2017 Exhibitions – September through December

Michelle Sirois-Silver – Workshirt

Closing the Loop

September 6 to 29
Britannia Art Gallery, Vancouver

Hand hooked art by Nadine Flagel, Fran Moore, Sheila Paoli and Michelle Sirois-Silver.

Lilly Thorne – Hydrangea II
Pippa Moore – Eucalyptus

Botanical Reflections – Fibre Art Network

September 6 to 30
Kamloops Arts Council, Kamloops

Touring exhibition (which began at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver in January) includes work by Paulette Cornish, Donna-Fay Digance, Linda Ingham, Dale MacEwan, Judi MacLeod, Pippa Moore, Terry Philips, Mardell Rampton, Lilly Thorne, Katie Stein Sather, and Patt Wilson.

Colour: A Personal Response – Sarah McLaren & Lesley Turner

September 18th to 24th, 2017
Tulista Art Gallery, Sidney
January 12 to February 10, 2017
Place des Arts, Coquitlam

Lesley’s response to each colour’s vibration is expressed through line and value explorations. Sarah’s monochromatic colour interpretation of iconic paintings are her emotional responses to the works.

Joanna Rogers with “In Memorium or The Wake of Progress”

Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP) Finalist Exhibition

Mahon Hall, Ganges, Salt Spring Island
September 22 to October 21.
SDA member Joanna Rogers was one of 49 finalists for this bi-annual award . Her wrok was selected by a jury (David Garneau, Denis Longchamps and Naomi Potter) from 2160 submissions from 1227 Canadian artists. 
In Memorium or The Wake of Progress explores ideas of obsolescence and the waste produced by the consumption of the new. The panels were hand woven using cassette tape and mercerized cotton in an overshot pattern. The form was inspired by a suit of armour from the Kiribati people of Micronesia on display in the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. Cassettes are a medium of the past, overshot patterns are out of fashion, the Kiribati people no longer create their armour. Tempus fugit.

Methinks I should know you: Jennifer Love

October 5 to 29
Gibsons Public Art Gallery, Gibsons

An exhibition of abstract textile paintings prompted by a dialogue around how memories and their gradual disappearance impact on one’s concept of self, and how one perceives and connects with someone who is gradually losing her memory. A meditation on issues of memory and selfhood, illness and sometimes, recovery. 

In Ruins: Three Artists Explore the Decline and Fall of Civilization

November 8, 2017 to January 15, 2018
Il Museo, Vancouver

A multimedia exhibition featuring
Borrowing the concept of life cycles from the natural world, as well as Edward Gibbon’s narrative on the fall of Roman Empire, three artists (Catherine Nicholls, textiles; Ally Nichols, photography; Elizabeth Harris, ceramics) engage in a multimedia exploration on the nature of decline in the environment and in civilization.

2017 Exhibitions – June, July, August

Means of Production

June 9 to July 15
CityScape Gallery, North Vancouver

Curated by Stephanie Symns and Amanda Wood
An exhibition of textile works addressing the theme of handcraft and digital technology. Artists: Amanda McCavour, Lucy Poskitt, Michelle Sirois Silver, Stephanie Symns, Amanda Wood

Beyond the Basics: Jackie Abrams and Friends

June 17 to July 23
FibreWorks Gallery, Madeira Park

A juried exhibition of basketry by students of renowned basketry artist, Jackie Abrams of Vermont. 
A selection of Jackie’s baskets were also displayed.
BC Artists included: Dorothy Cross, Anni Hunt, Ellen Luckow, Julie Pongrac and Pia Sillem.
An SDA Award of Excellence was awarded to Jane Whitten for her piece, Anemone.

Vancouver Island Surface Design Association

June 28 to July 9
Coast Collective Gallery, Colwood 

Canadiana Dreaming

July 7 to 29
Peace Gallery North, Fort St. John

The exhibition of featured the work of Elizabeth Harris, along with Catherine Nicholls, Ally Nichols and Curtis Beach. The theme was inspired by part of the Ian Tyson song Four Strong Winds:

Four strong winds that blow lonely
Seven seas that run high
All those things that don’t change come what may
But our good times are all gone
And I’m bound for moving on
I’ll look for you if I’m ever back this way


July 27 to August 26
Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver

Innovation and the transformation of waste materials are at the core of this exhibition, which included five hand-hooked art pieces by Michelle Sirois Silver and two installations by Katherine Soucie. Bound by a shared passion for fibre as a medium, the artists also share a philosophy that challenges our notions about garbage.

Full Circle: 10th Anniversary Celebration

July 29 to September 10
FibreWorks Gallery, Madeira Park

Celebrating 10 years of FibreWorks this group exhibition included work by many artists who have exhibited at FibreWorks over the last decade. On the eve of their retirement, the opening reception was a joyous celebration of Yvonne and Reg Stowell’s extraordinary contribution to the artistic community of the Sunshine Coast and beyond.

