After making the leap to becoming a full-time potter, Jenn has made a name for herself in our small mountain town. With a background in education and extensive teaching skills to draw upon, Jenn continues to help encourage new artists by leading ceramics workshops at artsPlace for pretty much every age and skill level.
Contact: Jenn Poirier
Jenn Poirier has always been in touch with her creative side – she’s got a fine arts degree in theatre and has been honing her ceramics skills for almost two decades.
But ever since moving to Canmore in 2003, she found herself searching for new ways to delve deeper into the burgeoning arts community closer to home. “I was so thrilled when artsPlace opened because there wasn’t anything like it here before,” Jenn recalls. “It’s an amazing community gathering space where artists co-mingle and learn from each other.”
In many ways, artsPlace was like a springboard for Jenn’s arts career, which has blossomed to become her full-time vocation. Before she established her own kiln and studio, Jenn was a member of artsPlace’s Independent Open Studio, which gives emerging artists an accessible space to work and a kiln to fire their pieces. “So many people want to do this, but they don’t have the space to get into it at home,” she says. “That’s why artsPlace is so important – it’s like a breeding ground for artists.”
With a background in education and extensive teaching skills to draw upon, Jenn continues to help encourage new artists by leading ceramics workshops at artsPlace for pretty much every age and skill level. She says it’s wonderful to see the enthusiasm of new participants, some having never touched clay before: “You get to see this progression from students just beginning to learn, to skilled artists who’ve gained enough experience that they can turn around and teach beginners – it’s so inspiring.”
For Jenn, having that opportunity to give back to the community as a mentor is just one more way to improve her craft. “Having to articulate in an accessible way to students what I am doing and why forces me to dissect my own techniques and, in turn, enhances my skills,” she says. “I get to learn from my students while teaching them.”