Seetal Solanki is a translator of materials. The Founder and Director of Ma-tt-er, a relational practice focused on building and bridging kinships between ourselves, materials, the immaterial and virtual. Her work at Ma-tt-er reorients mindsets, behaviours and mechanisms towards futures that are caring and respectful by providing ecological and nuanced strategies that are biodiverse, inclusive and response-able. Author of Why Materials Matter (2018) and a Textiles Tutor at the Royal College of Art, London, she was made an Honorary Fellow at Hereford College of the Arts, received her Fellowship at the RSA in 2018 and holds an MA in Textile Futures from Central Saint Martins.
She’s had the privilege to work with Potato Head Bali, Molonglo Group, NIKE, Google, World Water Day, IKEA/SPACE10, British Council, The Design Museum and Hyundai, and her work has been widely featured internationally.
Melanie Egan is the Director of Craft & Design at Harbourfront Centre with over 30 years of experience in the field. She heads up Canada’s foremost artist-in-residency devoted to ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery and design. She curates exhibitions, organizes symposia and events, lectures, writes, mentors and advocates for craft and design in Canada and internationally.
She edited Crafting New Traditions: Canadian Innovators and Influences – published by the Canadian History Museum (2008), and has curated numerous exhibitions including: The View from Here – a critical response to Canada150 (2019); The Mind is the Hand is the Bomb that Blows: Anders Ruhwald (2018); Aberrant Tales: Lindsay Montgomery (2016); RE: Position – curated with Paul McClure for Toronto International Jewellery Festival (2013); Jeff Goodman Designs – co-curated with Alan C. Elder, for DesignTO, Craft Ontario gallery; Makes Sense on the Body – Studio Huddle Gallery, (2012) and STUFF: Ingenuity and Critique – Contemporary Danish Craft (2004) as part of Harbourfront Centre’s memorable SUPERDANISH Festival.
Janna Hiemstra is the Executive Director of Craft Ontario. Over the course of her 13 years with the organization she has established extensive connections with the community, and an in-depth knowledge of the organization’s structure, history, and potential for moving forward as an arts service organization. With a background in philosophy and curatorial practice, Hiemstra brings a wealth of cultural sector knowledge and strategic thinking in support of Craft Ontario’s vision and goals. She has successfully worked with the Board, staff, members, supporters and volunteers to re-vision the organization’s mission and mandate in order to deliver a renewed strategic plan alongside financial stabilization, and is both grateful and determined to focus on 2020 and beyond in order to continue strengthening Craft Ontario’s vital role as a champion of craft.