Decorated Surrey artist receives Mayor's Art Award

Thu, Dec 10, 2015

Surrey, B.C. – A local artist is seeing her colourful ceramics pass with flying colours.

Based in Surrey where she’s active in the clay community and as a ceramics and print media studio technician at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Sam Knopp was recently recognized with the City of Vancouver's Mayor’s Art Award for Craft and Design for her work as an emerging artist.

“As an emerging artist this type of recognition feels quite momentous and I know will have a significant impact on my career. It’s not only the monetary support that is so essential in these early stages but the encouragement from my peers as one struggles to find their way,” said Knopp.

Knopp graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2013, the same year she was honoured with the BMO 1st Art Award for B.C. Last year, she received a BC Arts Council grant for a residency at the Medalta International Artist in Residence Program in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

“This award is quite special in that it provides the honouree, an established artist, an opportunity to pay it forward. It’s this generous and collaborative spirit that drew me to the arts, and ceramics specifically, where community is engrained not only in the history and function of ceramic objects, but also the practice of making them.”

She was one of two Mayor’s Art Award recipients, recognized alongside celebrated artist Debra Sloan, who selected Knopp for her standout work as an emerging artist.

“Being chosen by someone who is well-recognized in their field is a true honour and the Faculty of Arts is so proud of Sam for this achievement. Her connection with the ceramics community is evident in her work and she is well-respected by her peers and colleagues. We are lucky to have someone like Sam to work with our students and to share her experiences and passion in her craft,” said Diane Purvey, dean of KPU’s Faculty of Arts.

“I want to thank Debra Sloan, Mayor Gregor Robertson and KPU for their support, and more importantly their contributions to the wider arts community,” added Knopp.

Since January, Knopp has brought her deep passion for ceramics to classes at KPU. She also sits on the board of the Potters Guild of BC and founded White Rock’s Dusty Babes Ceramic Collective.

Information about Knopp and her work can be found at  For more on KPU Arts, visit

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has served the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 200,000 learners. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs in business, liberal arts, design, health, science and horticulture, trades and technology, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 120 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates, citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at

photo of Sam Knopp is available on Flickr.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

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