Photo by Christina Gapic

About Marina

Marina Dempster’s meticulous sculptures are both playful and sacred ‘artifacts’ that intertwine form with function. Influenced by the patterns and cycles of nature and consciousness, Dempster cross-pollinates traditional craft techniques to transmute forms, materials, and limiting habits of thought and emotions.

Loop by loop, bead by bead, she asserts our interconnection and the archetypal tensions influencing the polychromatic ways we choose to orient ourselves. Meetings of opposites throw all questions open, bring levity to gravity and are an invitation into radical imagination and previously unimagined insights.

Marina Dempster’s artworks embody a deep, humble and universal reckoning and movement from shame to grace, fear to love and woe to wisdom.

Her sculptural work has been exhibited internationally in over a dozen public art museums and was voted 'curator's choice' at the Cheoungju International Biennale, representing the best of contemporary Canadian craft.

In tandem with her sculptural art practice, Marina is a professional photographer, collaborative curator and intergenerational mentor, most enlivened by what happens when personal practice meets community.

She is passionate about igniting arousing creative habits and rituals which foster both self-knowledge, creative development and community connection, leading to positive social change.

Curriculum Vitae

"If art is the literacy of the heart, then this sweet soul speaks many languages. From her tangible, tactile creations to the images arrested by her lens, to her exploratory way of connecting people, this woman radiates colour."

– Don Christensen - Studio Director + Teacher, Modo Yoga Bloor West

Private commission work in progress

Photo by Christina Gapic

In//Habit work in progress, Gibraltar Point Residency
In//Habit work in progress, Gibraltar Point Residency

Photo by Christina Gapic

Art journaling workshop
Art journaling workshop

Photo by Christina Gapic

"Voracious" on exhibit at Art Gallery of Burlington




THE ANNEX - THE ROYAL HOTEL, Picton, Ontario; AMEND (with Tanya Fenkell)

2023 The Lyceum Gallery, Ontario; RE[COLLECTION] (solo)
2021 Art Gallery of Burlington, Ontario; IN//VISIBLE (with Meera Sethi)
2020 The Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; SOVEREIGN//TIES
2019 The Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; IN//HABIT (solo)
2019 Quest Art, Midland, Ontario; TD Thor Wealth Management 15th Annual Juried Exhibition
2019 Black Cat Artspace, Toronto, Ontario; Counsel
2018 D'Arcy Symposium, Nuit Blanche, Toronto, Ontario; Re-emergence
2016 The Museum of Natural & Cultural History, Eugene, Oregon; Strung Together - Beads, People, and History
2014 The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, Melbourne, Florida; Embellished
2011 The Boise Art Museum, Boise, Idaho; The Perfect Fit
2011 The Kimball Art Center, Park City, Utah; The Perfect Fit
2011 The Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany, NY; The Perfect Fit
2010 The Nicolaysen Art Museum & Discovery Centre, Casper, WY; The Perfect Fit: Shoes Tell Stories
2010 Morris Museum, Morristown, New Jersey; The "Shoe" Must Go On
2010 Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia; Art of Craft
2010 The Ontario Crafts Council, Toronto, Ontario; BODY + OBJECT
2009 Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts; The Perfect Fit: Shoes Tell Stories
2009 Canadian Pavilion of the Cheoungju International Biennale, Cheoungju, South Korea; Unity and Diversity
2008 Gallery 1313, Toronto, Ontario; Hands On
2008 The Noyes Museum of Art, Oceanville, New Jersey; Seams: Contemporary Art to Wear
2008 The Annual International Exposition of Sculpture Objects & Functional Art, New York, NY; Option Art
2008 *new* gallery, Toronto, Ontario; It's About Time II
2008 Swizzle Textile Studio - Niagara Arts Centre, Niagara, Ontario; (the return of) 3-D Exquisite Corpses
2007 The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, Ontario; OBJECToronto
2007 York Quay Centre, Harbourfront, Toronto, Ontario; Whisper + Clang
2007 Swizzle Textile Studio, Kincardine, Ontario; 3-D Exquisite Corpse
2007 The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Ontario; Translations (solo)
2006 The Farnham Maltings, Farnham, Surrey, UK; Carapace Volitilis (solo)
2005 C1 Art Space, Toronto, Ontario; The Shelf Project
2005 Uncommon Objects, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario; Tell
2005 A.W.O.L. Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; Square Foot
2004 Palace Contemporary Art & Fine Craft, Toronto, Ontario; Dreaming in Colour (solo)
2003 Balzacs, Toronto, Ontario; Dreaming in Colour (solo)
2004 Vieux Presbytère, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec; reflets et profondeur
2002 Espacio Mexico - Mexican Consulate, Montreal, Quebec; Dos Fuentes (with Alec Dempster)
2002 Galérie RaDa, Montreal, Quebec; Dos Fuentes (with Alec Dempster)
2001 Arcadia, Toronto, Ontario; The Embrace (with Eleni Mokas)

