Heather MacKenzie / Artist


Academic Qualifications

Aug. 2014 (expected): Masters of Fine Arts in Fiber and Material Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

May 2002: Bachelors of Arts with honors, Brown University


Sept. 2012 - present: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Department of Fiber & Material Studies

Sept. 2007 - Feb. 2008: Banares Hindu University, Varanasi, India: independent study of Indian silk brocade with Dr. Sushma Singh

Jan. 2005 - May 2005: Center for the Book, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA: non-degree study in papermaking with Timothy Barrett

Sept. 1998 - May 2002: Brown University. Majors: Visual Arts, Hispanic Studies

Jan. 2001 - May 2001: Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador, South America

Sept. 1994 - June 1998: Cranbrook Kingswood Schools: Diploma

Select Exhibitions & Performances


. MFA Exhibition, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL

. Consensus (solo performance), ACRE Gallery, Chicago, IL

. Digital Technology—Traditional Techniques, ECU School of Art and Design, Greenville, NC; juried by Bethanne Knudson of the Oriole Mill and the Jacquard Center


. Siesmic Dip (solo installation), Student Union Galleries Project, SAIC, Chicago, IL

. Within and Without, Supernova Blast, Chicago, IL

. Pen Pal Show, Cranbrook Forum Gallery, Bloomfield Hills, MI

. 41.8757° – 87.6244°, Clutch Gallery, Chicago, IL

. FATHOM (solo installation, durational solo performance), The Mission Gallery, Chicago, IL


. Uni, duo performance, Variable #9, Cool Sumner, Portland, OR; curated by Elizabeth Venable

. Offerings (solo show), Hopworks, Portland, OR


. The Big 200, The Place Gallery, Portland, OR

. Attempt at Ikat (solo performance), Valentine's, Portland, OR

. Occupation/Preoccupation, Time-Based Art Festival, PICA, Portland, OR

. Fiber Arts Show, Gallery at Port City, Portland, OR

. Centrifuge: An Examination of Art and Architecture: Art Institute of Portland, Portland, OR

. Untitled (solo performance), Variable #6, Chez John Frentress, Portland, OR; curated by Elizabeth Venable

. Cave of the Realm of Forms (duo performance), Recital, Portland, OR; curated by Alyssa Reed Stuewe


. The Big 100, The Goodfoot, Portland, OR

. The Portland Bridge Festival, Portland, OR; curated by Chris Haberman

. Balance (solo performance), Harmelodic Haus, Portland, OR


. The Big 100, Olympic Mills Commerce Center, Portland, OR

. Works on Paper, featured artist of Brink Magazine, www.brinklit.com


. The Big 100, Olympic Mills Commerce Center, Portland, OR

. Pop! Shaw Jewelry and Gallery, Northeast Harbor, ME


. Transfer (duo durational performance), part of Kitchen Sink: Step Into My Office, Portland, OR


. Domesticity (solo installation), part of Kitchen Sink: Welcome Home, Stranger, Portland, OR

. Trunk Show (clothing show with 3 other designers), P:ear Gallery, Portland, OR


. A Return, Artspawn Studio and Gallery, Redmond, WA (solo show)

. (lost in) Translations (solo exhibition), National Museum, Accra, Ghana, West Africa


. Senior Art Show, Monahassett Mill, Providence, RI

. Skins, List Art Building, Brown Univerisity, Providence, RI (solo installation)


. Layers (in season), List Art Building, Brown University, Providence, RI (solo show)

. Final Student Exhibition, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador

Grants and Residencies

Oct. 2014 – June 2015: Fulbright-Hays Scholarship, Paris, France

June 2014: Ox-Bow Merit Scholarship, Saugatuck, MI

July 2013: Haystack Summer Conference, Deer Isle, ME

April 2013: Finalist, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Scholarship, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Sept. 2012 - May 2014: Judith Zielinski Scholarship, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Aug. 2012: Local 14 Scholarship, Tuition Grant, Portland, OR

Aug. 2012: ACRE Second Session, Steuben, WI

Aug. 2002 - Sept. 2003: Samuel T Arnold Fellowship through Brown University for textile study in Ghana, West Africa


Nov. 2013: Visiting Artist Lecture, Textiles and Performance; Intro to Fiber, instructor Stacia Yeapanis

Nov. 2013: Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration, Papermaking; Permeable Membranes, instructor Jovencio De La Paz

Sept. 2013: Second-year Graduate Presentation

July 2013: Early College Program, SAIC, Chicago, IL

April 2013: First-year Graduate Presentation, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Work Experience

Aug. 2014 (upcoming): Instructor, “Text and Textile,” Truro Center for the Arts on Castle Hill, MA

Dec. 2013 - present: Advanced Loom Technician, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), Chicago, IL

Jan. 2013 - present: Tutor, Writing Center, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Sept. 2013 - Dec. 2013: Teaching Assistant (Instructor of Record), First Year Seminar I in English: Home / Homeland, Liberal Arts Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Sept. 2012 - present: Teaching Assistant, Fiber and Material Studies Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL
+ Advanced Woven Structures, 2 semesters; Instructor: Samantha Bittman
+ Beginning Woven Structures; Instructor: Jovencio De La Paz 
+ Jacquard Weaving; Instructor: Christy Matson

Sept. 2012 - Dec. 2012: Fiber Lab Monitor, Fiber and Material Studies Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Sept. 2012 – Dec. 2012: Light Metals Lab Monitor, Sculpture Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

June 2005 - present: Freelance Designer and Seamstress, specializing in bridal wear, Portland, OR and Chicago, IL

Dec. 2010 - Aug. 2012: Artist Assistant, Geraldine Ondrizek, Portland, OR

Nov. 2008 - July 2012: Founder & Manager, Switchyard Studios, Portland, OR

Mar. 2008 - June 2012: Program Coordinator, Zimbabwe Artists Project, Portland, OR

July 2010 - Aug. 2010: Art Teacher, Zimbabwe Artists Project, rural Eastern Zimbabwe, Africa

Sept. 2005 – May 2006: Costume Shop Assistant, Portland Center Stage, Portland, OR

June 2004 - Sept. 2005: Bench Jeweler & Retail Sales Associate, Shaw Jewelry and Gallery, Northeast Harbor, ME

Jan. 1999 - May 2002: Costume Shop Assistant, Brown University, Providence, RI

Relevant Volunteer Experience

Aug. 2013, July 2014: Staff, ACRE, Stueben, WI

April 2013, 2014: Residency Review Panelist, ACRE, Chicago, IL

July 2008 - July 2012: Treasurer, Board Member, & Development Committee Member, Creative Music Guild, Portland, OR

Oct. 2007 - Jan. 2008: Teacher, NIRMAN NGO, Varanasi, India

July 2006 - Jan. 2007: Tutor, Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), 
Portland, OR

May - Sept. 2003: Assistant teacher/coordinator, New Seed NGO, Ghana, West Africa

Feb. - May 2002: Teacher, Met School Literacy Program, Providence, RI

Areas of Expertise

Textile production on floorlooms and computer-assisted looms, hand- and machine-knitting, crochet, embroidery, garment design and construction, print and dye techniques, Eastern and Western papermaking, felting processes

Research Interests Labor and industry; the history, manufacture, and consequence of synthetic materials; traditional textiles; global histories of textiles; anthropic systems of measurement, standardization and conventions of measurement and industry; the digital and the analog

Special Skills Languages: Fluent in Spanish, conversational and reading ability in French

International experience: Research in Ecuador, Ghana, India, and Zimbabwe; extensive travel in South America, Europe, West and south