The Olive Sparrow is Monika Aebischer, a life-long artist and creator.
Born in Switzerland. Immigrated to Canada in 1987. Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) honours (1999); awarded Governor General’s Medal and Ontario College of Art and Design Medal.
Monika Aebischer has been creating with her hands for over 45 years. Growing up in Switzerland she received a foundation curriculum of 8 years in needlework – sewing, knitting, mending, basketry, embroidery, etc.. Combining these skills with studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design (Honours, Governor Generals Award 1999) – her focus was in textiles, paper making and sculpture – her work is very unique. Monika is an artist with extensive technical knowledge in a wide range of techniques. She has managed her art studio in down town Toronto since 1997.
Awards, Scholarships & Grants
- 2014 Honourable Mention – Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Festival
- 2003 Elected to Society of Canadian Artists (SCA) (member for 8 years)
- 2002 Best Graduate Booth Design—Uniquely Ontario (Toronto International Gift Fair)
- 1999 Governor General’s Medal—Printmaking (OCAD).
- 1999 Ontario College of Art & Design Medal—Printmaking
- 1999 M. Joan Chalmers Scholarship—Printmaking (OCAD)
- 1999 Dr. Eugene A Poggetto Scholarship—Printmaking (OCAD)
- 1999 Intermediate/Advanced Papermaking Award—Handmade Paper (OCAD)
- 1999 Diana Myers Book Award—Bookarts (OCAD)
- 1999 Peacock’s Hardware Prize—Surface Design (OCAD)
- 1999 Dr. Eugene A. Poggetto Award—Printmaking (OCAD)
- 1999 George A. Reid Award—Printmaking (OCAD)
- 1996 Advanced Printmaking Award, OCAD Printmaking department—Award for Proficiency in Contemporary Papermaking
- Canvas Gallery, Toronto
- Town Square Gallery, Oakville
Artworks are in private collections in Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Greece, Spain, Germany, and the USA; in corporate collections in Canada.
- FeltFun, March 2016 – written article about collaboration with Little M Invention for FAT 2015 (wet felted garment collection)
- Maclean’s Magazine, 25 March, 2013 – Waldorf-inspired Dolls
- FiberArts Magazine, March/April 2008
- Show Catalogue, Town Square Gallery Solo Show, Monika Aebischer – New Work, 2007
- Seasonal instructor, Loyalist College, Belleville, Ontario (Summer session) 2012 – 2017
- Owner and creator at The Olive Sparrow – maker of Waldorf inspired dolls, wet-felted goods, hand-dyed play silks and sewn items.
- Juror, OKWA (Organization of Kingston Women Artist), 2009
- Workshops at Meta4 Gallery, Port Perry, ON
- Demonstration and “Play date” to Art Guild of Scarborough
- Hosted “Play date” for members of SCA (Society of Canadian Artists)
- Demonstration to SCA members at Arts and Letters Club (Topic: Working with Liquid Wax on Paper),
- Workshops at Studio Six, Markham (Workshops included: Paste Papers; The Zen of Multi Media Collage)
- Lectured to OCAD Material Arts and Design students, on the topic of preparing thesis body of work
Costume and Set Design
- 2014 Dolls for Shadowhunter TV show production
- 1999 Prop design and production for “Thieving”, a Riot House Production at Tim Simms Playhouse (Second City)
- 1997 Set design and production for “Thieving”, a Riot House Production for Summer Works Theatre Festival in Toronto, On
- 1996 Historical costumes and set designed and produced for “Tribute 1764”, an Ontario tourist Board and Dale Barnes Production at Ste. Marie Among the Hurons, Midland, On
- 1995 Historical Costumes designed and manufactured for “Officers 1893”, a Dale Barnes Production staged at the Marine Museum, CNE, Toronto, Canada (Officer jackets, Victorian gowns)