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25th Anniversary Film

The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery is a medium-sized regional museum in Waterloo Canada focusing on exhibiting contemporary ceramics and glass. Like many other museums it struggles with the usual problems—tight budgets, accusations of elitism, spotty attendance. But the place keeps on going. The staff is lean and dedicated, and I should know since I’m on the board of directors so I see how the sausage is made.

The museum turned 25 this year and I volunteered to creat a short documentary to play at the anniversary events.

My problems was the immense laundry list of people to acknowledge, the difficult history, and how to tell an honest story without lapsing into hagiography. I decided to focus on 3 things—2 of the key founders Ann Roberts and Win Shantz, the highly awarded, but highly problematic building, and the media—ceramic and glass.

We conducted a series of interviews with and managed to pull out some emotional stories. The film is sweet, honest, and hopeful. There wasn’t a dry eye in the audience at the anniversary party.


Tara and I made the whole sh-bang, with a little shooting help by Laura Arendoque. Additional shooting of ceramics and glass at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and Oxbow School of Arts. The film features Ann Roberts, Judy Donaldson, Jane Buyers, Shelia McMath, and Bill Poole.