Past Exhibitions

Brianna Gluszak

Her work utilizes the act of observation, relationships, and formal investigations. Gluszak focuses on the creation of objects, to escape from the mundanity of everyday life.




Speak for Me: Katie Lemieux (June 25 - August 13, 2023)

Katie Lemieux speak for me crop2

June 25 - August 13, 2023
Reception: Sunday, June 25 from 2-5pm

Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Speak for Me’ is a solo exhibition of sculptural ceramic works by Thunder Bay-based artist Katie Lemieux that probes the boundaries of communication. Using hands as a metaphor for language, the work explores the limits of the verbal word, creeping into the visual and the tactile.

Each sculpture maintains traces of the artist through thumb prints, finger strokes or gestural clay placement. Highlighting elements of the sculptural process is important to the work, as the progress of ‘becoming’ also parallels the progress of communicating. This analogy is bolstered by the physical similarities between clay and flesh.

Within the ongoing theme of non-verbal communication in the artist’s work, ‘Speak for Me’ focuses on a particular dialogue: the silent conversation with our own voice, our own authenticity. How do we experience our own inner dialogue or self-talk? In both conversation and self-talk, do we use our own words or do we subconsciously regurgitate others’ language? Does allowing others to speak for us diminish our authenticity?

Ultimately ‘Speak for Me’ explores the permeability between our external and internal selves: both the barriers to expression, as well as the apertures through which ideas pass fluidly, rendering inside and outside indistinguishable.

Katie Lemieux is a ceramic sculptor born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She earned a BFA in ceramics from Lakehead University (2016) and a MFA from the Peck School of the Arts in Wisconsin, Milwaukee (2019). Katie has participated in ceramics residencies in Jingdezhen, China; Zagreb, Croatia; Medicine Hat, Canada; and, most recently, Skopelos, Greece. Her works have been shown in group exhibitions in Canada, the US, Croatia, and Korea, and in the solo exhibition ‘Ending Up’ at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery (2022).

In addition to her work as an artist and ceramic/sculptural technician, Katie also works as a Personal Support Worker with young adults. Her social work continues to drive her artistic narrative as she creates in her at-home studio.


Loup Garou & Moccasins: Nathalie Bertin (April 29 - June 17, 2023)

Craft Ontario Loup Garou  Moccasins Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 4

Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

April 29 - June 17, 2023
Reception: Sunday, April 30 from 1-4pm

Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Loup Garou & Moccasins’ is a solo exhibition by Lake Nosbonsing-based multidisciplinary artist Nathalie Bertin that interprets stories from Métis culture through beadwork.

“Tales and stories are part of our childhood. It is often when we go to bed at night that a parent tells us a fairy tale. Lying on our pillow listening to the voice of someone we love soothes us and puts us to sleep. We are in dreamland!

In the Ojibway and Métis tradition, moccasins are not only to put on our feet, but they also connect us to the earth. On special occasions, we are often given a new pair of moccasins with beadwork to signify the importance of the occasion and also to keep us grounded in life.

Storytelling and traditional dress are part of many cultures. It is a common link. Unfortunately, most Canadians are not familiar with Métis culture, nor many First Nations or Inuit cultures. This project serves to introduce the Métis culture through a series of “moccushions”—cushions created in the model of the Métis style moccasin—that interpret traditional stories.

The series consists of a dozen stories drawn from Métis families across Ontario. Their construction is made with a variety of leather, fur, wool, embroidery and various beads chosen specifically for the tale. In addition to interpreting a traditional tale, they show us some things about distinct Métis art styles.”

– Nathalie Bertin

Nathalie Bertin is a multidisciplinary visual artist from Toronto of French, Métis, and Algonquin heritage. She currently lives near the shores of Lake Nosbonsing (near North Bay). Nathalie worked as a graphic designer in print, publishing and advertising for over 20 years before deciding to pursue her true love of creating art in 2009. Not content with just one medium, she expresses herself through painting, illustration, photography, and a variety of traditional crafts.

Nathalie has had her illustrations struck on collector coins for the Royal Canadian Mint and has illustrated several children's books for Nelson Education. She has presented her work in solo and group exhibitions, has curated exhibitions, and is the co-creator of 'Breathe: A Collection of Traditional Masks Demonstrating Resilience in the Face of the 21st Century Pandemic' to help artists work through the emotions of the pandemic.

