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Simone Elizabeth Saunders (she/her) is a textile artist based in Mohkinstsis - Calgary, Canada.
She holds a B.F.A. with Distinction from the Alberta University of Arts in 2020.
Her textiles are hand tufted in the medium of rug-making using a punch-needle and tufting machine.
Saunders explores themes of the diaspora, ancestorship and Black womanhood. Her colourful textiles highlight motifs and iconography from her Jamaican heritage and engage with socio-cultural factors reclaiming power from oppressive ideologies. Currently,
Saunders is exploring the iconography of the famed high Renaissance era Unicorn Tapestries and Art Nouveau advertising through a contemporary Black feminist lens.
Simone has a career in the theatre arts, a previous B.F.A. from the University of Alberta’s Acting Conservatory. Weaving her theatre experiences and integrating dramatism and story-telling within her creations - Simone uplifts narratives of Black joy and resilience.
Simone was named one of 20 "top Compelling Calgarians for 2022" and "Top 40 Under 40" of Calgarian Professionals, by Avenue Magazine. Simone was awarded the National Winner for the Bank of Montreal's 1st Art Competition in 2020. Simone has been internationally featured, select media credits include: Black Art Magazine (USA), Studio Magazine (USA), Create Magazine (USA), Canada's House&Home Magazine, CBC Arts, CBCq, Studio Magazine, Boooooom, Uppercase Magazine, Love Embroidery (UK), Pom-Pom Magazine (England), Textiel Plus (Netherlands), FairLady (South Africa), Surface Design Journal, Colossal and DesignMilk (USA).
Recent exhibitions include the Textile Museum of Canada, Contemporary Calgary, Minneapolis Art Institute (Minnesota), the Mint Museum (North Carolina) and ArtsWestchester (NY). Saunders has been collected by international museums and prominent collectors. Her exhibition "u.n.i.t.y" is currently premiering in Toronto at the Textile Museum of Canada until January 2023.
Simone's debut international solo exhibit UNEARTHING UNICORNS, will debut March 17th - May 13th, 2023 at Claire Oliver Gallery in Harlem, New York!!
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