top of page

Artist's Biography 

Monika Kinner is a third generation Artist, inspired by the Meewasin Valley, Native Grasslands, and Wetlands of central Saskatchewan where she lives on Treaty Six Territory. The daughter of a refugee who immigrated to the Canadian Prairie, she had instilled within her a deep admiration for the natural world and gratitude for the land, finding unmatched peace in Prairie spaces. 

Unable to find a medium she truly enjoyed, Monika's professional career began in the field of Child Development, Social Work and Human Justice. Monika regularly utilized art as a method of self expression & healing in her therapeutic work with survivors of violence.

Today, Monika is a full time Artist working in several mediums, however, she is renowned for her Textile Art, specifically 'stitching the Prairie'. After joining the Saskatoon Quilt Guild in 2009, she began experimenting by recreating her most beloved Prairie photos with fabric and thread. everything unfolded since then.

 

She became a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council in 2010, and remains a member today. She has enjoyed acceptance into public group SCC exhibitions, Dimensions juried touring members exhibitions, and Art Now! Fine Art Fair.  Monika had the honour of Curating her 2015 exhibition, 'Our Prairie in Fibre.' at the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery.

 

In 2015, Monika began a second body of work, stitching the same prairie scenery, this time by hand using yarn to affect a more impressionist style as that of a painter. She enjoyed the teaching and membership of the Saskatoon Bridge City Needlearts Guild at the time, under the Embroiderers Association of Canada.

In 2018, Monika began a third body of work using soft pastel, the medium of her Mother. She had attempted pastel work in her university years, but try as she might, the work always resembled her mother's hand. This time, after almost a decade of embroidering Prairies, Monika found she indeed had her own style. She sensed great magic and maternal connection when working with pastel. Her intention was to keep these works private. For her. creating them felt like an effortless and intimate process after a childhood of watching her mother create en Plein air. At the end of the day, Monika would make a small pastel painting just to wind down the day's work. Eventually, she shared her work with her mother, and was so well received. She decided to share them publicly.

 

In 2023, Monika began to paint with acrylic for the first time, using it as a backdrop to stitch on. Regardless of the medium, her subject never waivered. An avid advocate for the often overlooked landscape, the Prairie was, is, and always will be her Muse.

Monika's Textile artworks have been published in books, juried catalogues and magazines locally, nationally and internationally. She has been awarded 1 federal and 4 provincial art grants, as well as dozens of Canadian and local prizes specifically for her textile art. With deep gratitude, she recognizes Canada Council for the Arts and SK Arts for the significant role they have played in her artistic growth.

Monika has utilized traditional and contemporary creative explorations for community building and participant storytelling in various capacities such as public classrooms (pre K - gr 12), mothers' circles, newcomers groups, and community centres.  With over a decade of Textile Art teaching (pre-pandemic) for guilds and groups across Western Canada, and 15 years of public speaking about her art practice, Monika makes a point of incorporating the value of the Prairie and also the value of Stitch as a valid art form in all public interface.

 

After 25 years of Motherhood, and 15 years as a land based artist, the recent Research & Creation support from the Canada Council for the Arts solidified the parallels of her life experiences with that of the local Prairie ecosystem. This understanding has brought her life's work full circle.

Currently, Monika is focusing on what Regeneration looks like as she considers the parallels of both ecological and human recovery from violence, by utilizing art as a language to mirror the two.

bottom of page