The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum Announces the Winners of the New KDS Fibre and Textile Art Award

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Images (left to right): Sue Clark, Moss Draped Fir; Melanie Chikofsky, Going Around in Circles; Judi Miller, Around the Bend.

For immediate release

MVTM announces the winners of the new KDS Fibre and Textile Art Award!

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) is proud to announce the KDS Fibre and Textile Art Award winners, recognizing excellence in fibre and textile art. It’s been created as a showcase of the most current and versatile approaches to fibre as a medium. In order to profile the breadth of the craft, not one, but three award categories are in place to celebrate the work of emerging, mid-career and established women artists aged 50 and over.

The contest was open to all Canadian female artists over 50 who have produced artwork in the last two years with fibre or textile as the principle element. Selected artists will be awarded in one of three categories: established artist, $3000; mid-career artists, $1500; emerging artist, $500. And as if winning wasn’t enough, an opportunity to have their work on display at the museum in the near future.

Says the MVTM curator, Michael Rikley-Lancaster, “What an honour to launch this award as both part of the 35th anniversary of the museum and the 25th year of Fibrefest. And what a double honour to do so because a private donor wanted to establish, and fund, an award to empower female artists. It’s a great way to give back to the textile arts community and to show the support for the type of art and craft that is so fundamental to all that has made the museum the dynamic place it is today. All of us – staff, volunteers, artists – are grateful for this gift and challenge.”

The following jurors volunteered their time to review just under 50 submissions:

1. Anne Kelly, UK
Anne is an award winning Canadian born, UK based artist, author and tutor. Her multilayered and densely stitched textiles have been described as ‘small worlds’. Trained in Canada and at Goldsmiths College in London, she creates wall hangings and objects using a mixture of mixed media collage and hand and machine embroidery. Her teaching and gallery work take her around the UK and abroad.

2. Marjolein Dallinga, QC
Marjolein is a hands-on person and her creativity from an early age on stems from her love of living things, horses and riding, movement and colors. She did training in graphic arts and painting at Minerva Academy, a fine arts institute in Groningen Holland, where she was born, but spent subsequent years doing mostly painting and drawing. She then found felting to be a medium in which she could express herself as she had done in her painting. Felting is also an activity which readily fits in with her lifestyle while caring for a family.

3. Sayward Johnson, ON
Sayward is a copper and textile artist. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2007, and moved to Montreal where she studied at the Montreal Centre for Contemporary Textiles and the École de joaillerie de Montreal. In 2010, she decided to make the capital region her home. She has exhibited across North America and has sold her work to private collectors in the US and Canada. She has been a recipient of the Mary Robertson Textile Scholarship by the Ontario Craft Council, and received grants from OAE Arts Council, Ontario Art Council and City of Ottawa. She exhibits regularly in the Ottawa and Outaouais region.

We are proud to announce the winners:

1. Established Female Artist winner, Melanie Chikofsky, ON
Bio: Melanie Chikofsky’s long and varied career as an artist/educator began in childhood. Her first forays where in ceramics until she attended a specialized art program at the secondary school level, followed by studies at Sheridan College School of Design, all contributing to a wide-ranging passion for art that also informed her zeal for teaching.

The vicissitudes of life have continued to shape Chikofsky as an artist. Since 2000, she has been the Director and Lead Instructor at the Al Green Sculpture Studio School, where teaching adults sculpture has propelled the acquisition of many new technical skills that have had a profound impact on her current art practice.

2. Mid-Career Female Artist winner, Judi Miller, ON
Bio: Judi Miller is a textile artist specializing in free motion embroidery. Using a variety of threads, colour and weights, Judi create pieces with finely stitched details on a painted fabric base. Judi uses her sewing machine as her choice of artist’s tool, no different from a paint brush or pencil.

Judi’s inspiration springs from so many sources but most often explores the natural landscape. Judi’s embroidery technique lends itself to capturing light, colour and movement that help create a strong sense of memory and place.

3. Emerging Female Artist winner, Sue Clark, BC
Bio: Sue Clark has been actively creating since making her first crayon markings at age one. Encouraged by creative parents, Sue pursued her artistic goals at Ontario College of Art and Design (AOCA, Fine Art,1983), working her way through college and post-grad years in commercial art studios and public art galleries. During this time Sue staged her first solo exhibition of paintings titled “Tree Portraits”.

Sue moved west more than 30 years ago to live close to her greatest inspiration – the mountains, sea and especially the trees and forests of Vancouver Island. Since selling the vibrant retail business she partnered in for the past 30 years, Sue has been actively exploring opportunities to exhibit her stitched artworks to a wider audience.


The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is in the annex of the former Rosamond Woolen Company in Almonte, Ontario. Constructed in 1867 this National Historic Site of Canada features a blend of the old and new, all related to the history of the Mississippi Valley and the textile industry. Visit, become a donor, become a volunteer – our history is your history!

For more information contact the curator, Michael Rikley-Lancaster, curator@mvtm.ca, 613-256-3754.