Common Threads: Volume 8, October 2021

by | Oct 27, 2021 | Common Threads

A round-up of goings-on in fibre and textile arts and crafts across Canada.

Nathalie Atkinson writes in the Globe and Mail about the “100 Mile Jacket,” a collaboration between fashion designer Smythe and the Campaign for Wool Canada, to create a hyper-local garment. The wool used was grown and processed entirely within 100 miles (160km) of the designer’s Toronto studio.

image description: the logo of The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art

A new exhibition has opened at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver. “Weaving the Future” runs until January 30, 2022, and explores the role of mentorship and the sharing of traditional knowledge to build a sense of identify and promote healing.  The exhibition features three established weavers—Debra Sparrow (Musqueam), Angela George (Tsleil-Waututh) and Janice George (Squamish), partnered with their students: Aleen Sparrow, Deanna George, and Anita Tetreau. You can view a video of the opening at the page linked above.

We were excited to learn about the Jackie MacKay Library, held at the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia in Halifax. Jackie was an artist and weaver based in Nova Scotia; when she died, two of her friends arranged for her extensive library to be preserved and made available to others. The library features books on textile crafts including knitting, weaving, rug hooking, embroidery, and others; there are books on interior design and furniture-making; and a huge portion of the collection is books on the history of art and craft, many of which are long out of print. You can download a full list of the holdings from the link above, to plan your visit.

A pair of exhibitions available in person at galleries in Port Coquitlam, BC, and online:

The Michael Wright Art Gallery is presenting an exhibition by textile artist Nadine Flagel. “Snagged” focuses on the artist’s  mission and ethos to “make do and mend,” and the works explore the repurposing of texts and textiles, cutting up old pieces to create new combinations and “intensify and multiply meaning.”

The Outlet Gallery is featuring a collection of work from quilting and embroidery artist Jennie Johnson. Her work “studies the human condition as it relates to nature, social justice and ancestry.”

Hurry! Kickstart your holiday shopping, perhaps, with a visit to the Fabrique 1840 virtual artisans marketplace, hosted online by department store Simons. Featuring the work of seventy Canadian craftspeople and including textiles, leatherwork, jewellery and home decor items, it’s on only until Sunday, October 31st.

Featured image by hp koch on Unsplash

Tell us about exhibitions, projects and activities to include in the next Common Threads!

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