Internationally acclaimed potter Mary Fox plans to raise over $1 million for her Legacy Project (Cole Schisler photo)

B.C. ceramic artist launches residency project to support future potters

The Mary Fox Legacy Project will maintain Fox’s home gallery and offer artist residencies to potters

Mary Fox has devoted her life to the craft of pottery, and now she hopes her legacy will help shape the careers of future potters.

Before she was an internationally acclaimed artist, Fox struggled to find places to rent that could accommodate a studio. She managed to find studio spaces, but few of them inspired creativity. In her early years, one of the things that would have helped her the most was access to a low cost, fully equipped studio. After a conversation with her late wife, Fox embarked on the beginning of the Mary Fox Legacy Project.

“I’ve had a lot of basement studios in my life,” Fox said. “It’s very challenging for a young artist to get started. Ceramics is not like painting, you need a lot of equipment and space. The other thing is it takes a lot of years to hone your skills. It doesn’t happen overnight. I’m constantly hearing from young potters about the challenges they encounter trying to find studio space.”

Fox and her wife shared their home in Ladysmith for 16 years. During that time, she worked in the small garage attached to their house. It was the nicest space she had worked in up to that point. However, as her practice grew, the space felt smaller and smaller – she hardly had room for her equipment, let alone display what she was making. Fox began to envision her dream studio, and in August 2008, one year after her wife died, she lifted her home and built her dream.

Her home is now a breathtaking gallery, complete with a creation room and her old studio has become the kiln room. Upstairs is an open plan kitchen and living room with built in shelves to display her Mary Fox Collection. There is a photography room, and a work desk – everything a potter needs to work and document the work is on-site. The final floor is the loft, a beautiful space where Fox retreats at the end of her long working days.

When Fox passes away, the Mary Fox Legacy Project will ensure that her dream is maintained. Fox envisions an Artist Residency Program run at Mary Fox Pottery where a ceramic artist under the age of 30 can apply for a two-year residency, with an option of staying on for a third year.

The Legacy Project will be responsible for maintaining the building, grounds, equipment, taxes, and insurance. The artist would only be responsible for their supplies, utility costs, and ensuring that the gallery is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. The residency would be open to artists across Canada.

“The reason why it’s such a long residency is so they can really dive into the work. They will be able to sell the work they are creating in the gallery and hopefully by time their residency is over, not only have they learned a lot about the craft, but they’ll also have saved some coin to help start their own studio pottery.” Fox said.

A society has been established for the Legacy Project, and a board of directors will oversee operations of the project. Fox has set up an endowment fund through the Vancouver Foundation and the Craft Council of B.C. to which people can donate and receive a tax receipt.

For now, Fox is hard at work on a book that is part memoir, and part ceramic skills guide. Her book is expected to be published early summer, 2020 by Harbour Publishing. Fox has always planned on writing a book and had photographs taken over the years of her work since her early beginnings as a clay artist.

“I envisioned writing the book when I was in my 70s, but it was suggested to me that I write it now so I can talk about and promote the legacy project,” Fox said.

Once the book is published, Fox will begin the work of raising awareness and funds for the Legacy Project. Fox is looking to raise over $1 million for the endowment fund to ensure the Legacy Project can continue in perpetuity.

For more information on the Mary Fox Legacy Project, visit: maryfoxpottery.ca/legacy.

artistIndoor Hobbies

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Schools ramp up contact efforts with students

Efforts of school district employees called “extraordinary”

North District RCMP see massive spike in domestic calls

Connection to COVID-19 pandemic likely for reduced call volume, increased severity

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read