Loosely Connected

Loosely Connected

August 1 to 31
ArtSpring, Salt Spring Island

Work by Island textile artists: Bobbi Janowiak, Gill Kidd, Danielle Manners, Elna Gravelle, Susan Painter, Karen Tottman, Karen Selk, Linda Counsell, and Joanie Paterson.

50 Canadian Things

August 2 to 20
Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, Sechelt

An exhibition of work inspired by Jane Urquhart’s book, A Number of Things, and in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary since Confederation.
SDA members included in the exhibition: Jennifer Love, Nell Burns, Connie Chapman and Pat Crucil.


Mardell Rampton

archiTEXTURE: Hard Edges in a Soft Medium

August 7 to October 7
Anvil Centre, New Westminster

Four New Westminster artists (Terry Aske, Judy Villett, Mardell Rampton and Janet Archibald) explored the possibilities of capturing the gleam of glass, the sharp edges of metal, and the coolness of tile and stone with fabric.

Slow Clothes – Fariba Mirzaie

Slow Clothes: the Art of Fashion

August 9
Harmony Arts, West Vancouver

Fifth annual juried one-of-a-kind/limited-edition fashion show featured clothing and accessories by more than 25 artists including SDA members Dawn M Russell (Della Terra Designs) and Anni Hunt.

Triple Intent

August 11 to 13
Sea Star Estate Farms and Vineyards, Pender Island

Monica Bennett, Sandy Shreve and Nancy Silo were very pleased to present their second annual exhibition at Pender Island’s beautiful winery Sea Star Estate in August. The show featured new works in handmade felt, photo art/paintings and ceramics. The artists included a new section of collaborative art in this year’s show, where each artist made a beginning piece and the other two added to it in their own medium. This was a very well received addition and was a successful fundraiser for art supplies for Pender’s school.

A Hundred Thousand Threads III

August 21 to 27
ArtSea Gallery, Sidney

FibreAti is a group of experimental fibre artists who formed in 2004 and currently includes SDA members Dale MacEwen, and Judi MacLeod.

2017 Exhibitions – March, April and May

Dawn Michelle Russell

Thirteen to Zero: exploring sustainable design

March 23 to May 4
Craft Council of BC Gallery, Granville Island, Vancouver

Thirteen to Zero is not a sports score–it is an exploration, by textile artist Dawn Michelle Russellof waste reduction — moving from minimal waste, a thirteen fabric scrap garment design to no waste, an enhanced commitment to mindful, zero waste design.

Jennie Johnston – Spring in the World Tree

Cherry Blossoms: A Textile Translation 2017

March 21 to April 9
Silk Purse Arts Centre, West Vancouver

The 9th annual exhibition of textile art inspired by the cherry blossom.

Whisperings: a celebration of the forest world.

March 24 to April 22
Place des Arts, Coquitlam

What hearest thou?
Whisperings, murmurings, now
loud, now soft, the trees talking, 
squeakings, groanings, 
sometimes tree trunks chafing
against each other, the saucy 
screech of a blue jay, the kingfisher’s
clatter and the chatter of an occasional squirrel, resenting my 

These words by eminent artist Emily Carr have inspired Anni Hunt and Catherine Nicholls to explore the wonders of the West Coast rain forest. In this all new exhibition these textile artists present their own observations and feelings for the stunning forest landscape. Using natural materials as inspiration and media has lead these two to listen carefully to the “whisperings” of the forest and record what they hear. 



Shamina Senaratne – Interpreting the Shadows and the Light

Excursions and Returns: Meditations on Making, and the Maker
Shamina Senaratne

April 1 to 30, 2017
FibreWorks Gallery, Madeira Park 

Jennifer Love @ The Kube

April 2017
The Kube Studios, Gibsons BC
Textile paintings, and painted paper-covered journals.

Current Threads 2017

April 15 to 30, 2017
Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery, Ladysmith

Contemporary Textile Art by Members of the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association.

cocoon: an exhibition of thoughtful objects for the home

May 4 to 23
Silk Weaving Studio, Granville Island, Vancouver

Featured the work of Kate Barber, Kayo Benson, Anik Choiniere, Vennie Chou, Stu Coleman, Jackie Frioud, Carly Hulse, Cathy Joyce, Ellen Kocher, Amanda Langerak, Chris Montgomery, Darlene Ochotta, Ed Pretty, Morija Reeb, Diana Sanderson, Jo Skinner, Ana Sousa, Hiroko Takayo and Amanda Wood.

This year for our group invitational show our focus changed from wearables to work for the home inspiring us in a different direction.

