Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Clavette wins prestigious national award

Clavette wins prestigious national award Photo by Kelly Baker

Brigitte Clavette has been keeping a big secret for four months.
The artist, New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD) Instructor and member of the New Brunswick Union (NBU) found out in November she was the recipient of a 2022 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, specifically the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Fine Crafts. However, she couldn’t reveal her big news until the official announcement which took place March 2.
“It was hard to keep a secret for nearly four months,” Clavette said. “Of course, I went through all kinds of emotions, but with only my nominators, sisters and daughter knowing, it has been a quiet reaction until [the announcement].”
A jeweler and metalsmith, Clavette began her career after receiving a Fine Arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1980. After a few years of studio work back in her native New Brunswick, she began teaching in the mid 1980s at NBCCD.
“I have loved and still love that institution,” she said of NBCCD.
Clavette still teaches part-time while continuing to create her award-winning art. Her nominators for the award – Maegen Black, director, on behalf of the Canadian Crafts Federation, and Ann Manuel, visual artist – had high praise for their peer.
“Clavette’s work is especially innovative and memorable thanks to her ability to pull away from traditional methods of fabrication of one object to complete compositions of parts,” they wrote in Clavette’s nomination. “The work, which she sometimes refers to as functionless, crosses cultural and economic divides to create larger narratives.
“Brigitte Clavette generously leads while advocating for others to succeed. Through her art and her lifelong involvement in mentorships, collectives and committee and board work, she has left an undeniably deep mark.”

Canada Council for the Arts