Nathalie's work is included in the collections of the Government of Canada, Manitoba and Alberta; the Royal Ontario Museum; and private collectors in Canada, the US, and Europe.


Personal Geographies: Shiemara Hogarth (March 4 - April 22, 2023)

07 Adorned Presence detail Shiemara-Hogarth

March 4 - April 22, 2023
Reception: Thursday, March 9 from 6-8pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


"'Personal Geographies' is a mixed media installation that takes a holistic approach to interrogate the ability of traditional craft, with digital design and fabrication to dissect dialectical discourse. Comprised of embroidery and 3D fabrication, braiding, jacquard damask brocade weaving, and quilted digitally printed 1800s fabric reproductions, the works included in this exhibition offer a critique of the legacies of colonization that continue through the movement of a body. I deconstruct my understanding of the changes and continuity of self through the idea of ‘migrant’ and engage in a broader discourse on what informs ideas of identity and belonging.

The works speak to each other of the multiplicity of truths embedded in the conceptual and material knowledge of my Black diasporic immigrant experience through objects that aim to renegotiate my relationship between multiple colonized spaces. The pieces in this work deconstruct the meanings behind the Jamaican bandana cloth – a reclaimed symbol of post-slavery pride and distinction; uses the body as a vehicle for reimagining and re-inscribing spaces of belonging outside of conflicted existing geographies; and uses weaving as a reflexive conversation between the maker and the object about these themes of colonialism, migration and belonging.

These objects do not aim to solve questions of the colonial project. They, instead, bear material witnesses to how a diasporic body can reimagine their place in the world beyond what official ‘multicultural’ narratives may tell. Overall, this exhibition invites the viewer to consider the material and theoretical connections that locate a body between multiple colonial spaces, including the wider space within which this visual conversation takes place."

– Shiemara Hogarth


Born in Jamaica, Shiemara Hogarth received an Honours Double Major BA in History, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from York University, then a BDes in Material Art and Design from OCAD University, followed by an MFA in Craft Media from the Alberta University of the Arts. Trained as a historian and textile artist and designer, 3D fabrication has come into her work, and her exploration of narrative and critique through material adaptation and deconstruction engages multi-disciplinary material research as a method of production. She has organized and hosted the symposium 'Canadian Women in Craft: A Conversation,' and curated the exhibition 'Threading Black' with the Alberta Craft Council. She has also had her writing featured in Studio Magazine.

Currently based in Brampton, Ontario, she was awarded a 2021 Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship which enabled her to produce 'Personal Geographies.'


Generation: Amanda Rataj (January 14 - February 25, 2023)

Craft Ontario Generation Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 4

'Generation' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

January 14 - February 25, 2023
Reception: Sunday, January 22 from 2-5pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Generation’ is a two-person exhibition by Hamilton-based artist and weaver Amanda Rataj and her late grandfather, master woodworker and furniture designer Rudolph Rataj.

"In the 1960s my paternal grandfather became the principal designer and shop manager for a successful furniture company in Toronto called Brunswick Manufacturing. For the following two decades, they supplied locally made, well-built institutional furniture to universities, community centres, and hospitals throughout the GTA.

In my home I have six chairs built by Brunswick Manufacturing that are covered in their original fabric — each of my grandfather's children got a matching set of chairs, and I have my father's set. I have designed, sampled, and hand woven yardage to reupholster these chairs. The original fabric is plain, brown, and synthetic — very representative of the late 1970s when they were made. The new textile covering for each chair takes its cues from the coloured light in shadows, and is made from natural fibres and padded with local wool felt.

My grandfather died before I was born, but his material influence has always been a part of my life, through the family cottage he designed and built, and in the countless chairs, tables, and furniture I have lived with, slept on, and used in my day to day. I’ve always taken this material landscape for granted while knowing very little about the maker.

Ultimately, this exhibition contributes to a conversation about Toronto’s small-scale industries, institutional furniture, and craft history. Through this exhibition, my work may help viewers identify items of Brunswick manufacturing that they know through offices, classrooms, and boardrooms, creating a conversation about the crafted environment of our institutional spaces."

