World of Threads Festival

As a got off the plane, I was surprised how quickly I had made it through customs. The next hurdle was trying to make my way to the train. With a little human help and some signs, I was able to board the express train to downtown Toronto. I was in the city for my first international artist reception.

Although I was staying in Toronto, the World of Threads Festival, which was what I was there for, was actually outside of Toronto in Oakville. At the venue, Queen Elizabeth Park Community and Cultural Centre, many smaller fiber exhibitions make up one big festival. A main gallery holds a group exhibition entitled, Flow, with fiber works from national and international artists. Smaller solo exhibitions are in the Corridor Galleries in the halls. Five artworks from my Leaf Stack series make up one of those solo exhibitions.

The venue is a community center, so the lighting in the halls is not ideal. But the exhibitions are really interesting and it was fun to discover something new turning every corner. There is a lot of artwork and the curatorial staff did a great job of installing the exhibitions.

I was at the reception which was held on Oct. 20th. Below is a view of the main gallery, which is very nice.

 

Flow exhibition in the main gallery.

My pieces are in the hall just across from the main gallery. You can just see them on the right in the picture below.

 

Main gallery is on the left. My artworks are on the right.

 

In Toronto, I stayed with two ladies in an Airbnb. Marty, whom I had met previously in San Diego and Marnie, a Canadian who knew Marty and had driven there to see the Festival, too. Both just happened to have blue hair.

Marty has one of her wearable art pieces in the Cat Walk II exhibition, another group show in the Corridor Galleries.

 

Marty with her piece

 

And here are both Marty and Marnie in front of a piece, in the Flow exhibition, made by Tina Struthers.

 

Marty and Marnie with artwork by Tina Struthers.

 

Many of the artists were in attendance for the reception and we met Tina Struthers who lives in Canada. We also met Sun Young Kang whose corridor installation was amazing. Below the artist stands with her work which consists of cast paper of everyday objects. I am glad we met her and were able to ask her some questions about her installation. She came from New York and placed all the objects herself.

 

Sun Young Kang with her installation piece, In Between Presence and Absence.

 

There are lots of solo exhibitions in the hallways and I am not sure we actually saw everything, as the place seemed to keep winding around. Down one corridor, we discovered these felted Stone Monoliths by Sarah Waters from the U.K.

 

Stone Monoliths by Sarah Waters from the U.K.

 

I liked the material that Julia White used to make these interesting sculptures, recycled bicycle inner tubes. Are they fiber? Maybe not, but the curators explained that they used a loose interpretation of the definition of fiber art. Their definition included pieces made using fiber techniques, even if the material was not fiber. These pieces incorporate weaving techniques.

 

Sculptures by Canadian, Julia White.

 

In another Corridor Gallery are more sculptures by Canadian artist, Eva Ennist, that has some wood fiber along with other materials and also uses weaving techniques in an unconventional way.

 

Sculptures by Canadian artist, Eva Ennist.

 

Victoria Potrovitza’s bright embroidered art lines another hallway. I had previously seen an article about her work online, so it was nice for me to view them in person. Although they look like paintings from afar, they are amazingly hand-stitched.

 

Artwork by California artist, Victoria Potrovitza

Detail of hand stitching by Victoria Potrovitza

 

The next photo is a close-up view of part of a piece by Canadian artist, Judy Martin. I liked how she used varying sizes of french knots (and/or colonial knots) along with spacing to create values.

 

Detail of Judy Martin’s work

In the main gallery, there were a couple of artworks by American, Elise Vazalakis. They are dimensional weavings with steel and fiber. It is striking how they undulate against the wall. Here is a view to try to capture the dimensionality.

Close-up of weaving by Elise Vazalakis

I took many more pictures and there are more artworks I did not share here. The artworks were all high quality and there was such a variety to look at. The main gallery exhibition, Flow, will remain open through Nov. 25th. But the Corridor Galleries exhibitions will remain up through Dec. 31st. It is well worth a visit if you are in the Toronto area.

 

 

 

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