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Nanaimo-based ceramic artist showcases variety of bottles in first solo show

Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts
Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons is presenting his first solo exhibition, ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction,’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts from Oct. 29 to Nov. 12. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

More than 100 ceramic bottles of all shapes and sizes will be on display as Nanaimo-based ceramic artist Joe Lyons presents his first solo exhibition.

From Oct. 29 to Nov. 12 Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery. An opening reception featuring a discussing with Lyons and Nanaimo Ceramic Arts owner Bronwyn Arundel will take place via Facebook Live.

“It’s definitely a body of work that’s been accumulating or collecting for over a year, probably a year and a half now,” Lyons said. “So it’s a lot of thought and energy and time [put] into it.”

Lyons, who originally hails from Seattle, apprenticed at a ceramics studio in Hawaii for five years before moving to Nanaimo in 2016 to study the art form at Vancouver Island University. He said he’s been fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from multiple artists and the exhibition reflects those experiences.

“In the show there will be a lot of different firing techniques, whether it’s wood fire or raku or pit firing…” Lyons said. “My artistic background is in urban art or graffiti and so there are definitely bottles that are painted with spray paint in kind of a graffiti style.”

Lyons has been teaching at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts since the studio opened in 2018. He said it means a lot to present his first solo show there and he’s grateful for the opportunity to share his work with more people.

“The practice and the dedication that I’ve put into my ceramic work has really saved my life in many ways,” he said. “It’s given my life meaning and purpose and to share that and be vulnerable about that kind of transformation that I’ve gone through as a person but also as an artist is meaningful.”

WHAT’S ON … Joe Lyons presents ‘Poppin Bottles Soda Distraction’ at Nanaimo Ceramic Arts Studio and Gallery, 1-140 Wallace St., from Oct. 29 to Nov. 12. Opening reception to be held via Facebook live on Oct. 29 at 4 p.m.

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