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- born in 1944 in Poland
- immigrated to Toronto, Ontario in 1967
- Fine Arts Academy, Warsaw, Poland (1962-1964); Universidad
Catolica, Lima, Peru (1965); studied, Art Institute of Chicago, Interior Design and
Textile Design (1964-1967)
In the early part of her career Joanna Staniszkis
experimented with texture and handspun yarns and dyes, then her explorations evolved and
she began focussing on form and construction methods combining her woven and unstructured
fabric with plexiglass and netting. In 1987 Staniszkis was commissioned to produce a six
panel tapestry representing Vancouvers skyline. This work was woven out of hundreds
of dyed silk ribbons, fabric which had been cut from an old cargo parachute. Recognized
for her innovative and experimental contemporary textile production Joanna Staniszkis's
art is nevertheless shaped and informed by her knowledge of traditional textile art and
her interest in Oriental carpets and ancient Peruvian tunics. She is also influenced by
the architectural forms of her native Poland, and has studied ancient weaving techniques
on visits to Perus and Bolivia. As Elizabeth Johnson has commented: "The art of
Joanna Staniszkis echoes the traditions which inspired it and brings their images forward
in brilliant and forceful realizations. They are boldly contemporary statements, but
reminiscent of other times and places" (1989). In 1989 the University of British
Columbia Museum of Anthropology presented Translations of Tradition: Joanna
Staniszkis' Recent Work, enabling the artist to pay homage to the textile art from
the various cultures that stimulated her work. Staniszkis's works were exhibited alongside
Uzbeki coats, Chinese robes, Chinese cross-stitch embroideries and ancient Peruvian
textiles. As she wrote in the exhibition catalogue, "I am offering textiles which
echo tradition--my own translations of tradition into a form which is contemporary . . . I
am searching for a new form for traditional techniques. I am combining precious materials:
silk combined with plexiglass, which looks like glass, like crystal; cross-stitch
embroidery translated into computer-generated crosses of silk on plexiglass."
Staniszkis returns to Poland regularly and has collaborated with Polish craft workers in
the designing of fashions and textiles for the home. From 1969 to 1977 Staniszkis was a
professor in the Design Department at the University of British Columbia and from 1977 to
1978 she was Acting Head of the Textile Department at the Ontario College of Art. She
later resumed teaching at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Design.
In 1981 Staniszkis received the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in recognition of
contributions she made to the field of textile art.
||West Kootenay Art Centre,
Castlegar, British Columbia
||Ontario Crafts Council Gallery,
Waikato Museum of Art, Hamilton,
||Translations of Tradition:
Joanna Staniszkis' Recent Work
University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, British Columbia
||Cartwright Gallery, Vancouver,
||Faculty Club, University of
British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
||Equinox Gallery, Vancouver,
||Merton Gallery, Toronto,
||Mido Gallery, Vancouver,
Merton Gallery, Toronto, Ontario
||Kyoto International Textile
||Canadian Craft Museum,
Vancouver, British Columbia
||Master of Crafts
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Québec
||Fashion Institute of
Technology, New York, New York
||Three Canadian Fibre
Artists: Gregor, Rousseau-Vermette, Staniszkis
Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia; MUN Gallery, St.
John, New Brunswick; Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
Jacques Baruch Gallery, Chicago; Vevey, Switzerland
Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario
||Textiles in 3D
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario (travelling)
||Terminal City Club, Vancouver, British
||The Loewen Group, Burnaby, British Columbia
||Delta Municipal Hall, Delta, British
||British Columbia Automobile Association,
Burnaby, British Columbia
||Mississauga Hospital, Mississauga, Ontario
||Providence Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Owen Bird, Vancouver, British Columbia
|Cockfield & Brown Advertising Agency,
Vancouver, British Columbia
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Montréal, Québec
Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto, Ontario
Toronto-Dominion Centre, Toronto, Ontario
|Arnatt, Ray and Douglas Bentham, Elizabeth
Berezowska, et al. Art Competitions: Athabasca University, Project One, Athabasca,
Alberta. Edmonton, Alberta: Athabasca University, 1984.
Johnson, Elizabeth. Translations of Tradition: Joanna Staniszkis'
Recent Work. Vancouver, British Columbia: University of British Columbia Museum of
---. "Translations of Tradition: Joanna Staniszkis'
recent work." Muse 7, no. 3 (Fall 1989): 30-31, 40-41.
Johnson, Jean and John E. Vollmer, Milrod Constantine, et
al. Three Canadian Fibre Artists: Gregor, Rousseau-Vermette, Staniszkis. Windsor,
Ontario: Art Gallery of Windsor, 1981.
Killam, Sherry. "From the boudoir to the battle
field." Fiberarts 22 (Summer 1995): 50-51.
Langston, Laura, et al. "Masters of craft." Beautiful
British Columbia Magazine 33, no. 4 (Winter 1991): 14-21.
Lightstone, Susan. "A place to call home (Immigrants
who have made a contribution to Canada)." Ottawa Magazine 11, no. 8
(December 1991): 20-26.
Smith, Paul J., Joanna Staniszkis, and Jacques Anquetil. Québec/Ontario
Crafts, 1979/80. Toronto, Ontario: Ontario Crafts Council, 1979.
Tuele, Nicholas. Bronfman Award Recipients from
British Columbia and Their Commonwealth Colleagues. Victoria, British Columbia: Art
Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1994.