If you give Jack Sures a piece of clay, he'll likely make something beautiful out of it.

Canadian ceramic artist Jack Sures will receive the Saskatchewan Arts Board Lieutenant Governor's Lifetime Achievement award at the Remai Modern Art Gallery on Thursday.

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One of the artist's pottery pieces which was featured at the Slate Fine Art Gallery. (Sheila Coles)

Sures moved from Winnipeg to Regina in 1965 to launch a ceramics and printmaking program at the then-University of Saskatchewan campus.

"I think one of the reasons I came was because there was a great art community here," said Sures.

When the school offered him $8,900 to teach for the year he couldn't refuse, in comparison to the "three cents an hour" he said he earned at his studio in Winnipeg.

"I had all these young minds to work with," he said, of his years on campus. "They stimulate you just as much as you stimulate them."

To this day, he recalls his favourite work, located in Saskatoon: A 2,900 square foot mural at the Sturdy Stone Centre.

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Jack Sures created 81 pottery pieces for his 81st birthday. (Sheila Coles)

"I still see it and it surprises me, often," he said.

His work has been displayed in various galleries, both nationally and internationally, including: The Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa, the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Pecs National Museum in Hungary. 

With files from CBC Radio's Sask. Weekend