Michelle Sirois-Silver – Repair 1



Textures of Land and Sea

May 4 to June 4
Circle Craft Gallery, Granville Island, Vancouver

Work by textile artists Anni Hunt, Catherine Nicholls, Julie Pongrac, Michelle Sirois-Silver and Kaija Rautiainen

Loose Threads:
Clockwise from top left: Imagine (detail), Leslie Campbell: Mad Max (detail), Patt Wilson: Sea Spicules Lamp (detail), Nell Burns: Untitled (detail), Sharon Roye.

Loose Threads: Sunshine Coast Surface Design Association

May 6 to June 11
FibreWorks Gallery, Madeira Park

Participating artists include: Marie Barry, Nell Burns, Lesley Campbell, Connie Chapman, Penny Connell, Dorothy Cross, Pat Crucil, Lois MacArthur, Anne Gregory, Jennifer Love, Sharon Roye, Yvonne Stowell, Maureen Sugrue, and Patt Wilson.
Congratulations to Nell Burns who was the winner of the SDA Award of Excellence for her piece, “Sea Spicules”. Stitched silk thread, free motion embroidery.

Barbara Heller with Regeneration


May 11 to June 22
Craft Council of BC, Granville Island, Vancouver

Three textile artists (Eleanor Hannan, Barbara Heller and Bettina Matzkuhn) in collaboration with four members of Nature Vancouver explore issues of cultural and natural destruction, and the consumption, restoration, and protection of nature. In a spirit of experimentation that has involved risk, research and steep learning curves, all participants have gained – and are pleased to share – new understandings of the natural world.

Debra Sparrow welcomes visitors to Musqueam territory at the Opening of ‘(in)finite: spiritual conversations in cloth’. Her Chief’s Blanket is in the background.


(in)finite: spiritual conversations in cloth

May 25 to June 4
Christ Church Cathedral, Vancouver

This exhibition of the work of 29 Canadian textile artists and their explorations into the realm of the sacred. Canadian SDA members included in the exhibition: Barbara Heller, Shamina Senaratne, Maggie Tchir, Penny Connell, Thomas Roach, Sheila Wex, Katie Stein Sather, Bryony Dunsmore, Judy Martin, Janet Wheeler, Kaija Rautiainen, Lorraine Ross, and Linda Coe.



Edge of the Forest at Fibre Works on the Sunshine Coast

'Coastal Curtain' by Deborah Dumka
‘Coastal Curtain’ by Deborah Dumka. Traditional wet felting with wool, silk, electronics.

Edge of the Forest

 July 9 to August 21, 2016

“Meet the Artists” Reception
Saturday, July 9, 2016 – 2 to 4pm

FibreWorks Studio & Gallery
12887-12889 Sunshine Coast Highway,
Madeira Park, BC


Edge of the Forest is an exciting exhibition of textile art by 53 artists from across Canada who are members of the Surface Design Association. This juried exhibition of textile art features weaving, felt work, quilts, printing, machine and hand stitched work and other techniques that give structure, pattern and colour to textile. The exhibition is designed to travel across Canada to provide Canadian artists an opportunity to showcase their work in local venues. It aims to introduce the viewers to the variety and beauty of textile art, as well as to inspire other artists to explore these art forms.



the end of ‘mended’

materials for mended
Catherine’s pile of my materials and demo stuff for her residency at Place des Arts
Our travelling exhibition “mended” has completed it’s tour! thanks to all the artists for their participation in the exhibition, the show has been seen and enjoyed by hundreds of people and none of that would be possible without their hard work!
Catherine Nicholls did an Artist in Residence while mended was at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.   (It was sponsored by  Westminster Savings and Catherine was paid). School kids (a range of ages and types of schools) came and we reached 275+ kids , 18 seniors and 22 volunteers from Place des Arts in hands on, 90 minute workshops. Students created a little book with a “mended” cover and a  reference insert ( comic book style) of mending stitches.
sampling of books
A sampling of books made by one of the groups during the residency.

A Heroine of a Thousand Pieces on International Women’s Day

Textile artists inspired by mosaic artist, Lilian Broca

On March 8, International Women’s Day, Vancouver area SDA members met at the Italian Cultural Centre to host a talk and exhibition tour of Heroine of a Thousand Pieces by internationally known mosaic artist, Lilian Broca.

Created out of closely fitting hand-cut smalto glass fragments or tesserae, Lilian’s work was immediately intriguing to textile surface designers. Those who attended were visibly energized and inspired by Lilian’s words, and the impressive sketches and mosaic works of her Judith Series, on exhibit.

For Lilian, “the artist’s role is to listen, question and to expose.” And over the last 20 years, her work “has asserted the powerful female” by retelling ancient stories of women heroes who, despite societal restrictions, become leaders in their communities through acts of courage and sacrifice.

