For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council updates previously featured visual artist, Roberta Laliberte. Although well-known for her work with watercolor, acrylics, inks, and pastels, her fans are really excited about her latest creations, specifically hand carved art on mugs. Over the last year, she found a way to combine the beauty and practicality of ceramics with her background in visual arts.
She said, “My pottery designs are inspired by Nature and my passion for ceramics is influenced by its practicality. I love creating beautiful items that serve a purpose.”
Aside from the time when she pursued further education, she has lived in Pine Falls all of her life. Although she was enrolled in Mount Allison University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program, she quit after one semester and came home. She said, “I hated being away from family. And, at the time, I didn’t fit the “artsy fartsy” profile.”
A self-identified independent learner, Laliberte has always loved acquiring new skills. Long before COVID-19 hit and virtual classes became commonplace, she embraced online learning. She reads and researches extensively, and calls the internet “a goldmine of information.” Also, she loves sharing her artistic knowledge and has instructed in several school divisions, via Artists in Schools programs and arts grants. Before pandemic limitations threw a wrench into her plans, she was also teaching ceramics workshops in her Pine Falls studio. She said, “Now restrictions are starting to lift, I’ll be offering classes again – both group and one on one.”
Laliberte’s work has been exhibited in group shows at Winnipeg’s Cre8tery Gallery and her first solo show, North of 49, in Syracuse, New York, showcased prairie and boreal landscapes in a collection of works. One of her art installations, juried and funded by Heritage Canada and Maison des Artistes, is located in Allard Library, St. Georges. Dateline Arts Magazine personally profiled her in their publication.
At this time, she has several painting commissions to complete and she plans to update her website to accommodate the ceramics inventory. Although several companies have approached her to sell her work wholesale, she creates her pottery as a small batch artist, and prefers to sell it via her website. She is also focused on offering ceramics instruction and taking glazing classes so she can expand the scope in her work.
Her artistic tip: “When I share what I know and experience personally, and share how I see the world around me, people connect on a personal level. As an artist, that’s the ultimate goal.”