Franz Poll. (Corky McMechan photo) Headbones Gallery is opening the Old Kamloops Road studios of ceramicist Frank Poll, who died in 2018, to the public. (Corky McMechan photo)

Studios of deceased Okanagan artist opened to the public

Ceramicist Frank Poll died in 2018 and his Old Kamloops Road studios are being opened this month

There is a weathered sign with a white triangle and the word ‘art’ on Old Kamloops Road, just past another sign denoting that Headbones Gallery is within 200 metres. The weathered sign marks the buildings where artist Frank Poll lived and worked.

A multidisciplinary artist, Poll was mostly known for his ceramics. He died on March 21, 2018 and now his studios are being opened to the public, in conjunction with a special event at the neighbouring Headbones Gallery.

“The opening of Frank Poll’s studios is a privilege not to be missed by those who are interested in art and the sheer immensity of production that a man who lived life to the fullest brought to his discipline,” said gallery owner Julie Oakes.

Poll’s studios will be open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 20 and 21 at 6604 Old Kamloops Rd. His paintings, sculptures and more will be available.

On Saturday, July 20 only, the gallery will also host some of his significant works at its 6700 Old Kamloops Rd. location.

READ MORE: Trio of exhibitions comes to Vernon’s Headbones Gallery

Poll, born Franz in 1932 in Austria, went to art school in the Alps. He was later a student at the Vienna Academy of Figurative Arts under sculptor Fritz Wotruba, who took a primitivist’s approach to the human figure.

He emigrated to Canada as an artist in residence and in the ’60s, he got married, had two children, and built a home and a pottery studio on Highway 6.

In the ‘70s Poll was divorced and built the home and studios on Old Kamloops Road.

Fellow potter Mike Young said Poll was interested in processes that would create a product with as little interference as possible.

“I remember him saying, ‘We say that we are horse riding as though we are in control, but it is the horse that does the running through its nature and we should only be along for the ride,’” Young said.

In the ‘80s Poll taught at Okanagan University College.

He also travelled to the Philippines where he met Amie, who was his wife until his death.



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

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