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About Maija Zemitis


Background & Training

For many years, my dedication was to printmaking: intaglio, silkscreen and lithography. I studied at Montreal Museum of Fine Art, School of Art & Design and later went on to study Fine Art and Art Education, at Universite du Quebec a Montreal. My main interest, at the time, was silkscreen printing. This was done on paper, in very small runs of 25 prints.

After my University studies, I returned to Ontario. In Toronto, I took courses in Surface Design and Medical Illustration, at OCA. During my student years, I worked part time and most summers as a window dresser, primarily in womens’ fashion. Funny how all things are connected eventually!

I have worked in many art techniques including: printmaking, coloured pencil drawing, airbrush painting (on paper, canvas and fabric), papier mache, collages and Natural Dyeing/Eco printing on fabric. Over time, I have merged several of them together. This has made my work visually richer and made me a more disciplined artist.

My experience as a classroom teacher (26 years) has helped in my art career, in terms of self-discipline, and keeping the business part of MaiTribe Studio Gallery operating smoothly.


Travel & Inspiration

My art influences in recent years have been inspired by my travels to countries such as Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Bali and India. The seed for tying (shibori/bandhani) and dyeing with Natural dyes was planted during a visit to the state of Gujarat, in India. There, I met several textile artists, whom have practiced this craft for many generations.

Since that visit, I have twice been a student of Michel Garcia, at Maiwa School of Textiles. Additionally, I have taken online workshops with India Flint and Irit Dulman.

At this time, my focus is on Textile Design, using Natural dyes, Eco printing, Shibori and Stencil techniques, on fibres such as Cotton, Silk and Linen. I use primarily up-cycled fabrics, which I source from thrift shops and yard sales.

I work in my studio daily, continually learning and experimenting and perfecting my practice.