Gina Etra Stick is an emerging ceramic artist having shifted her primary creative and professional focus from architecture to full time ceramics in 2014. Her work brings diverse design experience into the medium of ceramics. “Historical context, contemporary expression” places her work, a personal interpretation of traditional Asian porcelain media and methods within a Western context.
Two life streams inspire and coalesce into the artist’s work: a Western art education, with love of art and hand-made things transmitted from her father, a handbag designer/ manufacturer; and immersion in Asian culture, design and spirituality. Gina holds a B.A. Fine Arts and an M.A. Architecture with a thesis on Asian Sacred Architecture, and studied ceramics under Walter Ostrom and Joan Bruneau at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax. Ceramics residencies at Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen PRC., the renowned porcelain centre of China, facilitated individual tutorials with masters in the three celebrated Jingdezhen decorative traditions, pivotal in catalyzing an expressive vehicle for her aesthetic vision and feeling (celadon carving, under-glaze blue and white, quinhua; and over-glaze media, gucai, fencai and xincai). From the age of 19 she worked in a close design apprenticeship with the renowned Tibetan meditation master and artist Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche, collaborating on diverse projects and the art of iconography that informs her work. She has taught extensively on this design methodology fusing Asian pattern language with Western culture and usage; and on iconographical design/symbolism and sacred architecture. Her work is collected in private collections, the Gesar Palace collection, Bhutan, and is under acquisition by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax. Born in New York City, Gina is married with two children and lives and works in Halifax.
Recent international recognition includes the seminal article “Gina Etra Stick: Limitless Meanings” by Heidi McKenzie and editorial by Jessica Knapp, Editor, Ceramics Monthly magazine, October 2018 issue. Exhibitions feature her opening solo exhibition, The Ritual Objects of Everyday Life, the Mary Black Gallery, Halifax, 2017; the juried Gallery@Acts 2015 and 2016 shows of one-of- a-kind contemporary craft, Halifax, Nova Scotia; and internationally, SOFA 2017 and 2018, Chicago and FORM Miami, 2017, USA. The artist is a recipient of the Craft Nova Scotia Juror’s Choice Award for Best In Show at Craft Nova Scotia “Craft Year 2015” members’ exhibition, the Mary E. Black Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Arts Nova Scotia Professional Development and Creation Grants, 2016. Gina is a juried member of Craft Nova Scotia.
Painting water-based overglaze media on the Luminosity Porcelain Vase, winter in my Halifax studio.