Allyson Mitchell is a maximalist artist working in sculpture, performance, installation and film. Her practice melds feminism and pop culture to investigate contemporary ideas about sexuality, autobiography and the body, largely through the use of reclaimed textile and abandoned craft. These articulations have resulted in a coven of lesbian feminist Sasquatch monsters, a room-sized Vagina Dentata, an army of super genius Holly Hobbies and a woodland utopic library complete with a wishing well of forbidden political knowledge.
Her works have exhibited in galleries and festivals across Canada, the US and Europe, including the Textile Museum of Canada, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, the Andy Warhol Museum, Walker Art Center, The British Film Institute, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Mitchell recently attended the Canada Council for the Arts International Studio (ISCP) in New York City. She is based in Toronto, where she is an Assistant Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University.
Hollie Pocsai is a co-owner of the handmade and vintage shop White Elephant in Hamilton, Ontario. She is also a founding member of the Beehive Craft Collective, a craft and homesteading collective, based in Hamilton as well. Passionate about her city, sustainable living, and creating adventure in her day-to-day life, she can most likely be found bike riding, farming, antiquing, embroidering or behind the lens of her camera. She is thrilled to be a part of the jury for City of Craft this year.
One of the co-founders of City of Craft, Jen Anisef has had her hand in a number of community-based craft initiatives that include Toronto Craft Alert, The Church of Craft - Montreal, and goodEGG industries. When not organizing crafty projects or engaging in arts marketing, Jen loves to oogle fabric, make quilts, and daydream textile designs.
For a very long while, Leah Buckareff was involved in Toronto's craft community. First as founder of the Toronto Church of Craft back in 2003 and later as co-founder of City of Craft. Since then, Leah has relocated to Berlin, Germany where she makes weird and loud music with her partner which she then tours around the world to perform. When not on the road, she is making books as Coldsnap Bindery, embroidering into foreign currency and calling it art, and tending to her newest craft project, The Wunderkabinet.
A co-founder of City of Craft, Becky Johnson now sits at its helm occupying the role of 'Ring Leader'. When not working on the fair, she can be found peddling her wares from coast to coast with her one-woman craft concern, the sweetie pie press. Becky also makes large works in crochet, small works of ephemera and other things that pop up in all sorts of gallery, exhibiton and installation projects the world over. Sometimes, she waxes philosophical about craft in the form of lectures and sometimes she teaches craft skills. Becky also performs things on stages across the world.