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Beads, they’re sewn so tight


Wed, Oct 10, 2018 — Sun, May 26, 2019




$6-15; Free for members

Location Accessible

Textile Museum of Canada

55 Centre Avenue



Textile Teach-In – Beading: Wed, Jan 23, 5:30-7:30pm

Beading Symposium – Manidoominensagemin Toronto: Fri & Sat, Jan 25 & 26

Daily Hours


11:00 am

5:00 pm


11:00 am

5:00 pm


11:00 am

8:00 pm


11:00 am

5:00 pm


11:00 am

5:00 pm


11:00 am

5:00 pm


11:00 am

5:00 pm


In beadwork, threads create structure and hold beads together, creating a seemingly invisible scaffold. As metaphor and as material, they unite form, design and meaning. ‘Beads, they’re sewn so tight’ takes up the depths of social and political relations expressed through beadwork, including living traditions, family and community networks – embedded in the visual language of pattern and surface design.

‘Beads, they’re sewn so tight’ presents the work of four contemporary artists who employ distinct techniques in their approach to using beads and thread. From bead weaving to loom work and bead embroidery, their artwork threads through formal concerns of colour and design attending to critical issues such as language retention, stereotypes and social/environmental injustices for Indigenous people.


Lead Image:
Bev Koski, “Berlin #1”, 2015 (left), and “Ottawa #1”, 2014 (right); Beads and thread. Image courtesy of the artist.

Below Images:
(1) Bev Koski, “Red Gingham Shirt, 1979”, 2018; Beads and thread; 9cm x 9cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
(2) Katie Longboat, “White Medallion”, 2017; Size 15 seed beads, delica beads, Swarovski crystals, acrylic beads; 11.5cm x 11.5cm in diameter, 20cm rope. Image courtesy of the artist.
(3) Jean Marshall, “Ring of Fire I”, 2015; Home tanned deer hide, commercial tanned elk hide, beaver fur, porcupine quills, thread; Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.
(4) Olivia Whetung, “#35” (detail), 2015; Clear beads, steel frame, and tread. Dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.

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Bev Koski, Katie Longboat, Jean Marshall, Olivia Whetung, Lisa Myers

Join us on Jan. 25 to hear Alexander Groves & Azusa Murakami of Studio Swine discuss their work using water. Learn More!