The Fibre Artist Residency - one of our favourite happenings each year - is in full swing already. It's an art residency that highlights the different ways in which wool becomes beautiful finished works of art! This year, we've got Rina Matsumura, a tapestry artist from Calgary, joining us under a little different format than previous years; rather than a one month intensive, she's in studio a couple of days each week through to the end of September. While she's here, she will also be offering two classes; one kids' intro to tapestry weaving on August 23rd, and one adults' intro to tapestry weaving on September 13th.
Rina is a mental health nurse who also weaves woven wall art as a part of her passion project to raise mental health awareness. She is open about telling her journey with anxiety and hopes that through her work and her art she can help break down barriers and stop the stigma towards mental health and mental illness. She is a busy mom who works at both a community psychiatric clinic and an adult outpatient mental health clinic in one of Calgary’s busiest hospitals, creates art out of her home when she is not working, is a wife, and is a mother to her two boys.
She writes: "My craft is tapestry weaving. I create woven wall art on frame looms that I also build myself. I have always been engaged in creative endeavors, needing something to keep my hands and mind busy. I have had struggles through the years with anxiety and have searched for ways to be more mindful, present and ‘out of my head’. Though I have tried many things it wasn’t until I found a simple beginner loom weaving class that I felt I had met my soul mate. Over the years I’ve grown my love for all different types of fibers and weaving techniques. Avelane Wall Art was born after that first class 2.5 years ago and has grown into a true passion project."
Of course, we'll have a big wrap up exhibit and party for her on Saturday September 28th here at the mill during our September Open Saturday. We hope you'll find time to come join us for a class with her or to celebrate her work on exhibit day!