– Amanda Rataj


Amanda Rataj is an artist and weaver living and working in Hamilton, Ontario. She has studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto, Japan. Amanda has developed her contemporary craft practice through research-based projects, artist residencies, professional exhibitions, and lectures. She has exhibited at the Textile Museum of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, and the Art Gallery of Burlington, among others. Amanda regularly writes about textiles and publishes her textile designs online and in print, working with companies like Gist Yarn and Fiber in Boston, MA, and international publications like Väv Magasinet in Sweden.


Amanda Rataj acknowledges funding support from the Ontario Arts Council.

 OAC Logo black 175


'Generation' is part of the 2023 DesignTO Festival.

 DesignTO Festival Logo - Dates


Second Life: Vanessa Yanow (September 1 - October 1, 2022)

Vanessa Gallery Website Exhibitions header

'Second Life' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

September 1 - October 1, 2022
Reception: Thursday, September 1 from 6-9pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


“Each piece from the ‘Second Life’ series includes an unfinished antique textile piece made in the 20th century by anonymous women. Considered hobby projects, these artifacts were each abandoned at various stages of completion. I documented each of them before beginning, researched their technique and place in history, and then transformed them into completed sculptures using elements of glass, textiles and mixed media.

The objects’ incompleteness is my road in. I start where my “collaborator” left off. I extract the love, frustration, boredom, eccentricities, or whatever traces of this unknown person’s humanity that I can divine from the piece and let these characteristics take the lead. If I can respect some of the original author’s intentions while inserting my personal interpretation of the work to transform it into something new and meaningful, I will have succeeded in this rejuvenation process. I am the final chapter in a story that unexpectedly stopped in time. Though separated from the author by time, culture and age, the process of transforming these objects allows me to cross the boundaries that continue to persist between art and craft, the past and present, the young and elderly, what is old and new, technology and handmade, and between traditional techniques and conceptual art practices.”

– Vanessa Yanow

 Vanessa Yanow is a queer artist who works primarily with textiles, flame worked glass and found objects. They have been reviewed and featured in many North American publications as an exceptional craftsperson, but their BFA in Paint from RISD points the way back to a grounding in the visual arts, lending their work a unique strength that defies categorization. Their sculptural work has been shown in museums in Canada, and in galleries and art fairs internationally. Their work is also part of the city of Montreal’s permanent collection, the collection of Le Musée des Maitres et Artisans in Montréal and in the Musée National in Québec City. Yanow currently lives and works in Tiohtià:ke (aka Montreal) out of The Long Haul – a nonprofit, artist-run organization that they cofounded in 2001.

We would like to thank the CALQ for their support in getting this work and the artist to Toronto.

Calq noir


Reflections on Growth: Michelle Mendlowitz (July 8 - August 27, 2022)

Craft Ontario Reflections on Growth Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 15

'Reflections on Growth' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

July 8 - August 27, 2022
Reception: Friday, July 8 from 6-9pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Reflections on Growth’ is a solo exhibition of sculptural ceramic works by Toronto-based artist Michelle Mendlowitz that explores the relationships we have with our bodies. The forms are ambiguous and organic, and their self-containment – each one an enclosed volume – recall internal organs. The gently pinched surface is highlighted by Mendlowitz’s thickly applied glaze that drips down the surface, alluding to flesh and tissue. The glaze colours are unsettling with soft mottled blues and pinks contrasted with an oil-dark glaze suggestive of a creeping necrosis.

The resulting sculptures are at once familiar and alien, beautiful and grotesque. Their discordance is born out of Mendlowitz’s experience of her own body as she coped with recurrent fibroids, which are growths on or in the uterus. Interested in how fibroids grow, Mendlowitz wondered, How do they feed off of me? How do they expand and contract? How do they attach themselves? How do they organically multiply? Mendlowitz’s sculptures speak to the difficulty in reconciling body and mind, particularly in the antagonistic conditions of chronic illness and pain. At the same time, ‘Reflections on Growth’ exemplifies a strategy for reconciliation: in thoughtful and embodied art-making, body and mind become collaborators working through a challenge as one.

