Monday, November 23, 2009 - 5:00am - 6:00am
Recital Hall November 23, 2009
Kathryn Walter grew up in Toronto and studied art history at Queen's University and studio art at Emily Carr College of Art and Design. In 1993, she completed her M.F.A at Concordia University and has taught courses at Trent University, University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design.
Walter has practiced as an artist, designer and curator since 1989 exhibiting her work in public galleries across Canada and has participated in exhibitions internationally in the US, Czech Republic and Finland.
In 2000 she began working with industrial manufactured felts inspired by a family connection to this unique material and following an extensive research project that resulted in an exhibition that she curated for the Textile Museum of Canada. Following this, she founded FELT a versatile design company with which she explores the material and culture of industrial felt through exhibitions, historical research, architectural commissions and a product line.
Walter’s work has been exhibited at The Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver; the Design Exchange, the Royal Ontario Museum, Harbourfront and Mercer Union in Toronto; Felissimo Design House and recently Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. She has worked with Levitt-Goodman Architects, Bruce Mau Design, Yazdani Studio, George Yu Architects, Yabu Pushelburg and Diller Scofidio + Renfro. And, clients have included Native Child and Family Services, Holt-Renfrew, the Power Plant: Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront, the Gladstone Hotel and Jamie Kennedy Kitchens in Toronto, Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts; and The Museum of Tolerance and Oxygen Media Studios in Los Angeles.
The FELT Studio is a laboratory that explores the material and culture of modern industrial felt through exhibitions, historical research, architectural commissions and a product line. Founded in 2000 by artist Kathryn Walter, who continues to own and operate the company, the FELT Studio remains unique in its commitment to a material rather than a market allowing it to move into numerous fields including visual art, architecture, fashion, design and material culture. It is based in Toronto and all FELT products are made in Canada.
The FELT Studio is as much about process as it is about product and emphasizes sustainability. Walter works almost exclusively with grey felt made with natural fibres as this is the most environmentally friendly of industrial felts. All felts are made from wool, a renewable resource with varying combinations of virgin and recycled fibres. And, FELT products are designed using basic geometric shapes such as squares and rectangles that enable maximum yield of material and reduced waste. Remnants and off cuts are reused in various forms from one-of-a-kind products to experimental installations.