Black excellence: Artist uses African and Indigenous techniques to make pots, robot sculptures and more – Winnipeg

PJ Anderson is an artist and MFA candidate with a talent for ceramics.

“It’s just that I really like making containers, like making real pots,” Anderson said in an interview.

Click to play video: “41st Annual Black History Month Celebration”

41st Black History Month Celebration

41st Black History Month Celebration – February 3, 2022

“It’s what I like to do, and it’s my place of happiness.

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Originally from Thompson, Manitoba, Anderson is of Indigenous and African ancestry. When she creates, she incorporates techniques from both cultures into her work.

Jar by PJ Anderson.

PJ Anderson

Anderson says her current project is something that pushes her way out of her comfort zone – a human-sized sculpture of a robot.

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“I wanted to do something different, that wasn’t in my character, that was just trying something new.”

The only thing Anderson lacks is a broader sense of community around pottery.

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“I wish the black community in Manitoba had more interest or ability in pot making because it is a very important part of most cultural practices in almost all of Africa including I’ve heard of it,” she said.

“I really wish there were more ways to make that kind of connection to introduce it to more kids of color.”

Sculpture by PJ Anderson.

PJ Anderson

When it comes to Black History Month, Anderson says she feels weird about the subject.

“I personally feel like a lot of corporations seem to be out there trying to disenfranchise black people, all of a sudden you guys are super pro-black people. Same with Gay Pride Month,” she said.

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“If we know the contributions of Black and Indigenous Canadians…then we shouldn’t need a Black History Month.

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