Curatorial Projects

2021 Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; Small Victories (w/ Holly Venable)
2020 Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; Sovereign/ties
2019 Lyceum Gallery, Toronto, Ontario; The Hope Project (w/Holly Venable & The West End Phoenix)
2009 The DepARTment, Toronto, Ontario; neckLACE - Object + Artifact (w/ Johanna Reynolds)
2004 The Common Room, Toronto, Ontario; Alec Dempster: Un inglès convencional
2004 The Common Room, Toronto, Ontario; Carrie Walker: The best they can do is hiss and grunt
2004 The Common Room, Toronto, Ontario; Patricio Davila: El Living

Community Mentorship

2019 - 2021 University of Toronto, Occupational Therapy students (art journaling sessions)
2020 Windermere United Church (art journaling for young adults)
2014 - 2018 The Leo Baeck Day School (intergenerational photography workshops)
2013 Jackman Institute for Child Study - Artist in Residence (photography)


2023 Pouch Cove Foundation, Pouch Cove Newfoundland, Canada
2019 - 2021 Artist-in-Residence (full-time), The Orchard Lyceum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2018 Artscape Gibraltar Point, Ward's Island, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2006 The Farnham Maltings, Surrey, United Kingdom


JUNO AWARD FOR BEST ALBUM DESIGN OF THE YEAR (2003) In recognition for photography and creative direction on K-OS CD Package 'EXIT' for EMI (In collaboration with designers at Field Day Inc.)

1st PLACE MOBIUS ADVERTISING AWARD — Specialty Advertising (2002)*

SILVER MEDAL NEW YORK FESTIVALS — Image Awareness Print Advertising (2002)*


 * In recognition of a series of photography taken behind the scenes and on the court with the Toronto Raptors, for the Toronto Raptors Season Ticket Package (2001/2002)  In collaboration with designers at Field Day Inc.


2020 Blank Spaces magazine (cover): Healing Fibres: Marina Dempster Sculptural Fibre Artist

2020 (blog): Featured Artist Interview with Marina Dempster

2019 The Toronto Star: Toronto artist (A. Khounnoraj) gives punch needle crafting a modern twist by Debra Norton

2018 The Opposite of Lonely (Megaphonic podcast): Artscape Gibraltar Point —  Interview

2010 CBC NEWS: Hand-made tales: A Vancouver exhibit explores the artistry of crafts

2010 Worn Fashion Journal: Snow Queens

2010 HOME Magazine (Russia): Fashion Art — Marina Dempster

2009 The Boston Globe: Taking a Walk Through Playful Shoes by Cate McQuaid

2008 STYLE magazine: For Arts Sake — Marina Dempster by Kathryn Hudson + Photography by Ashok Charles

2008 LQ Magazine (Russia): Fashion Art — Marina Dempster

2007 FiberArts magazine: Markings in Yarn; Shoes and the body inspired Marina Dempster as she bring her voice to the Huichol Tradition’ by Jessica Hemmings

2003 Outpost magazine: Improvisations in Wax + Yarn: Canadian artist Marina Dempster has connected with her Mexican roots by exploring the indigenous Huichol art of yarn painting by Kisha Ferguson

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