Marina Dempster

Marina Dempster is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and professional photographer. Her sculptural fibre art has been exhibited internationally in a over a dozen art museums including the Cheoungju International Biennale, representing some of the best of Canadian Craft, while her commercial and portrait/documentary photography work has seen her win awards, including a Juno.

Her meticulous sculptures are both playful and sacred ‘artifacts’ that intertwine form with function. Influenced by the patterns and cycles of nature and consciousness, Dempster cross-pollinates traditional craft techniques to transmute forms, materials, and limiting habits of thought and emotions.

Stitch by stitch, loop by loop, bead by bead, she asserts our interconnection and the archetypal tensions influencing the polychromatic ways we choose to orient ourselves. Meetings of opposites throw all questions open, bring levity to gravity and are an invitation into previously unimagined insights. Marina Dempster’s artworks embody a humble and universal reckoning and movement from shame to grace, fear to love and woe to wisdom.

In tandem with her sculptural art practice, Marina is a professional photographer, collaborative curator and intergenerational mentor, most enlivened by what happens when personal practice meets community. She is passionate about arousing nourishing creative habits and rituals which foster both self-knowledge, creative development and community connection, leading to positive social change.


2022 The Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; DUALITY (group show)

2021 Art Gallery of Burlington, Ontario; IN//VISIBLE (with Meera Sethi)

2021 The Lyceum Gallery, The Orchard Lyceum Students (curation with Holly Venable)

2021 The Lyceum Gallery, Small Victories, (curation with Holly Venable)

2020 The Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; SOVEREIGN//TIES (curation with Holly Venable)

2020 The Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; HOPE PORTRAITS (curation with Holly Venable)

2019 The Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; IN//HABIT (solo)

2019, Quest Art, Midland, Ontario; TD Thor Wealth Management 15th Annual Juried Exhibition

2019  Black Cat Artspace, Toronto, ON; Counsel

2018 D’Arcy Symposium, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, ON; Re-emergence

2016 The Museum of Natural & Cultural History, Eugene, Oregon; Strung Together – Beads, People, and History

2014 The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Melbourne, Florida; Embellished

2011 The Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho; The Perfect Fit

2011 The Kimball Art Center, Park City, Utah; The Perfect Fit

2011 The Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY; The Perfect Fit

2010 The Nicolaysen Art Museum & Discovery Centre, Casper, WY; The Perfect Fit: Shoes Tell Stories

2010 Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ; The “Shoe” Must Go On

2010 Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver, BC; Art of Craft

2010 The Ontario Crafts Council, Toronto, ON; BODY + OBJECT

2009 Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA; The Perfect Fit: Shoes Tell Stories

2009 Canadian Pavilion of the Cheoungju International Biennale, Cheoungju, South Korea; Unity and Diversity

2008 Gallery 1313, Toronto, ON; Hands On

2008 The Noyes Museum of Art, Oceanville, NJ; Seams: Contemporary Art to Wear

2008 The Annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art, New York, NY; Option Art

2008 *new* gallery, Toronto, ON; It’s About Time II

2008  Swizzle Textile Studio — Niagara Arts Centre, Niagara, ON; (the return of) 3-D Exquisite Corpses

2007 The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON; OBJECToronto

2007 York Quay Centre, Harbourfront, Toronto, ON; Whisper + Clang

2007 Swizzle Textile Studio, Kincardine, ON; 3-D Exquisite Corpse

2007 The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, ON; Translations (solo)

2006 The Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey, UK; Carapace Volitilis (solo)

2005 C1 Art Space, Toronto, ON; The Shelf Project

2005 Uncommon Objects, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, ON; Tell

2005 A.W.O.L. Gallery, Toronto, ON; Square Foot

2004 Palace Contemporary Art & Fine Craft, Toronto, ON; Dreaming in Colour (solo)

2003 Balzacs, Toronto, ON; Dreaming in Colour (solo)

2004 Vieux Presbytère, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, PQ; reflets et profondeur

2002 Espacio Mexico – Mexican Consulate, Montreal, PQ; Dos Fuentes

2002 Galérie RaDa, Montreal, PQ; Dos Fuentes

2001 Arcadia, Toronto, ON; The Embrace


2020 Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, ON; Sovereign/ties (w/ Holly Venable)

