Thing to Wear

Curated by Jolie Bird

Thing to Wear is a collection of kimono-inspired garments created by students, staff, faculty, and alumni from the Alberta University for the Arts (AUArts) under the expert guidance of Associate Professor, Bill Morton. Upon returning from Japan in 1983, Bill began teaching in the Fibre Program at AUArts (previously Alberta College of Art + Design). During this time, he also offered kimono construction and painting on silk workshops at Pearson College UWC, Red Deer College and the University of Alberta. Students enrolled in Bill’s courses have had the opportunity to produce kimono, and over the last five years, he has generously offered a kimono construction workshop twice a year to anyone in the school with a desire to learn. Many of the pieces are innovative, incorporating fibre processes such as digital printing, papermaking and eco printing alongside traditional methods like weaving, brush blending, wax resist, indigo, and potassium permanganate dyeing. Programming including a gallery tour, technical demonstrations by AUArts Fibre majors, and a talk with Bill provide some historical context into panel garments from Japan, and his experience working under master dyer, Kunio Isa.

Bill Morton is a Calgary-based artist and teacher. His work is collected and shown in the United States, Japan, China and Canada. A graduate of the Alberta College of Art (1967), he studied in Japan from 1969 to 1983 including ten years apprenticing with a Master Dyer.

“My process is open-ended, offering limitless opportunities for exploration of colour and pattern. Each piece reflects a particular state of mind. The techniques I use take time and patience and require focus as unanticipated variations can occur when material, colour and process coalesce into something new.” -Bill Morton

Jolie Bird is a textile artist who lives and works in Calgary, Alberta. She completed her MFA at NSCAD University in 2013 and had also studied at the Alberta University of the Arts and Capilano University. Currently, she is the Educational Art Technician for the Fibre Program at the Alberta University of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited locally, nationally and in the United States. Bird recently returned from Japan where she studied Kasuri weaving for a month at the Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto.


Exhibition Dates

Nov 20 – Dec 14, 2019

Opening Reception

Wednesday Nov 20
5 PM – 8 PM

Gallery Hours

Tues – Fri, 12 – 6 PM
Sat, 12 – 4 PM


all images courtesy Chelsea Yang-Smith

Public Programs

Gallery Tour with Jolie Bird and Bill Morton
Thursday November 21, 2019

Shibori Demo with Jolie Bird
Saturday November 23, 2019

Weaving Demo with Jingyi Ye
Sunday November 24, 2019
Tuesday November 26, 2019
Tuesday December 3, 2019
Tuesday December 10, 2019
Thursday December 12, 2019

Silk Painting Demo with Bill Morton
Thursday November 28, 2-4pm

Stencil Cutting Demo with Bill Morton
Thursday December 5, 2-4pm

Kimono Life Drawing
Hosted by Noah Richardson and Chichi Kimono
Supported by the Calgary Japanese Community Association

Saturday November 30, 2019
Thursday December 5, 2019
Saturday December 7, 2019