - The Alberta Potters’ Association newsletter                                                                            2002

A Tribute to Peggy Heer, 1942–2000 - The Alberta Potters’ Association newsletter                                 2000

APA Wildwood Wood-fire Workshop 2000 cited in The Alberta Potters’ Association newsletter                      2000

Clay, Wood & Fire! - The Alberta Potters’ Association newsletter                                                             1999

Professional Experience

Artist/ Owner Urban Forest Design Studio – with Enzien kufeld                                                Present – 1998

Instructor-Wood-fire workshops at Urban Forest                                                                                    Present – 2005

In Touch – Editor for the Alberta Potters’ Association newsletter                                                          2006 – 2003

Artist in Residence & Technician for Ceramics, Juniata College Huntingdon PA - Invited by Jack Troy                   2004 & 2003 Mar–Apr

Curator “Clay Creates Culture” Juried exhibition for the Alberta Potters’ Association - Juror: John Chalke                    2004

University of Alberta - Extension Instructorfor Design Fundamentals                                    2003 July – 2000 Sept

Instructor- “Wild Fire”the Alberta Potters’ Association Wood-fire Symposium                                        2004, 2003, 2000

2001- 2005 was President of the Alberta Potters’ Association, a non- profit organization promoting Ceramics in Alberta.

I also sat on the VAAA (Visual Arts Alberta Association) Board..

Educational BackgroundPost-Secondary

Diploma in Architectural Technology from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology                           1991

Ceramics & Wood-fire


The Aesthetics of Skill International Ceramics Conference Red Deer, AB                                       2002

Wood-fired Stoneware & Porcelain workshop instructor Jack Troy                                                       2002, 2000

Prairie Fire SaskTerra wood-fire workshop instructor Jeff Stewart                                                            2001, 1999

APA Wood-fire workshop instructor Ryan Cameron, Brian McArthur                                                2000, 1999

Fireworks Wood-fire workshop & Int’l Ceramic Conference instructor Fred Olsen, University of Alberta                  1998