2009 The DepARTment, Toronto, ON; neckLACE – Object + Artifact (w/ Johanna Reynolds)

2004 The Common Room, Toronto, ON; Alec Dempster: Un inglès convencional

2004 The Common Room, Toronto, ON; Carrie Walker: The best they can do is hiss and grunt

2004 The Common Room, Toronto, ON; Patricio Davila: El Living


2019 — present Artist-in-Residence, The Lyceum Gallery

2018 Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Ward’s Island

2014-2018 The Leo Baeck Day School

2013 Jackman Institute for Child Study

2006 The Farnham Maltings, Surrey, UK

2020 Blank Spaces magazine (cover): Healing Fibres: Marina Dempster Sculptural Fibre Artist

2020 (blog): Featured Artist Interview with Marina Dempster

2019 The Toronto Star: Toronto artist (A. Khounnoraj) gives punch needle crafting a modern twist by Debra Norton

2018 The Opposite of Lonely (Megaphonic podcast): Artscape Gibraltar Point —  Interview

2014 Art is a Way (blog): Sculptures by Marina Dempster

2010 CBC NEWS: Hand-made tales: A Vancouver exhibit explores the artistry of crafts

2010 The Dodge Blog: The Shoe Diaries: Meet the Artist Marina Dempster

2010 Worn Fashion Journal: Snow Queens

2010 HOME Magazine (Russia): Fashion Art – Marina Dempster

2010 Moody Chameleon (blog): Shoe Art

2010 Times Union: Let us know what it’s like ‘in your own shoes’

2009 Gallerix: Marina Dempster: shoes as self-expression in art

2009 The Boston Globe: Taking a Walk Through Playful Shoes by Cate McQuaid

2009 Anna Frost Daily (blog) Fashion & Visual Art by Marina Dempster

2009 ShoeTubeBlog: A Stiletto Tale with a Citrus Twist

2009 ARTDCO.NET: Marina Dempster, des Chaussures caractère!

2009 On The Edge (blog): Marina Dempster/Colorful Shoe Sculptures

2009 HubArts (blog): At Fuller Craft in Brockton, it IS the Shoes

2009 Wearable Art Blog: Shoe Sculptures by Marina Dempster

2008 STYLE magazine: For Arts Sake – Marina Dempster by Kathryn Hudson + Photography by Ashok Charles

2008 LQ Magazine (Russia): Fashion Art – Marina Dempster

2007 FiberArts magazine: Markings in Yarn; Shoes and the body inspired Marina Dempster as she bring her voice to the Huichol Tradition’ by Jessica Hemmings

2007 La Femme Journal (blog): Zapatos Mágicos

2006 BlogTO/Fashion & Style: Translations, an exhibition by Marina Dempster

2003 Outpost magazine: Improvisations in Wax + Yarn: Canadian artist Marina Dempster has connected with her Mexican roots by exploring the indigenous Huichol art of yarn painting by Kisha Ferguson

2020 – Yarn•Thread•String: Up Close With Fibre (Making, Manufacturing and Creating) — Uppercase Encyclopedia of Inspiration, Uppercase Publications (Janine Vangool), Calgary, Alberta. (November/December release)

2020 IN//HABIT catalogue

2013 Suzanne Golden Presents: Interviews with 36 Artist Who Innovate with Beads by Suzanne Golden — Sterling Publishing (Lark Grafts) New York, NY

2011 The Daily Muse Shoe Calendar — Workman Publishing, New York, NY

2010 365 Days of Shoes Calendar — Workman Publishing, New York, NY

2010 Shoes Page-A-Day Gallery Calendar — Workman Publishing Company, New York, NY

2009 Unity + Diversity catalogue, Cheongju International Craft Biennale — Canadian Pavilion Exhibit

2008 Shoes — A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More by Linda O’Keeffe — Workman Publishing Company, New York, NY

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