Celebrated Hornby Island potter getting provincial award

Hornby Island potter Wayne Ngan is being honoured by the province for his contribution to the field of pottery.

HORNBY ISLAND POTTER Wayne Ngan is being awarded a BC Creative Achievement Award of Distinction.

HORNBY ISLAND POTTER Wayne Ngan is being awarded a BC Creative Achievement Award of Distinction.

Regarded as one of Canada’s most influential ceramicists, Hornby Island potter Wayne Ngan is being honoured by the province for his contribution to the field of pottery.

Ngan received the BC Creative Achievement Award of Distinction, selected by the board of the B.C. Achievement Foundation.

“I found out a little while ago,” explained Ngan from his home on Hornby Island, adding that a film crew visited his home to create a segment for the award ceremony scheduled for later this month in Vancouver.

Ngan’s work has been exhibited for more than five decades and is in a number of permanent collections, including that of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Ottawa.

Born in Canton, China, Ngan immigrated to Canada and graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design) and began solo exhibitions of paintings, drawings, sculpture and ceramics in Vancouver.

Ngan moved to Hornby Island in 1969, and built three kilns himself on his property.

Currently, he divides his time between ceramics, sculpture and painting, and maintains his studio on Hornby Island and works periodically in Guangzhou, China.

Shelly Combs of the Potters Place in Courtenay said the award helps to spotlight the art of pottery.

“Pottery is seen quite often as a handicraft and not necessarily as an art piece,” said Combs. “It does have a utilitarian purpose, but a beautiful bowl can certainly be a piece of art.”

Combs said during her schooling at North Island College, her class would take field trips to Ngan’s studio.

“His home, garden and studio were complete works of art,” she added.

For more information, visit www.bcachievement.com.

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