A Chilliwack artist who has been creating pottery for 50 years has his work on display at the Chilliwack Cultural Center.
Drawn in clay is a pottery and drawing / painting exhibition by Ted Driediger at the O’Connor Group Art Gallery through January 7.
December 9 Progress met Driediger as a constant stream of visitors floated through the gallery. His eyes shone as he scanned the room full of pots, ceramic wall hangings and designs.
“It’s a big deal for me,” he said, biting back tears. “This is my first personal exhibition.”
Drawn in clay encompasses 50 years of work by the Chilliwack artist. He lived in Yarrow and Chilliwack for those five decades.
Driediger has been involved in a number of group shows over the years, but having a solo show was his “lifelong dream,” he said.
He started working on Drawn in clay four years ago then COVID hit and that changed everything. When he first heard about pandemic protocols for art exhibitions – such that no opening reception is allowed and only five people in the gallery at a time – Driediger thought “the forget, âhe said.
But over time, he changed his mind.
The restrictions were relaxed, so a maximum of 20 people were allowed in the gallery, and he said he couldn’t wait any longer.
“I have health issues, I am not getting any younger,” said the 72-year-old.
Making some of his bigger pieces gradually became more difficult for him physically, he said.
âI am running out of energy. “
So, during the pandemic, Driediger renewed his interest in life – drawing.
âI have always liked to draw and paint. I went to art school with the intention of becoming a painter.
For the past year and a half, he and his wife Delores have driven the Fraser Valley by car in search of landscapes to draw and paint.
He interspersed these paintings and drawings among the different types of pottery in his exhibit and called it Drawn in clay.
âI believe the freedom to explore encourages artistic growth; from old ideas, new ideas are born and developed, âhe said. âBy moving away from market trends, my work has moved from functional to expressive. He evolved in terms of line, form, color and scale, moving from one medium – clay – to several mediums including paint, pastels, pen and ink.
One of the oldest pieces of pottery in the exhibit is a planter he made for his mother about 50 years ago, which isn’t for sale, but pretty much everything else is.
From bowls to tumblers and teapots to bulbous vases, there is plenty to see and buy.
“Why do I want to do, what do I do?” Why do kids like to make mud pies or make âstuffâ? Is it just playing around, or could it be an inherent desire to do something that is pleasing to the eye and the senses? Said Driediger. âAnyway, I still have and still love the art of doing. I consider my work to be a success if it communicates this love to those who see it.
Attracted by Clay, a solo exhibition by Ted Driediger of Chilliwack, is at the Art Gallery of the Chilliwack Cultural Center from December 3 to January 7. The opening hours of the gallery are Wednesday to Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Driediger will be at the gallery from Thursday to Saturday. Free entry.
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