About the Artist

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

She responds to tactile materials that are malleable enough to knit, and/or are visually intriguing to her. She responds to the texture and allure she finds in natural material such as logs or seeds, or conversely in discarded manufactured materials like rusted iron or used dryer sheets. Knitting wire is a favorite material and technique. She then thinks about how she can use needlework techniques to turn this material into a platform for her artistic concerns.

Materiality, textile tradition stretched to the non-traditional, and ecological, evolutionary, and biological concerns form the cornerstones that drive her work. Carolyn uses the vocabulary of textiles to create sculptural and two dimensional forms that reflect her experiences with nature. She chose textiles in part because of the implicit references to domesticity and binary gender that informed her upbringing. The quiet repetition of a stitch is essential to her existence and aids her in pursuing the depth of her consciousness.

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.