Irene Friesen – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #6

October 2012

Irene Friesen

For October, Winnipeg River Arts Council features Irene Friesen, a potter, writer and gardener from Pinawa. She is also President of Pinawa ART 211 – an association of visual artists in Pinawa and area, and a member of Winnipeg River Arts Council.

As a potter, Friesen creates functional and decorative works from wheel thrown porcelain with incised  designs, influenced by totem art and the prehistoric pottery of Old Europe. Her love of nature, in the guise of Mother Earth, infuses her work. As much as possible, she uses envrionmentally friendly methods in her pottery production process. For 30 years, Friesen has honed her artistic skills, working with potters in various communities.While in Winnipeg, she learned from master potter, Kathy Koop, at Stoneware Gallery. Now Friesen teaches emerging potters in North Eastman how to create wheel thrown pottery.

In 2011, she participated as one of six artists in the “Art in the Forest” event. In recent years, she has exhibited at Eastman Juried Exhibitions, EMAC Art Shows, the Forks and Green Water Art Show. Prior to moving to Pinawa in 2007, she sold her work out of Winnipeg’s Medea Gallery and Gallery 659. Each year, Friesen holds spring and fall sales in her Pinawa home, the “round house” at 1 Lisgar Place. Upcoming sale on November 10 will feature “bowls, bowls, bowls.” She also sells her work at Lac du Bonnet Christmas Craft Sale and Pinawa Market.

As a gardener, she incorporates nature’s designs and sculptures in her Terra Mandala Meditation Garden, which draws up to 400 visitors from all over the world every year. As a writer, Friesen has published several books based on the oral history method, as well as numerous articles and technical publications. Her other passion is train travel.She has travelled on Trans Siberian Railway, Trans Mongolian Railway, Pacific Coastliner, and Deutsche Bahn, as well as Via Rail.