– Robyn Wilcox, Curator

 Michelle Mendlowitz is a Toronto-based ceramic artist. She received a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2005. Since graduating she has maintained a studio practice making both functional and sculptural objects. Mendlowitz has shown work throughout Canada and the US. She has received awards from Craft Ontario and the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, among others, and grants from the Ontario Arts Council and Craft Ontario. Mendlowitz has taught ceramics in studios across Toronto since 2005 and is currently instructing at OCAD University, the Gardiner Museum, Prosserman JCC, and her studio at 1910 Danforth Ceramics.


In the Presence of Change: Fiona Duthie & Amee Raval (April 30 – June 18, 2022)

Fiona-Amee composite-01

April 30 – June 18, 2022
Reception: Friday, April 29, 6-9pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘In the Presence of Change’ is a two-person exhibition featuring the work of fibre artist Fiona Duthie and glass artist Amee Raval that explores themes of resilience and transformation.

Composed of 132 unique tiles, Fiona Duthie’s wall installation is a study in materiality. Titled ‘Resilience’, the installation is an outgrowth of her more traditional felt-making practice that delves into the transformation of common materials through extreme processes. The foundation of each tile is a BC fir-offcut from a local building site, which is blackened and preserved using a traditional Japanese method of charring the wood surface with flame (shou sugi ban). Providing contrast to the charred wood is 'paper felt', a medium Duthie developed that is a labour-intensive marriage between traditional Korean papermaking (joomchi) and wool feltmaking. Ceramic elements, fired in the extreme heat of a kiln, reach out from the tiles, which are then finished with inks made from soot that Duthie collected from forest fire-burnt trees in BC and Australia. Duthie invites interaction from visitors to move and rearrange the tiles into new configurations throughout the exhibition. Through these changes—planned and unplanned⁠—the installation maintains its visual integrity. “Nature and humanity share this trait,” Duthie contends, “in the face of adversity, we are both resilient.”

Amee Raval’s colourful cast glass pieces stand in contrast to the limited palette of ‘Resilience’. The ‘Goddess’ series features a trio of sculptural female forms that draw on the traditional imagery of Raval’s Hindu heritage. However, each piece is subtly transformed through the incorporation of elements such as boxing gloves and carpentry tools—objects at odds with traditional notions of femininity. Through these contrasts, Raval aims to show a culture in which patriarchal norms are being challenged by progressive feminist ideals. Similarly, Raval’s floor installation draws on rangoli, a traditional Hindu art form of creating geometric patterns on floors or tabletops from everyday materials, practiced particularly by women and girls in celebration of Festivals. In lieu of the flower petals or coloured sands that might make up a conventional rangoli, Raval’s piece is composed of hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers rendered in colourful cast glass—tools conventionally associated with men and male labour.

Although contrasting in material, palette, and figuration/abstraction, Duthie and Raval’s pieces both bear witness to moments of transformation and change—individual, societal, and global. They draw on traditional craft practices, implemented through a contemporary lens. At a moment that feels unprecedented, it is good to remember that we have always been invited to participate in transformation—the only constant in life, as they say, is change.

– Robyn Wilcox, Curator


Fiona Duthie is an fibre artist/maker recognized for her dynamic surface design. She has a full time studio practice on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia. Being in this beautiful natural space surrounded by forest, rocky beaches, the ocean and a strong artist community has allowed her creative practice to thrive. Duthie's work has been published in many international textile arts publications. She has exhibited widely in both public and private galleries in Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

Amee Raval is an emerging glass artist based in Mississauga, Ontario. Following more than a decade as a marketing and business professional, Raval decided to pursue her passion for glass, graduating with a Bachelor’s in Craft & Design from Sheridan College in 2019. Raval is a Resident Artist at Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre and a Glass Art Association of Canada board member.


Fiona Duthie acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

CCA RGB black e


Moving in Circles: Zimra Beiner (March 5 - April 22, 2022)

Craft Ontario Moving in Circles Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 11 16-9

'Moving in Circles' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

March 5 – April 22, 2022
Reception: Friday, April 22 from 6-9pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Moving in Circles’ is a solo exhibition of sculptural ceramic works exploring the global movement of goods, the complexity of ceramic production, and material hierarchy by Toronto-born, Calgary-based artist Zimra Beiner. Using the form of the vessel, Beiner’s sculptural works are assemblages of ceramics made in various clay bodies – porcelain, stoneware, and unknown commercial clays – intermixed with found objects collected from thrift stores, garden stores, and small-scale pottery factories. The components are glued and fastened together with obvious seams and provisionally repaired fractures.

