Curating Circle

Angela Clarke – Dr. Angela Clarke holds a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia specializing in Italian women, religion, and decorative art. She is the Museum Director and Curator of Il Museo at the Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver. Her research specialization lies with the material culture of the Italian Renaissance, especially Italian maiolica ceramics and specifically, the female-oriented arts and crafts traditions from the Renaissance to the present day. In particular, she has focused on a number of important traditions in Italian cultural life, such as needle work, lace making, as well as other domestic decorative arts including ceramics, tapestries, and household devotional objects. Since 2012 she has researched, written, and designed thirteen exhibitions on book binding, mosaics, tapestries, textiles, as well as modern interpretations of Roman and Greek mythological subjects in painting and sculpture. Dr. Clarke lectures on textiles and decorative art at academic conferences and cultural symposia around the world.

Barbara Heller – With degrees in psychology and art education, Barbara Heller spent many years exploring the fine arts before devoting herself full time to tapestry. Exhibiting locally, nationally, and internationally, Barbara’s tapestries have been featured in books, magazines, and newspaper articles. She has organized exhibitions and symposia, written articles, lectured, edited publications, and curated exhibitions. Barbara has represented Canada overseas at symposia and conferences and most recently was one of two Canadian participants in the 15th International triennial of Tapestry in Lodz, Poland.  She was the Canadian correspondent for the International Tapestry Journal, sat on the Board of the American Tapestry Alliance and currently is on the board of the Crafts Council of B.C. Barbara is a passionate proponent of the art of tapestry and of the place of tapestry in contemporary art, founding both the B.C. Society of Tapestry Artists and the Canadian Tapestry Network.

Debra Sparrow – Born and raised on the Musqueam Indian Reserve, Debra Sparrow is self-taught in Salish design and jewellery-making. An acclaimed weaver for twenty years, she is deeply involved with the revival of Musqueam weaving. Her Musqueam blankets are displayed at the Vancouver Airport and the University of British Columbia, and her work is in the collections of the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), the Royal B.C. Museum, and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (Seattle, WA). She is active in a program at the Museum of Anthropology designed to teach grade four children about Musqueam culture and history. Debra designed the logo for the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, and helped with the design of the Queen of the Night costume in the Vancouver Opera production of The Magic Flute. She continues to work on pieces close to her heart at her home in Musqueam. It is Debra’s hope to educate others about the beauty and integrity of her people’s history through her art.

Thomas Roach, Exhibition Manager – Vancouver based textile and liturgical artist Thomas Roach is the Exhibition Manager for this project – imagining the project from call-for-entry to installation. Thomas holds a Textile Arts Diploma from Capilano University. His artwork is included in church and private collections and as part of exhibition tours from coast to coast. He co-led the Common Threads Indigo Quilt project, while The Prayers of the Church project is the result of his nine-month artist residency in 2016.