Heather MacKenzie is an artist and educator with a practice founded in hand weaving. In her artistic production, she experiments with materials, processes, and loom technologies. She regards woven textiles as sensual and material while simultaneously embedded with complex mathematical information. In two- and three-dimensional weavings, she draws conceptual parallels between the systems of woven structure and other foundational human systems and infrastructure, such as platonic mathematics, the US petroleum industry, and standardized measurement.

She has acted as the Fountainhead Fellow at VCU, Fulbright Scholar in Paris, France, and artist-in-residence at MASS MoCA, Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, Ox-Bow, and ACRE. She has studied traditional textiles in Ecuador, Ghana, India, Zimbabwe, as well as in Europe, and she has exhibited work recently at venues including Alternative Art Space in Boston, MA; Sediment Gallery in Richmond, VA; Heaven Gallery, the Mission Gallery, and Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago; and PointDom in Toulouse, France. She received her BA from Brown University and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she is a lecturer.

She is based in Minneapolis, MN, where she enjoys year-round cycling and fermentation projects, among other things.


Exhibitions & Performances


Jerome Fiber Art Project Grant Exhibition (upcoming), Textile Center, Minneapolis, MN


Selections from the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, MRAC, Minneapolis, MN

Material Turn, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec


Summer Sessions, Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL

Dangerous Professors, Triumph, Chicago, IL

The New Normal, UMAM Beirut, Lebanon, and Supa Salon, Istanbul, Turkey

Economies of Line (solo exhibition), Alternative Art Space, Boston, MA


The Woven Cosmos, Textile Society of America Symposium, Savannah, GA

Somatics of Garlic Cultivation, Triumph School Manual Project, Triumph, IL

Poetics of the Landscape, Gaa Gallery, Provincetown, MA

Compressed Reflections (solo exhibition), Sediment Arts, Richmond, VA


Unit "Feu" (solo installation), PointDom Foundation, Toulouse, France

For Emilie (solo installation and reading), Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France

Unit "Feu" (solo installation), Le Rotonde, École des Art Déco, Paris, France

Videonight, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France


Material Gestures: Cut, Weave, Sew, Knot, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, IL

MFA Exhibition, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, IL

Consensus (solo performance), ACRE Gallery, Chicago, IL

Digital Technology—Traditional Techniques, ECU School of Art and Design, Greenville, NC


Seismic Dip (solo installation), Student Union Galleries Project, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Pen Pal Show, Cranbrook Forum Gallery, Bloomfield Hills, MI

41.8757° – 87.6244°, Clutch Gallery, Chicago, IL

FATHOM (duo installation, durational solo performance), The Mission Gallery, Chicago, IL


Uni, duo performance, Variable #9, Cool Sumner, Portland, OR; curated by Elizabeth Venable

Offerings (solo show), Hopworks, Portland, OR


Attempt at Ikat (solo performance), Valentine's, Portland, OR

Occupation/Preoccupation, Time-Based Art Festival, PICA, Portland, OR

Centrifuge: An Examination of Art and Architecture, Art Institute of Portland, Portland, OR

Cave of the Realm of Forms (duo performance), Recital, Portland, OR; curated by Alyssa Reed Stuewe


The Portland Bridge Festival, Portland, OR; curated by Chris Haberman

Balance (solo performance), Harmelodic Haus, Portland, OR


Works on Paper, featured artist of Brink Magazine, www.brinklit.com


The Big 100, Olympic Mills Commerce Center, Portland, OR


Transfer (duo durational performance), part of Kitchen Sink: Step Into My Office, Portland, OR


Aug. 2014

Masters of Fine Arts in Fiber and Material Studies, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

May 2002

Bachelors of Arts with honors, Brown University

Work Experience

Aug. 2017 - May 2018; June 2019: Lecturer, Fiber and Material Studies, SAIC, Chicago, IL: Digital Jacquard: Zeroes and Ones, Woven Structure Basics

July 2018 - present: Instructor, Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

May 2016 – July 2017: Consultant, Powerhouse Environmental Arts, Brooklyn, NY

Aug. 2015 - May 2016: Instructor, Fibers Area, Craft and Material Studies Department, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Richmond, VA