The artist discussed her use of colour, light and pushing the boundaries of historical expectations of her chosen medium, techniques, and narratives, to realize a contemporary and personally relevant artistic vision. She shared with us her research and preparation for each series of her works, her personal connection to her subject matter and her approach to bringing naturalistic sensuality, light and liveliness to the pixilated design surface of her compelling mosaics. We were glad to have had the opportunity to spend some time with this kindred spirit.

While wearing a scarf printed with one of her Judith mosaics, artist Lilian Broca talks about how each element, from colour choices to her heroine’s stance, has been considered in the creation of her iconic images.
While wearing a scarf printed with one of her Judith mosaics, artist Lilian Broca talks about how each element, from colour choices to her heroine’s stance, has been considered in the creation of her iconic images.

In the question period after her talk, Lilian talked about her experiences having her distinctive mosaics reproduced without her permission or knowledge on clothing and other items around the world. Making her own limited edition silk scarves using her imagery is her own statement and response. For an interesting read on this topic, see the recent interview with Lilian in the Globe and Mail.

SDA members at the exhibition of Lilian Broca’s Judith Series, Il Museo Gallery, Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver, March 8, 2016  
SDA members at the exhibition of Lilian Broca’s Judith Series, Il Museo Gallery, Italian Cultural Centre, Vancouver, March 8, 2016


Lilian shared a number of example of a textile surface designs created in glass mosaic (Spilimbergo Mosaic School, Northern Italy) She noted that what gives these examples a “liveliness” is the unevenness of the tesserae and the fact that none of the lines are straight.
Lilian shared a number of example of a textile surface designs created in glass mosaic (Spilimbergo Mosaic School, Northern Italy) She noted that what gives these examples a “liveliness” is the unevenness of the tesserae and the fact that none of the lines are straight.


Here are a few pictures and further notes from that day.

Photos: S. Senaratne

Lilian noted that late last year, the Guggenheim Museum presented an exhibition called “STORYLINES: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim”, a group exhibition examining how artists today forge new paradigms for storytelling. Drawing attention a kind of fashion that can sometimes sweep though artistic practice and how important it is to have confidence in your own personal vision, she went on to say, “Personally, I’ve been telling stories in my art since the 80s, when such art was hardly considered cutting edge…I formulate my own personal vision while remaining true to myself.”

Working with the aesthetics of Byzantine mosaic and creating a more naturalistic Post Modernist one, her contemporary art has been recontextualizing female narratives.

The Bible offers humanity profound insight into tough political and personal issues. The fascinating biblical books of Esther and Judith inspired me to recreate, or retell them through my own artistic, distilled vision. Terrible things happen in both stories. The Book of Esther includes a plot of genocide, a family’s execution, and the slaying of thousands. The Judith story speaks of the gory beheading of Assyrian General Holofernes by a Jewish widow who singlehandedly saves a whole town from slavery… the Books of Esther and Judith must be understood not just literally but also metaphorically.”

“I have erroneously been called a “religious artist”, but religion is not only a story of faith, it is a story of history and social values.”

“Esther and Judith’s stories each promote an individual, and particularly a woman’s sacrifice and determination to defend the liberty of her people.”

“After extensive research of the historical period in which the stories take place, I begin with sketching from models. Many, many, sketches which ultimately get painted as mosaic cartoons. These become guides for the duration of the mosaic execution.” These preparatory sketches and cartoons were exhibited along side the mosaics and added depth and delight for visitors to the show.

Lilian Broca’s show, A Heroine of a Thousand Pieces, is currently on exhibit at Toronto’s JD Carrier Art Gallery from May 5 – July 4, 2016. In August 2016, two of the Judith series mosaics travel to the curated group exhibition called “Characters in a Book” at the Lexington Public Library Fine Art gallery in Lexington, KY. Finally, from January 22nd to April 23rd, 2017, the entire exhibition goes to The Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas TX.

Edge of the Forest




An intrepid team from the Vancouver Island SDA group received and installed the National Touring Exhibition “Edge of the Forest” at the Coast Collective Gallery in Colwood, BC on Monday, March 21. The exhibition is on view until April 3.

Read all about the installation on Lesley Turner’s BLOG and see more images HERE.

Special thanks to the hanging (and photographing team) of Laura Feeleus, Lesley Turner and Barb McCaffrey.

Gathering at the Edge is almost here!


Edge of the Forest on Vancouver Island


Thanks to the Gathering Team:

Gathering TeamSpecial thanks to the wonderful team from the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association  group who have organized the arrival of the “Edge of the Forest” exhibition in BC and the associated “Gathering at the Edge” event coming very soon.

Left to right: Gina Dingwell, Barbara McCaffrey, Lesley Turner and Laura Feeleus.