Meet Lael Chmelyk, Ceramicist behind the 2018 President's Cups

Since Fall 2011, ACAD students have submitted their designs for the annual President’s Cups competition. The competition was initiated by ACAD President + CEO Dr. Daniel Doz and the winner is commissioned to created 15 cups and 8 bowls based on their design submission. This year’s winner has been awarded to Lael Chmelyk a third-year ceramics major and they were officially installed at the April 18, 2018 Board of Governors meeting.

Lael describes the interdisciplinary spirit at the Alberta College of Art and Design as the inspiration behind her winning piece.

"I wanted to employ a print technique to the surface of the vessels, to incorporate the way that we as students are encouraged by our faculty to experiment in other fields. This approach, learning more than one fine art or craft skill, challenges ourselves as artists to combine our interests and curiosities, and helps define the students at ACAD. Allowing ourselves the room to draw from various art forms, and to experiment across disciplines, informs our work and helps us push boundaries. This is a huge part of what makes our community of makers so in tune with our vast creative potential."

The set was designed with conscious inspiration and she describes her process.

"I chose to use a dark coloured clay body, and left the outside of the vessels unglazed but sanded smooth to the touch. This showcases the beauty of clay in its simplest form. It allows for a stark contrast with the white glaze inside, and directs focus to the striped print using slip monotype print techniques, I applied stripes as my chosen pattern. Stripes are a universally present pattern, and are found in all countries and civilizations. I am interested in the way that a pattern can speak to the context of its origin. The occurrence of this pattern across the world is one that reflects the inclusivity of everyone at ACAD. Finally, the simplicity of form and simple colour profile, allude to a confidence in the fundamentals of design. This appreciation for the skills and basics of fine art allows us as students to build from a solid base in our practice. This mug and bowl set portray my feelings of pride to be part of such a rich creative community, and illustrate my deep connection to the ceramics community and the college as a whole."

Congratulations to all who participated.