Mann Art Gallery welcomes traveling exhibit from ceramics artist Farrero

Artist Charley Farrero poses for a photo at the Mann Art Gallery, where he opened his latest travelling exhibit, ‘A Certain Detour’, on Thursday, June 22. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

It took a long time for Charley Farrero to host his first solo exhibit at the Mann Art Gallery, but it was worth the wait.

Farrero, a ceramics artist based out of Meacham, frequently contributed to Mann Art Gallery group exhibits in the ‘90s. Since then his work has been on display across the country, including his most recent show ‘A Certain Detour’, which is on display at the Mann Art Gallery until Aug. 19.

“It’s really nice to be here in Prince Albert,” said Farrero, who moved to Canada from Paris in 1969.

“I have a certain affinity for Prince Albert because of my 12 years of teaching here. It’s really, really important for me to have it here, and I appreciate that.”

‘A Certain Detour’ features 58 ceramic works, the majority created between 2018 and 2021. It’s Farrero’s first solo show at the Mann. He frequently contributed a few pieces to group shows or collaborations when he was a Fine Arts instructor at Prince Albert’s Saskatchewan Polytechnic campus, then known as SIAST.

Mann Art Gallery curator Marcus Miller said Farrero’s work is well loved and well respected in the art world. Miller was thankful for the chance to show it off in Prince Albert.

“He’s a very colourful character,” Miller said of Farrero. “He’s a very wonderful man, and his work is very well known here, so it’s a great treat for us to have his show.”

Farrero became a ceramics artist because he loved the versatility of the medium. He loves the ability to create three-dimensional images, and touch on a variety of subjects.

‘A Certain Detour’ features pieces that are based on Farrero’s personal memories, political views, and commentaries on life. He said residents who visit the exhibit will get to know a bit about him through his work.

Charley Farrero gives a tour of his newest exhibit at the Mann Art Gallery. – Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

“It’s a meander through (my work),” he said. “You see a sign and you take a detour. I don’t know if it’s that certain of a detour, but it’s continuing.

“When you are an artist, you want people to react,” he added. “I want them to react, either with passion, with interest, with hate, which is one sort of passion. They might hate that piece for whatever reason, but to be moved by my work, that’s all I can expect. Through my work, they know me a little better.”

Farrero moved to Canada following a trip to Montreal to visit his sister in 1966. He loved the country, and eventually became a Canadian citizen, setting up an art studio and Kiln in Meacham.

“Moving from Paris, France to the little village of Meacham in Saskatchewan, usually people do the reverse,” he said with a chuckle. “But, I’ve got a huge studio in Meacham, Saskatchewan, and all the Kilns I can use and all the material I can use. It’s a great sensation to be in here.”

Farrero currently serves as the resident artist for Ceram Canada, where he is Kilns and Firings Mentor. He has been invited to display his work in France, Chile, Mexico, and China. His exhibit was one of three the Mann Art Gallery officially unveiled on Thursday evening.