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.




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

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'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

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“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.

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

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'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

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‘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)

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

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‘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.

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

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'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

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‘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)

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'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

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‘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.

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Claudia Gutierrez gratefully acknowledges support from the Ontario Arts Council. 


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.