Integral to the exhibition is its display: a structure built in-situ by Beiner primarily using cardboard boxes. With ceramic works nested inside, the installation brings to mind the international transit of artworks between galleries and collectors, as well as a U-Haul box of thrifted dinnerware en route to a new home. It’s as if the two boxes – the Art and the dinnerware – collided in transit and the casualty is context, setting adrift any indicators of value. Beiner’s installation also exposes some of the other labours of artistic production: the packing, shipping, unpacking, repairing, storing, and displaying, among others. Which activities are valued? Which materials and forms? ‘Moving in Circles’ is a self-reflexive look at ceramic production and its role within both personal and global systems of value and influence.

– Robyn Wilcox, Curator

 Zimra Beiner received a BFA from NSCAD University in 2009 and an MFA from Alfred University in 2012. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Canada, including exhibitions at The Hole NYC, Present CO, Cross Mackenzie Gallery, and the Gardiner Museum. Recent awards include The Winnifred Shantz Award, The NCECA Emerging Artist Award, nomination for The RBC Emerging Artist Award in Ceramics, and recent residencies include The Berlin Ceramics Centre, Private Studio Jingdezhen, China, and The Center for Contemporary Ceramics at California State University Long Beach. He is currently Assistant Professor in Ceramics at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary, Canada.


Liminal Monuments: Claudia Gutierrez (January 13 - February 26, 2022)

Craft Ontario Liminal Monuments Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 2

'Liminal Monuments' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

January 13 - February 26, 2022
Reception: Thursday, January 13 from 6-9pm – CANCELLED
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Liminal Monuments’ is a solo exhibition of embroidered textile works exploring Latinx identity, ancestral iconography and commemoration by Ottawa-based artist Claudia Gutierrez. In collaboration with photographer Pat Bolduc, images of Gutierrez’s pieces exhibited alongside the objects add a narrative quality. The textiles are held in the arms of Latinx subjects—including Gutierrez and her sisters—obfuscated in a dream-like blur of the camera. For Gutierrez, memories are like dreams: liminal spaces distorted by our past, present and future. They are an unstable, shifting foundation for personal identity.

Gutierrez’s embroidered works draw on the powerful history of textiles as symbols of national identity. Her pieces reference rebozos (shawls traditionally worn by Mexican women), paliacates (the bandanas worn by Zapatistas, the predominantly Indigenous rebel group that has been in conflict with the Mexican state for decades), as well as the hoop earrings that are central to Chicana culture, a shared identity of some Mexican Americans. As a first generation Canadian born to a Uruguayan mother and Mexican father, Gutierrez herself oscillates between heritages, customs, symbols, and languages. What are the icons of diasporic identity? Which events and people are commemorated? Perhaps, Gutierrez posits, it is something always out of reach—always shifting and changing, layered in space and time—something more like a dream or a memory.

– Robyn Wilcox, Curator


Claudia Gutierrez is an artist and activist whose practice has been deeply informed by residencies in Canada and Mexico. Her practice engages in textile, printmaking, and painting mediums. Gutierrez has been exhibiting her work in Ontario and Quebec, Canada since 2010 and has completed numerous public art and cultural outreach projects in Ottawa. She was awarded the SAW Prize for New Works in 2020, is supported by the Ontario Arts Council and was recently awarded a major public art project with Canadian Heritage. In addition to her artistic practice, Gutierrez works as a curator and arts administrator.


'Liminal Monuments' is part of the 2022 DesignTO Festival, January 21-30.

 DesignTO Festival Logo 150


Claudia Gutierrez gratefully acknowledges support from the Ontario Arts Council. 


Arboreal: Daniel Gruetter and Juliana Scherzer (August 21 - October 2, 2021)

Craft Ontario Arboreal Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 2

'Arboreal' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

August 21 - October 2, 2021
Reception-by-appointment: Sunday, September 12 from 11am-4pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Arboreal’ is an exhibition of recent work by woodworker Daniel Gruetter and textile artist Juliana Scherzer exploring how we relate to material, place, and nature. Created using tree materials—fallen leaves for Juliana and local wood for Daniel—these works interrogate our role within, and responsibility to, the natural environment.

