Rachael Speirs is an award winning fine artist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She creates unique, moody, narrative mixed media textile art that is full of atmosphere and evoke a dreamy, fairytale-like memory. Her creations are conversational pieces, brought to life with the intention of sparking imagination, connection and meaningful conversation. Like a Rorschach ink blot, each viewer will see something new in the work. Seeing the work in person is like losing yourself in a kaleidoscopic dreamworld. Though her work is beautiful at first glance, the work goes beyond just being decorative art to enrich your world. Rachael believes in the life changing impact of art and creates all her works with intention and meaning. 
For inquiries email: rachaelspeirs@rachaelspeirs.com 

Bio
As a child Rachael stole scraps of fabric from her mother’s sewing, filling her spare time with making and creating. Rachael would submerge herself into nature or a piece of music, allowing her imagination to run wild. As a self-taught artist, Rachael looked to her childhood picture books and her grandmothers embroidery work for inspiration and to practice her skill. As an adult art never left her. Rachael’s creative inspirations include Carson Ellis, Kate Bush, Shary Boyle, Frida Khalo, Amy Cutler and David Blackwood. Although she has a background in social work, she maintained her love and passion for art. Rachael’s education and working career in social work is reflected in the humanitarian elements of her work. Her pieces will forever showcase her need to share a human experience and to connect with the viewer. Rachael has participated in multiple exhibitions and received multiple awards and grants including best mixed media at Riverdale Art Walk, top 5 installations for DesignTO and has received grants through the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council. Rachael is the 2021 recipient of the Craft Ontario Helen Frances Gregor award for textile art. Rachael is the current recipient of the Ontario Arts Council's Emerging Artist Project Grant. 
Artist Statement
Within my work I use scrap fabric, which I cut, layer and paint with gouache to create textural and narrative pieces. Embroidery and paper is added. The result is a collage-like piece that creates a visual metaphor, connecting current events and human experiences. The use of textiles is intrinsic to my work.  It allows me to connect with the viewer, as it appeals to their sense of nostalgia; it connects them to something that is in all our histories -- the handiwork, embroidery, quilts and other objects our grandmothers and great grandmothers made that were, in essence, art. 
My artwork has a strong humanitarian and narrative element. This ties into the storytelling aspect of the work. The work is inspired by vintage children’s book illustration and this, in combination with the traditional textile handicraft, references the haunting experience of sifting through our memories — poignant and evocative; difficult to ignore or forget. 



Awards and Grants:
Craft Ontario, Helen Frances Gregor Award for Textile Art, 2021
Ontario Arts Council, Emerging Artist Project Grant, 2021 
First Prize, Best in Show, Cabbage Town Show and Sale, 2021
Riverdale Art Walk, Best Mixed Media Award, 2015
Toronto Arts Council, Level One Visual Arts Grant, 2013
Ontario Arts Council, Emerging Artist Project Grant, 2013
One of a Kind Show New Artisan Grant, 2011
McDonald Porter Dress Special Award, Cabbagetown Show and Sale, 2011

 Artist Talks:
Craft Ontario Award Winners Reception, 2021. (Toronto)

Press and Publications:
All She Makes Magazine, 3rd Edition, Double Page Spread Artist Feature. 2021
Curated collection; Altered Landscape, Pennylane Shen. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, 2021
Curated collection; A Perfect Mix, Danielle Krysa (Jealous Curator). Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, 2021
Bohemianizm, Art From Rachael Speirs, July 2015
Canada Arts Connect, Massive Fabric Collages and Fairy Tales: An Interview with Toronto-based Artist Rachael Speirs, April 2014
Blog TO, 5 Must See Installations at Come Up To My Room 2013, January 2013
Views On Canadian Art, Toronto Design At The Gladstone Hotel: CUTMR, January 2013
Torontoist: Gladstone Hotel Unveils Come Up To my Room 2013. January 2013
 
 Selected Exhibitions
2021
Art Gallery Mississauga Annual Juried Exhibition, (Mississauga)
Craft Ontario Awards Exhibition, Craft Ontario Gallery (Toronto)
Impact: Juried Exhibition (Toronto)
Mothra Artist Residence, Artscape Gibraltar Point (Toronto)
The Artist Project, (Online)
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, (Online and in person, Stackt Market)
Blue Crow Gallery, Annual Group Show (Toronto)
Art Quarters Gallery, Group Show (Toronto)
Cabbagetown Art Show and Sale (Toronto)
Art Gallery of Hamilton Annual Art Sale (Online)

2020
The Artist Project, Better Living Centre, Toronto
Art Gallery of Hamilton, Annual Show and Sale, Hamilton Ontario
Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (online), Toronto
Riverdale Art Walk (online), Toronto

2019
Oakville Art in The Park, Oakville
Riverdale Art Walk, Toronto
The Textile Show, Gerrard Art Space, Toronto

2017
Solo Exhibition, Meet Your Maker Gallery, Stratford. 
 
2015
Queen West Art Crawl, Toronto
Oakville Art In the Park, Oakville
Toronto Art Walk, Toronto
Riverdale Art Walk, Toronto
 
2014
Cabbagetown Show and Sale, Toronto
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto
 
2013
Come Up To My Room 2013, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
 
2012
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto
Cabbagetown Show and Sale, Toronto
Queen West Art Crawl, Toronto
Illuminated Bones, Solo Exhibit, Love of Mine, Toronto
 
2011
Hard Twist, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
Solo Exhibit, Arts on Queen, Toronto
Queen West Art Crawl, Toronto
'Fabricate' Group Show, Meredith Keith Gallery, Toronto
Cabbagetown Show and Sale, Toronto
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto
'Scraps´ Solo Exhibit, Gladstone Hotel Art Bar
Riverdale Art Walk, Toronto
Group Show, Freedom Clothing Collective, Toronto
The One of a Kind Show, Toronto
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Galleries:
Meredith Keith Gallery, Bracebridge, Ontario.




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