Sept. 2012 - June 2014: Teaching Assistant, Fiber and Material Studies Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Dec. 2013 - June 2014: Advanced Loom Technician, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Jan. 2013 - May 2014: Tutor, Writing Center, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Sept. 2013 - Dec. 2013: Teaching Assistant (Instructor of Record), Liberal Arts Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Sept. 2012 - Jan. 2013: Administrative Assistant, Writing Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Sept. 2012 - Dec. 2012: Fiber Lab Monitor, Fiber and Material Studies Department, SAIC, Chicago, IL

June 2005 - present: Freelance Designer, specializing in bridal wear, Portland, OR and Chicago, IL

Dec. 2010 - Aug. 2012: Artist Assistant, Geraldine Ondrizek, Portland, OR

Nov. 2008 - July 2012: Founder & Manager, Switchyard Studios (now Citizen Studios), Portland, OR

Mar. 2008 - June 2012: Program Coordinator, Zimbabwe Artists Project, Portland, OR

July 2010 - Aug. 2010: Art Teacher, Zimbabwe Artists Project, rural Eastern Zimbabwe, Africa

Unsalaried Experience

Aug. 2017 - Aug. 2019: Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair, Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

July 2016, Aug. 2017, July 2018: Fiber Studio Technician, ACRE, Steuben, WI

Aug. 2015: Teaching Assistant, Christy Matson, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

Mar. 2014 - Aug. 2014: Co-Founder, Textile Technologies Research Group, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Aug. 2013, 2014: Staff, ACRE, Steuben, WI

April 2013, 2014: ACRE Admissions Panel, Chicago, IL



Jerome Project Grant Presentation, Textile Center of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Artist Presentation "Thinking Through the Loom", Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN


Visiting Artist Lecture, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR

Visiting Artist Lecture, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Visiting Artist Lecture, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

"The Body in the Industrial Landscape", Visitors Center Sustainability Symposium, Ewen, MI


Visiting Artist Lecture, Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration Symposium, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Visiting Artist Lecture, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, NS


Fountainhead Fellow Lecture, VCU, Richmond, VA


Visiting Artist Lecture, L’École des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France

Resident Artist Lecture, Ox-Bow School of Art, Saugatuck, MI


Visiting Artist Lecture: Textiles and Performance, Intro to Fiber, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Visiting Artist Lecture and Demonstration: Papermaking, Permeable Membranes, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Second-year Graduate Presentation

Early College Program, SAIC, Chicago, IL

First-year Graduate Presentation, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Grants and Residencies

July 2018 - May 2019: Jerome Fiber Art Project Grant, Minneapolis, MN

April 2018: Michael Conrad Leadership Award, SAIC, Chicago, IL

May-June 2018: Cynthia Bringly & Edwina Bringle Scholarship, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC

March 2017: Jacquard Residency, Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA

Oct. - Dec. 2016: MASS MoCA Residency, North Adams, MA

Aug. 2016: Visitor Center Sustainable Practices Lecture Scholarship, Ewen, MI

Aug. 2015 - May 2016: Fountainhead Fellowship in Craft, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

Aug. 2015: Haystack Teaching Assistant Scholarship, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, ME

July 2015: PointDom Foundation Residency, Toulouse, France.

Sept. 2014 - June 2015: Artist-in-Residence, École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France

Jan. 2015 - July 2015: Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France

Oct. 2014 - June 2015: Fulbright-Hays Scholarship, Paris, France

Sept. 2014: EAGER Grant Recipient (with student group the TTRG), Shapiro Center for Research and Collaboration, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Aug. 2014: Semi-Finalist Prize, Clare Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation Award, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Aug. 2014: John Quincy Adams Fellowship, SAIC, Chicago, IL

June 2014: Ox-Bow Merit Scholarship, Saugatuck, MI

Sept. 2012 - May 2014: Judith Zielinski Scholarship, SAIC, Chicago, IL

July 2013: Haystack Summer Conference Scholarship, Deer Isle, ME

April 2013: Finalist, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Trust Scholarship, SAIC, Chicago, IL

Aug. 2012: ACRE Second Session, Steuben, WI

Aug. 2002 - Sept. 2003: Samuel T Arnold Fellowship through Brown University for textile study in Ghana, West Africa