Juliana Scherzer’s quilt-pieced leaf works developed out of a week-long, land-based residency in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia. Informed by the park’s restoration and conservation efforts, Juliana’s experiments led to a method of encasing fallen leaves in glycerin. By preserving the leaves’ flexibility, she is able to manipulate them like textiles, constructing her works through cutting, quilt-piecing, and machine-sewing. The result is evocative of wooded paths, rhizomes and roots, insect burrows, tree canopies, and watersheds—vectors ranging in scale from micro to macro. At the same time, familiar quilting techniques call to mind heirloom quilts pieced from a baby blanket, an outgrown dress, an old work shirt, all sewn together to create a network of connections between people and their stories. And that’s the point: these systems—human, animal, fungal, vegetal—are enmeshed and indivisible.

Through his furniture and objects, Daniel Gruetter reveals the intrinsic value of wood. His work expresses the unique capacities of local woods and reframes “flaws” as valuable and essential parts of the material. Daniel’s approach to material, one of observation and response, draws on traditional craft methodologies and their relationship to the natural world.

Each of Daniel’s pieces highlights a specific material trait. The technique of oxidation, for example, combines iron with the natural tannins in wood to create dramatic colours that vary by species. ‘Live-edge table #1’ utilizes an expansion joint made from a crack, a feature that highlights the forces inherent in wood as it expands and contracts. The handheld objects are sculptural ergonomic shapes, finely finished to optimize the tactility of wood. This attentive and caring relationship to materials extends out to the whole of the natural world, and offers an alternative ideology to our current economic system of extractive capitalism that treats natural resources as commodities for exploitation and is an ongoing driver of colonialism.

Both artists’ work express a sense of care that comes from understanding yourself as a node in a network of relations; that being in relation means a reciprocity and a responsibility to the material and, in turn, all of the material’s connections.

– Robyn Wilcox, Curator


Daniel Gruetter is a woodworker based in Toronto, Canada. He was born and raised in Bella Coola, a remote community nestled in British Columbia’s coast mountains. He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a BA in History in 2010. Daniel has worked with local and international artists, architects, and designers to provide finely made furniture and objects for a wide variety of contexts from private homes to commercial spaces and hospitality enterprises. He provides design services, as well as batch production and custom woodwork.


Juliana Scherzer is a textile artist working primarily in free-motion machine embroidery and quilted leaves. After graduating from Sheridan College with a Bachelor of Craft and Design (2018), Juliana spent three years as an artist-in-residence at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design where she continued to build her practice while branching out into production work and teaching a range of textile and art courses in the community. In August 2021 Juliana relocated to Toronto to join Harbourfront Centre’s Artist-in-Residence Program.

 Juliana would like to acknowledge the support of Arts Nova Scotia with their Presentation Grant.



Iron Identity: Contemporary Jewellery by Alex Kinsley Vey (June 11 - August 14, 2021)

Craft Ontario IRON IDENTITY Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 02

'Iron Identity' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

A selection of work from this exhibition is available for sale in the Craft Ontario online shop.

June 11 - August 14, 2021
Reception by Appointment: Sat, Aug 7, 6-9pm & Sun, Aug 8, 1-4pm
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


‘Iron Identity’ is a solo exhibition of work by Toronto-based contemporary jeweller Alex Kinsley Vey.

“Hamilton, my hometown on the shore of Lake Ontario, has traditionally been a steel producing centre. Despite the industry having died down in recent decades, its industrial activity is still apparent. ‘Iron Identity’ references my time growing up there, and the impact this place had on me.

Brooches, rings and neckpieces evoke and commemorate this identity through the use of oxides, coarse finishing, and sturdy construction. I use colours associated with industrial machinery and abandoned sites – bright colours that contrast signs of rust and deterioration. Transporting this aesthetic to the body allows it to be worn close, displayed with pride, and given reverence as a jewellery object.

