Featured Member

Dawn Detarando &

Brian McArthur

Creating ceramics that delight!

Red Deer-raised Brian McArthur met Dawn Detarando, of the Boston, Mass.-area, in graduate school in 1996.

They had taken their own winding paths to end up at the Ohio State University to study ceramics. But both Brian, who’d attended Red Deer College and the University of Regina, and Dawn, who studied at the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston, immediately felt at home within this new “community” of ceramicists.”

“It was like a family away from home,” recalled Dawn, who enjoyed cooking, socializing, and collaborating with her classmates -- including the Canadian Brian.

The two young artists from opposite ends of the continent learned they could work well together, ‘We both have the patience,” said Brian.

Their creative partnership crossed over from art to life, and the two married in 1998.

After Dawn moved to Red Deer, she and Brian tried different avenues of making a living in art, teaching briefly at the University of Manitoba, then taking artistic residencies at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, Penn.

Inspired by their stint in Pennsylvania, the couple returned to Red Deer to start their own studio, Voyager Art and Tile. Their original intent was to make functional tiles for the building industry that were embellished with flora and fauna.

While they couldn’t find a market among large building retailers, Dawn and Brian discovered their work was a hit with gift shop and gallery buyers -- so they shifted focus to more purely decorative pieces.

Their work can now be seen in Alberta’s most selective fine-craft galleries, including the Alberta Craft Council Gallery and Alberta Branded in Edmonton.

Brian is known for his quirky Canadiana, incorporating explorers, canoes, moose and beavers. Dawn’s latest projects have been sparked by her interest in bees and her concern by their declining numbers.

Both nature-loving artists have also produced collaborative works involving birds and other native species.

Their large public artworks can also be seen around Alberta. These include the 6,500 tiles created with school children for the Collicutt Centre, the Red Deer mosaic in the G.H. Dawe Centre, and the David Thompson-inspired canoe installation in Edmonton.

Dawn feels they often work from a whimsical perspective to create art that’s uplifting. “We want to make something that resonates with people and shares a story,” added Brian.

Their website is: http://www.voyagertile.ca

We are avid outdoors people.

We love gardening, travelling, sculpting.

We enjoy hiking in the Rocky Mountains, and spending time with friends.

We are makers.

We are professional artists and partners in Voyager Art and Tile.

We are proud to call Red Deer home.

Join us in discovering the best our city has to offer.