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Meet Marissa Y Alexander Winner of Best of Ceramics

February 5, 2020

It is a delight to introduce you to a talented emerging ceramic artist, Marissa Y Alexander, who earned TOAF's Best of Ceramics award – a $3,000 Cash and Purchase Award – supported by our cherished donors, Aaron Milrad & Brenda Coleman. 

Marissa's booth in the Student Zone commanded attention with her large scale vessels. Her bold, striking works caught the eyes of Aaron Milrad, the seasoned judge and donor of the award. He describes her work as "original, unusual, risk-taking and, beyond ceramics alone, it's fun and terrific art. We see a great future ahead for Marissa."  

Mr. Milrad, a prolific art collector and philanthropist, has been supporting the artists of Toronto Outdoor Art Fair for over forty years, and now he has added a new commission by Marissa to his renowned ceramics collection. What a thrill that must be! 

We are truly excited for Marissa and keen to watch her career reach new heights. Enjoy getting to know her and her work. 
 

'Looking in Dimmed Light' by Marissa Y Alexander
 

Meet the Artist

About Marissa Y Alexander, ceramic artist

Marissa Y Alexander receiving her award from Chair of the Board, Alex Ciappara, at the TOAF Awards Ceremony in 2019

On Winning the Award

"Winning the Best of Ceramics Award at this year's TOAF has been an amazing experience. It means so much to me - I feel very grateful to have been recognized for my work and dedication to my practice, and feel humbled to be in the company of previous ceramic winners whom I admire and respect! I'm thankful for the financial reward as it has made it possible to jump right back in to making work after having very recently graduated from school. The generosity of the enthusiastic volunteers and coordinators and the amazing visitors and judges made participating in this exhibition a complete pleasure and something worth looking forward to each year!" 

– Marissa Y Alexander

 

'Looking in Dimmed Light' by Marissa Y Alexander

On her work in her own words

"The different streams of my work are united by coil and line. A coil generates form, form creates edge and silhouette, edge and silhouette frame surface. A gesture as simple as making a line, when performed repeatedly, builds and transforms. I feel free when using coils to establish forms - there are no restrictions, the possibility of where the lines lead to is endless.  Through this process I am able to engage my intuition and as concepts (my thoughts) progress throughout the rhythm of making, I develop families of shapes. The slowness of building one coil at a time invites the potential for the process to be disrupted and flexibility to wander from original ideas. I work into the unknown creating objects not yet imagined. When I am in the studio working with tactile clay, I am able to intimately experience objects and ideas. Material and process are central to my ceramics practice and I aim to make things that engage myself and other people."

Visit her website: www.marissaya.com
On Instagram: @marissaya_

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