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Get to know Alisa McRonald, 2020 Best of Craft & Design Award

April 12, 2021

About Alisa McRonald

"Alisa's pieces took me to many places; I had a few moments of great appreciation and joy from the colours and designs of the works. It is work that speaks very directly to the viewers and says, Look at me."

- Judith Tinkl, Textile artist, former OCAD U Professor and Assistant Dean, Judge of Best of Craft & Design

Image: The Witch, Alisa McRonald, woven out of reclaimed T-shirts on hemp, 2020

Alisa McRonald’s woven weirdos live in the ironic pop-culture paradise of a Queer GenX Feminist. Her work is a tactile fruit salad with a soupçon of the esoteric. Her work has been featured in publications such as: The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar Japan, Nylon Magazine and Giant Robot Magazine.

Image: The Creep, Alisa McRonald, woven out of reclaimed T-shirts on hemp, 2019

"Alisa’s work looks and feels very much like the work made by an “outsider” artist and whether or not that is true is irrelevant. What is relevant is that her work demonstrates an undeniable level of creativity and imagination.
Even her choice of technique – punch needle – is refreshing in its uniqueness. What could easily fall into the realm of kitschy gimichiness is instead transformed into something that displays  painterly-like qualities that are equal parts naive and profound."

- Rui Pimenta, Co-founder & Curator of Art Spin, and TOAF59 Juror

"Alisa McRonald paints and sculpts with a punch needle and colourful yarns, resulting in highly dense, textured sculptural pieces that are packed with stories."

- Nithikul Nimkulrat, Associate Professor, Material Art and Design, OCAD University, and TOAF59 Juror

Image: The Princess, Alisa McRonald, punch needle yarn on burlap, 2020

On winning Best of Craft & Design in 2020 and what TOAF means to Alisa...

Winning this award, especially this year, has boosted not only my spirits, but the market for my artwork. It's such a prestigious award and it feels so affirming that my work can be recognized in this way. I have received commissions because of this recognition and it has been a huge boost to be able to add it to my CV - people take notice of these kinds of awards, especially from such a respected and well-loved organization. I'm deeply grateful to TOAF, the TOAF jury, Judith Tinkl and Extrudex Aluminum.

Image: Alisa McRonald next to one of her works on display at The Drake Hotel, part of a DesignTO 2021 exhibition

View more of Alisa's works on her TOAF artist page.
Watch her Studio Tour on our InstagramTV.
Follow on Instagram: @alisa_mcronald

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