Looking West, Finishing School: part 2 PDF  | Print |  E-mail

Capilano College

Taking the world by a thread: Katalina Guerrero

Vinder ( Dutch for Butterfly) Vanessa Cunningham

 Alberta College of Art and Design 

Un-Jin Cho: In her Own Voice  

Siri McCormick - Artist Biography






  Capilano College 

2055 Purcell Way
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7J 3H5
Tel: 604. 986.1911

About the Textile Arts Programs at Capilano College

The Textile Arts Program at Capilano College was started as a Clay and Textile Program in the early 1970’s and the current Diploma Program in Textile Arts was established in the early 1990’s. The Advanced Certificate was added in the late 1990’s.

We are located in North Vancouver at the foot of Mount Seymour nestled into a wooded area at the edge of the city, within a 20 minute commuting distance from downtown Vancouver.

Students learn about textile arts by exploring many different processes and by studying historical and contemporary works. Generally we encourage students to explore processes rather than perfect them. In terms of finished project, some projects have a conceptual topic (a visual narrative, a container, ‘Empty dress’ (or a piece of clothing that stands in for the body’; some have structural requirements: i.e. a site specific installation; something that can be attached to the body (but not a traditional piece of clothing) other projects are quite open and students can work from more functional (clothing or interior design objects to more art pieces.

 The core content of Weaving also includes other structural processes such as basketry, felting, spinning, some knitting + crochet. Surface Design focuses on dye and print processes, from shibori and simple bloc prints to Silk-screening with dyes pigments and resists. It also includes a lot of stitching and other surface applications. These core subjects are complemented by courses in Drawing, Design, 3D Mixed Media, Visual Literacy, Communications or English and Textile History. Courses in "Professional and Business Skills in Arts and Crafts" and "Precision Dyeing" provide students with information and hands-on experience that will facilitate entering a professional career. A critical and analytical approach to their own work will enable graduates to be proficient in a range of professional activities.

 We try to enrich the program by bringing in many guest artists, who present their own approaches and who in some cases then take students on practicum. Some of our students enter professional practices from our program, while others take additional courses in specific fields or transfer to a degree granting institution, across Canada, NSCAD, ACAD and Concordia and sometimes in the US or UK to obtain their BFA. Most recently we have entered into a degree completion agreement with Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, and we are eager to see how this will be used by our grads and how this will benefit the whole textile arts community here. Many of our students have found work in the Film industry and others work successfully in fashion; some have gone into teaching and many typically balance a mixture of activities after graduation.

 Our students have a broad range of backgrounds, a wide range in age, previous experiences in textiles, visual arts and academic studies. Some students work in more traditional approaches and work towards mastery of technical aspects, while others are more experimental and expressive of an idea. As a result the career paths of our grads is also very varied

I chose for this presentation concentrate more on recent grads, who are on the threshold of entering their professional life. Their work is not necessarily representative, but gives an idea where new works in textiles is leading.


"Dundunba" (42x28 inches),

Taking the World by a Thread:  Katalina Guerrer,Class of 07

 I love creating collages because it allows me to piece together the emotional, mental and physical recollections from my travels (and life in general). Traveling has always been a part of my life. I’ve developed a symbiotic relationship between travel and art. As the years go by, I find myself going on longer journeys to places I had never imagined going to. From West Africa to South America and Eastern Europe, every place has been charged with inspiration and personal discovery. Everywhere I go, I make sure to pick up some pieces of fabric and integrate them into my next collage. I am deeply influenced by many ethnic and textile traditions from around the world, and find that these traditions offer a very valuable insight into the communities where they originate.

I always finish the details of a piece with free motion embroidery; I grew up painting and drawing, so I find that I can translate these skills into thread.

I also incorporate other techniques into my work such as silk screening, devoré, and batik. There are really no limitations. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I strive to express and share my experiences through my artwork. I love what I do, and hope that other people enjoy it as well.


"Sirena" (20x20 inches).  Both are fabric collage, printed fabric, and free motion embroidery

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