Wanda’s Arts Awards 2019: Dey (2nd place winner)

It has been over 40 years since Dey first began her pottery. A wheel sits in the middle of her apartment, surrounded by various handmade cups, bowls and plates. While Dey still works on her wheel regularly and visits the pottery studio to create ceramics, it’s her drawing and painting that has changed the most.

Dey began a weekly art class last year, putting aside money from her cheques each month so she could attend. There she began to experiment with new mediums, switching from canvas to wood, learning how to sketch nudes—she finds it challenging and likes to distort images, pushing the envelope and sketching to fit her personal style.

Originally from Regina, Dey went to school in Winnipeg and headed for New York City after graduating. There she met all types of artists and painters, and worked as an artist model before coming to Toronto in the late sixties. Her connection to the art scene is how she met her husband, a painter and photographer. She wanted to take up pottery and painting, but between working and being a mother of two, she had little time left to pursue her passion. After her marriage ended, her desire to pursue art was renewed. For her, it was a way to disconnect from all her thoughts.

“I started doing art to deal with depression. And since I’ve had cancer, it’s a really good way to get your mind off of things, because you have to concentrate.”

Dey has experience as a pottery instructor and used to sell her art on Queen West. Though her health has slowed her down, she continues to paint and sketch, and has recently sold a piece from the Homes First wall at the Riverside Arts Market.

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