Mary Stankevicius BFA 2012


Ceramic artist Mary Stankevicius arrived at NSCAD never having put her hands in wet clay. That changed during a class in her second year with sculptor Matt Wedel, a visiting artist from Colorado.

"He has this wonderful childish sense of wonder," says Mary, from Orangeville, Ont. "Nothing fazes him. Everything is an awesome challenge."

She’s come to adopt that philosophy as her own in shaping animal sculptures from clay. She started out making dodo birds, rhinos and orangutans—strange looking creatures with voluptuous curves. But recently, while on exchange at the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri, she was challenged to change her focus to animals from the domestic realm. Her brightly painted ceramic dogs take the form of life-sized sculptures or wall-mounted heads, like hunting trophies.


"The idea is that the audience needs to have more of a relationship with the animal and that’s when I turned to dogs," she explains. "They have such characters and personalities and people really respond to them."

Following graduation, the 23-year-old artist has applied for a year-long artistic residency at Medalta, in Medicine Hat, Alberta’s historic clay district. Beyond that, she wants to apply for grad school—"But I need some time to figure it out."

As her time at NSCAD draws to a close, she says she is grateful for the experience and for the support and encouragement from faculty and staff. "I feel like I was totally pampered here."



NSCAD's 2016-17 Annual Fund is dedicated to enhancing the student experience at NSCAD through scholarship and bursary support.

We invite you to make a gift to NSCAD's Annual Fund, either by using our online donation option or by downloading the Annual Fund donation form (PDF)

“I cannot wait to be at school this fall and grow, not only as an artist, but as a person as well. Thank you for the gift of opportunity. I will use it to the best of my human ability. This scholarship means the world to me and I will make you proud.” - Graham Ross (BFA 2019)

Lindsay-Jacquard “This award makes a difference for me both financially and emotionally. To be recognized for my accomplishments is a boost to my confidence, as a student and an artist.” - Lindsay Jacquard (BFA 2016)

NSCAD-Scholarship-57“When someone makes the choice to be an artist, it’s not easy. For a lot of people, they incur debts as students and then they graduate and find a job. But as an artist, you still might have to go through a period where you are developing a style and getting a career rolling. We want to recognize that struggle and support artists.” - Doug Pope, president of the Robert Pope Foundation

Brian-Sloan-2“While a student I was asked if I could ‘explain what is going on here.’ I thought for a moment and had no words to explain the range of experience I was receiving through NSCAD. Now, some 20 years later I still have no answer to that question but I do know that NSCAD changed my life. I hope that my little gifts of gratitude help the students of today along their chosen path of studies.” - NSCAD alumnus Brian Sloan (BFA 1993)