About Maija Zemitis

BEGINNINGS

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.

EVOLUTION

3-Dimensional Fibre Art

My artwork spans many practices combining fine art with fine craft, by creating and investigating different materials from my own past artistic experiences.

Techniques such as sewing (by machine and by hand), which I learned in middle school are being rediscovered and explored in my newest works in Fibre arts. 

Incorporating and experimenting with pleating, folding and origami brings another level to my fibre art works.

Pleating is a method that has been used for centuries, beginning with ancient Egyptian garments, as a symbol of luxury.

Origami is another process of folding, invented in Japan a thousand years ago, but with roots in China.

By examining and trying out these two ancient techniques together with my naturally dyed and eco-printed linens, my work is acquiring a different, 3-dimensional direction.