Haliburton School of Art + Design professors win Craft Ontario awards

The Haliburton School of Art + Design (HSAD) is celebrating two of its professors who have won Craft Ontario awards.

Peterborough-based furniture maker Michael Fortune has received the 2016 John and Barbara Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement while potter Jessica Steinhäuser has won the Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee 40th Anniversary Award. Fortune, who teaches in HSAD’s summer arts program, designs objects in wood as well as commissioned residential furnishings and items in limited editions. His work is found at the Museum of Civilization, the Royal Ontario Museum, Claridge Collection of Canadian Art and Craft, and Rideau Hall.

“I am truly honoured to receive this award,” said Fortune. “My 40-plus year career in the arts has been absolutely everything I hoped for. It has enabled me to pursue my artistic vision while contributing to both our culture and economy.”

Fortune has also traveled the world to help developing economies. He works with governments, international aid agencies and private investors to create wood-based manufacturing opportunities.

Sandra Dupret, Dean of HSAD and Principal of the Haliburton Campus, nominated Fortune for the award.

“He is an outstanding teacher and mentor to many aspiring designers and makers across the globe. Michael’s courses are always in demand and well received. In the classroom, he openly shares his talent, knowledge and experiences with the students. His enthusiasm and passion for design and the handmade is contagious,” she says.

Steinhäuser, who is based in Guelph, teaches in HSAD’s Ceramics program. She came to Canada in the late 1980s and established Stonehouse Pottery after taking a specialized pottery apprenticeship as a youth in Germany. Pottery has been Steinhäuser’s full-time profession for more than 30 years. Her practice has lately been focused on creating Kachelofen, beautiful clay stoves that burn wood extremely efficiently, allowing for a clean and long-lasting radiant heat.

Steinhäuser is a multiple award winner of the Masonry Heater Association of North America’s annual design/build contest, and her work is featured in a residence in Scotland that won a Green Apple Environment Award (2013) and a Scottish Design Award (2014). Her recent exhibitions include a solo show at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery (2014), supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

The Craft Awards, which will be held at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto on Aug. 18, recognize the best of contemporary craft. In honour of Craft Ontario’s 40th anniversary, there is an exhibition of recipient work from the 2016 Craft Awards, which will be on display from July 26 to Aug. 19. The John and Barbara Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement will also be presented at the Craft Ontario Gala Event on October 19.

About Fleming College
Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 5,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 71,000 alumni.


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Michael Fortune
Michael Fortune