The places and structures I reference directly influenced the culture of Hamilton. These former steel mills, manufacturing facilities, and factories provided good, working class jobs, and were once economic symbols announcing the prosperity of the city. Now that we have moved into a post-industrial economy, these places look dirty and out of place. I grew up around the last of these industrial sites when the flame of industry was already diminished. I feel compelled to record the physical and emotional identity of this city in order to come to a better understanding of my own identity.”

– Alex Kinsley Vey


Alex Kinsley Vey is from Hamilton, Ontario, where he received jewellery training from his parents. Moving to Toronto in 2010, Alex studied jewellery at George Brown College, receiving an Advanced Diploma in Jewellery Arts in 2013. Alex has shown work in Canada, Europe, and the United States. He has been a member of Craft Ontario since 2012, Klimt02 since 2017, and was a Harbourfront Centre Craft and Design Artist-in-Residence from 2015-2019. He is currently a member at Jewel Envy in Toronto's west-end. Alex is a sessional instructor at OCAD University in Toronto, and has previously taught at George Brown College in Toronto, and NSCAD University in Halifax.

Alex is represented by Galerie Noel Guyomarc’h, Montréal.


'Iron Identity' is part of the 2021 DesignTO Festival, January 22-31.

 DesignTO Festival Logo 150


The artist gratefully acknowledges support from the Toronto Arts Council.



SECURITY BLANKET: Embroidered textiles by Jennifer Smith-Windsor (March 9 - April 7, 2021)

Craft Ontario SECURITY BLANKET Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds WEB 3

'SECURITY BLANKET' at Craft Ontario. Photo by Jocelyn Reynolds.

March 9 - April 7, 2021
Craft Ontario Gallery, 1106 Queen Street West, Toronto

View Exhibition Photos


The crisis of the global COVID-19 pandemic has drawn into sharp focus our collective global vulnerability against the threat of an unknown enemy. It has forced us to change our habits, from the way we work, shop, travel exercise, and perhaps most importantly, greet and visit friends and loved ones. It has forced us to ask critical questions such as: What does it mean to be safe and secure? How can we protect ourselves, our families, our friends and strangers? How can we secure our country from incoming, potentially unseen threats?

Coming at a time when we are all searching for comfort and the assurance that we will be safe, the SECURITY BLANKET series seeks to explore the above questions and more. The first object to touch a newborn baby, the blanket offers warmth and reassurance, but the blanket continues to be an object associated with well-being and security long after early childhood. Security is defined as a state of being safe and free from worry, but is there more to its meaning than initially suggested by this dictionary definition? SECURITY BLANKET explores two notions of security. First, the security of the home – represented by antique, handmade domestic textiles such as doilies and lace. And second, the security of the state – represented by eight government-issue military blankets from Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Switzerland and the United States. These repurposed objects constitute a blank canvas onto which another layer of meaning can be added to their already nuanced histories. The intricate patterning created by the use of traditional embroidery stitches integrates these two divergent representations of security on both a physical and conceptual level, producing works of visually interesting contrast that provoke the viewer to consider their own relationship to home, comfort, safety and security.

Jennifer Smith-Windsor is a textile artist based in Stratford, Ontario. She was the 2019 recipient of the Craft Ontario Helen Frances Gregor Award for excellence in contemporary textile and in 2010 received the Mary Diamond Butts Scholarship in Embroidery and Needlecraft, also from Craft Ontario. Jennifer’s art practice focuses almost exclusively on hand embroidery. When hand stitching, she deliberately uses a limited range of stitches, exploring the wealth of possibilities that this restricted repertoire offers. Vintage, handmade textiles figure prominently in her work as reclaiming them and giving them a second life is incredibly important to her. They act as her starting point, a blank canvas onto which another layer of meaning can be added. She has always been drawn to cloth; embroidering as a child, sewing her own clothes as a teenager, studying textiles at university, working in theatre costume departments as a young adult and now with an active textile art practice. It is cloth’s intimate relationship to the body, its ubiquity in our lives, its associations with the home, its links to the past and its relevance to the future that continues to inspire her.


Who We Are

Formerly the Ontario Crafts Council, Craft Ontario is a not-for-profit service organization that works to have craft recognized as a valuable part of life. We promote and celebrate professional craft through providing member opportunities, and advocate for craft practice by educating and empowering diverse audiences.