Jack Sures

SURES, Jack (1934-2018)
Artist, Educator

Jack Sures was born in Brandon, Manitoba in 1934.  He attended the University of Manitoba (BFA 1957) and Michigan State University (MA 1959, Painting and Printmaking).

Returning to Manitoba Sures taught Junior High School in Winnipeg for one year.  In 1960 he left Canada again, this time taking up residence in London, England, where he worked part-time at the Chelsea Pottery, part-time making ceramic cats, studied classical guitar under Len Williams and pursued his own painting in a one room apartment/studio.  In 1961-62 he travelled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East; visiting galleries and museums and working for a time in Cyprus and Israel.

In 1962 Sures returned to Canada and began, what he refers to as his "true ceramic education".  He established a ceramic studio on Winnipeg's Portage Avenue where he became inventor, teacher and artist.  He built Manitoba's first gas kiln with the help of colleague Ron Burke; built several wheels including one from a milk separator; taught classes; rented space to other ceramic artists; and worked intensely in his own studio.

In 1965 he was offered an opportunity to establish a ceramics program at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus (precursor to the University of Regina).  The same year he was the recipient of a Canada Council Award enabling him to work in Japan from March to September 1966.  From 1969 to 1971 he served as Chairman of the Department of Visual.

Another Canada Council Grant took Sures to France to work in 1972.  He then accepted a fifteen month appointment to work for the United Nations Handcraft Development Program in Granada, West Indies before returning to Regina in 1974.

Throughout his career, Sures has travelled extensively in Canada, the United States and abroad, conducting lectures, demonstrations and workshops at universities, colleges, high schools, art galleries and museums.  Over the years he has offered his expertise as consultant to a variety of organizations including the Canada Council, in ceramics; the Banff Centre, in facilities and program development; the Regina Wascana Centre Authority, Fine Arts Committee; and the Board of the Canadian Conference of the Arts.

Work by Sures has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally and is included in the collections of the Saskatchewan Arts Board; External Affairs Canada; Province of Saskatchewan; University of Saskatchewan, Pecs National Museum, Hungary; and the University of Regina.  His major commissions include ceramic pieces for Secretary of State Canada; a ceramic mural for the Provincial Office Building, Saskatoon; a terrazzo floor for the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre, Regina; and a mural for the Museum of Civilization, Ottawa.  In 1989 he was awarded the Grande Priz in "Mino'89", the foremost international ceramic competition held in Japan every three years.

Recognizing his outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching at the University of Regina, Jack Sures was awarded the Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Fall Convocation on October 19, 1991.  Further recognizing his achievements, on October 30, 1991, he received the Badge of the Order of Canada, from the Governor General of Canada at an investiture ceremony at Government House, Ottawa.  In 1992 he received the Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Research.  He was elected to the International Academy of Ceramics and he also received the Commemorative Medal of the 125th Anniversary of The Confederation of Canada in Recognition of Significant Contribution to Compatriots and to Canada.

In 1998 Jack Sures retired from the University of Regina and continues to work in his Regina studio.

In 2003 Sures received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.

Written by Jack Sures

Archival Collections (Finding Aids in PDF format)

99-38 and 2000-11 - Personal and Professional Papers. ca 1950-1998 - Appendix containing a detailed listing of videos and photographs is also available here

2008-72 - Personal and Professional Papers. 1999-2008

2013-5 - Personal and Professional Papers. 1981-2012

2018-5 - Personal and Professional Papers, 2001-2016

2018-42 - Certificates awarded to Jack Sures, 1989-2004

2018-47 - Jack Sures via Cara Gay (Driscoll) Sures, Artifacts