About the Artist

Embracing the sometimes denigrated term, “fiber artist”, Carolyn Halliday’s art is grounded in the use of textiles. Knitting wire is a favorite material and technique. Deeply connected to nature and influenced by two biologists/ecologists in her family, Carolyn’s work references the natural world and our environment.

Drawing inspiration from the clarity and intensity of the blue skies and the majesty of vividly colorful sunsets over Minneapolis, textile artist Carolyn’s Project Space Exhibition, Making Climate Change Visible, points to a time when the presence of climate change was noticeably minimalized.

Taking advantage of the resources provided by a Kolman & Reeb Gallery Project Space Grant has allowed Carolyn to experiment at a grand scale. In her site-specific installations, she uses knitted wire to characterize a vibrant sky brought on by the apparent transformation of three important moments in recent history.

Drawn from her experiences during the global pandemic lockdown of COVID-19, Carolyn hopes to summon gallery patrons’ awareness of the increased clarity of the sky because of reduced commuter traffic. Something that, sadly, is no longer visible with the return of ordinary commerce. Secondly, Carolyn’s work will remind us of the smokey grey horizon we endured during the summer of 2023 caused by rampant forest fires. An annoyance, the smoke was an ever-present reminder of our burdened environment. Finally, Carolyn asks us to consider the startling and colorful orange, red, and pink sunsets, made intensely more beautiful by the presence of heavy particulates that cause air pollution.

Driven by process, Carolyn uses visually intriguing materials that are malleable enough to knit and then emphasizes the elements with needlework techniques to communicate her artistic concerns.

Carolyn hopes viewers respond to the elements of color and the tactile essence of her knit work, reminding them of the reality of the negative impact we all have on our environment, and the positive shifts that are possible based on recent experience.

Carolyn has been showing her work for over two decades both nationally and internationally. Her work is in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society and in the Weisman Art Museum. In spring of 2014, she was the featured visual artist for an episode of Twin Cities Public Television’s production of Minnesota Original. And she was one of the showcased artists in the 2006 TPT production of the Textile Center’s Artwear in Motion Runway Show.

Carolyn has also earned a variety of awards. She was a 2013 fiscal year recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. In 2015 she was appointed the first member and Chair of the National Artists Advisory Council for the Textile Center: A National Center for Fiber Art in Minneapolis. In 2020 she received the Textile Center’s Spun Gold Award for a lifetime commitment to textile art and to the Textile Center.

Carolyn is a featured artist in the books: Sculpture, Artistry in Fiber, Volume 2, The Language of Making, Visual Voices from the Textile Study Group of New York, Knitting Art: 150 Innovative Works from 18 Contemporary Artists, and How to Be a Feminist Artist: Investigations from the Women’s Art Institute. Her work has also appeared in Surface Design Journal, Interweave Knits, and Jacquard, a publication of the Fondazione Arte della Seta Lisio in Italy.