JACK SURES, OC
signed, dated ‘87 on reverse
diameter 22 ins; 55.9 cms
Jack Joseph Sures was born in Brandon, Manitoba, in 1934, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. He attended the Winnipeg School of Art under the tutelage of Canadian artists, George Swinton (RCA) and Robert Nelson. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1959 from the University of Manitoba and continued on to obtain a Master of Arts, with a double major in painting and printmaking, from Michigan State University. During this time, he took one ceramics course, which was the impetus that initiated his largely self-taught career in clay.
In 1965, Sures was given the opportunity to establish the Printmaking and Ceramics programs at the University of Saskatchewan’s Regina Campus. In 1969, Sures became the Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University, shifting his focus from teaching to printmaking, all the while continuing to create ceramics, including murals. He also exhibited across Canada and the United States. It was also during the late 1960’s to the mid 1970’s that the Regina Clay Movement was started. Sures, along with Joe Fafard, David Gilhooly, Lorne Beug, Marilyn Levine and others, dissociated themselves with the mid-twentieth century modernism, in favor of the pop movement style that emerged from California. Sarcasm, wit, and personal expression were the essence of their art.
Sures returned to Regina in 1975 to teach ceramics. He continued to exhibit his work and received large commissions including an outdoor mural at the Sturdy-Stone Building in Saskatoon in 1978, that was a huge project covering 884 square meters. In 1987, he won a competition for a mural at the new Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, and in 1989, Sures received the Grand Prize at the Second International Ceramics Competition in Mino, Japan, the foremost international ceramic competition held in Japan every three years. He had created a thirty by twenty-four meter wall sculpture using the leftover tiles from his mural at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. In 1991, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, being recognized for a lifetime of outstanding achievement and dedication to the community and service to the nation. He was elected to the International Academy of Ceramics that year as well.
In 1998, Jack Sures retired from the University of Regina, having served thirty years teaching, with the honorary title Professor Emeritus. In 2003, he was awarded the Award of Merit, Saskatchewan’s highest honor. Sures lives in Regina, where he continues to create in his own studio and exhibit his work.