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Meet Alexandria Masse: A Canadian crochetier whose ‘wearable art’ is going viral – Global News



A Nova Scotian textile artist is making waves online with her colourful, wearable pieces.

Alexandria Masse, originally from Windsor, Ont., has had an “overwhelming” rise in social media popularity over the past six months.

The 21-year-old artist specializes in funky crocheted headpieces and balaclavas.

She says the things that inspire her are “grandma motifs,” bunnies and childhood memories.

“I utilize a lot of practices like knit, crochet and sewing and quilting that are very much associated with grandmas,” Masse said.

“But colour-wise, I absolutely love colour. If I can choose the most extravagant colour, then I’ll do that.”

Going viral

Around this time last year, Masse had about 1,000 Instagram followers and was still figuring out her niche.

With much of the world spending more time at home and looking for hobbies, crocheting and knitting content had gained momentum on social media.

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Having this talent and skill, Masse first posted a video of her creating a cardigan to her TikTok account in January 2021. That video now has nearly 110,000 views, but it was just the start.

Her presence became known around August when she started creating the unique headpieces. But Masse credits her rise in popularity to one piece: the pink bunny balaclava.

“That got super, super popular, which was an absolute surprise,” she said.

After she first posted that piece in October, Masse hit 10,000 followers on Instagram.

She now has more than 47,000 on Instagram, and more than 119,000 on TikTok, where her videos accumulated 3.2 million likes.

“It has been really fast and overwhelming,” she said.

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But to Masse, it’s not about the followers. She had always been creative.

Alexandra Masse

Her mother taught her to knit when she was about seven years old.

“From there, I always had a project on the go, and then I taught myself how to crochet when I got a bit older.”

Masse said she has always taken inspiration from real things in her life. The bunny balaclava was inspired by her two pet rabbits.

“I was like looking at my bunnies and thinking, ‘Oh, you guys are so cute. How do how can I express this in a different way?’”

She said as she was piecing it together and added the ears, she thought: “This is it; this is what it’s meant to be.”

Since then, she’s made different versions of the bunny balaclava.

“There’s a lot of people looking at what I’m creating right now, but at the same time, it makes me really happy to see and to know that so many other people are interested in wearable art the same way I am.”

Where art meets fashion

Studying fashion textiles at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Masse is set to graduate this year.

“I’ll be able to make as many headpieces as I want to,” she said.

“I’d love to have the opportunity to just do this full time and to keep making weird pieces and sharing them on the internet.”

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While her trending work may be recognized online as a fashion trend, Masse said she doesn’t have an interest in going into that industry.

“I would consider myself an artist,” she said.

“When I create a piece, I don’t have the intentions of reproducing it the same way things are done in the fashion industry.”

She classifies her work as “wearable art,” where art and fashion meet.

“It doesn’t need to have a utilitarian purpose for it to be considered fashion, and art can be on the body too,” she said.

Her biggest recent project, however, isn’t wearable at all. Instead, it’s a 13-metre crocheted centipede.


Alexandria Masse’s crocheted centipede sculpture is seen exhibited at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, N.S.

Alexandria Masse


Alexandria Masse

The centipede was named “Ha-ha,” a combination of both of her grandparents’ names.

It has more than 100 legs and is completely made of crocheted, hand-dyed material. The centipede also has 16 crocheted eggs.

“I wanted noto create something that just immerses you in the space, and interacts with the space,” Masse said.  “It’s just a really fun object.”

As a part of Masse’s undergraduate solo exhibition, the soft sculpture took four months to make.

“Oh gosh, I can’t even put how many hours I spent on it because it was so many weekends, so many nights,” she said, “just slowly making her larger and larger.”

Her work is exhibited this week at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax.

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Though the centipede also gained some traction on her social media, Masse said she tries to not pay attention to likes and followers.

“I’m so focused on like, ‘Oh, I should create this; I should create that.’ And if it gets attention and people like it, that’s super great.

“But the bottom line is, I love creating things for myself.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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New interactive art installation in front of Ackland Art Museum engages community – The Daily Tar Heel



The Ackland Art Museum installed a new interactive art piece, or “spatial gesture,” on its terrace that features magenta arches and iridescent glass– inviting Chapel Hill community members to stop and look. 

The eye-catching art features several arches that extend from the ground and frame reflective panels that change color based on light and movement. When backlit by red, green and blue lights, the panels capture shadows of those standing in front of them. 

White platforms at each end of the arches allow visitors to sit, perform, eat or just talk with friends.

The Urban Conga, a design studio based in Brooklyn, N.Y., created the installation, called pARC, as an open-ended space for the Chapel Hill community. It was installed on June 18 and will remain there until July 2024.

Maeghann Coleman is a designer on the Urban Conga team and helped create the installation. An artist and architect, she has been there since its start in 2013. 

She said her team tried to work together to mesh the concepts of both the arches and seating elements with the shadow play. 

“We’re taking art off the pedestal and giving people the opportunity to interact in the way that they would want to,” Coleman said. 

Coleman said she hopes the piece will be used by visitors and help them create new relationships with people who they don’t normally interact with.

Ryan Swanson, who serves as The Urban Conga studio’s founder and creative director, mirrored Coleman’s desire for the installation to foster community. 

“Within the space, we tried to create multiple tools that people could kind of use to create, inspire and really learn and listen to each other and really become this communal space,” Swanson said.

According to The Urban Conga’s website, the art should invite people off the street and into the museum and University. The goal of the installation is to attract passersby to the museum to view, relax, laugh and — most importantly — play.

“We really focus on sparking community interaction and social activity through open-ended play,” Swanson said. “So through our work, we see play as a tool to bring people together within the public space.”

The Ackland Art Museum is hosting a sunset celebration at the pARC this Friday at 5 p.m. where attendees can make their own pARC-inspired iridescent suncatchers, relax with friends and family and explore the museum’s galleries. 

On Sunday, July 24, the museum is hosting “Ackland F.A.M.: Play at the pARC”. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., families can grab an activity kit and take a summery scavenger hunt through the galleries. In the evening, there will be a pARC-inspired movement workshop led by choreographer Killian Manning and will feature special musical guest Dan Levine on cello. 

Katie Ziglar, the director of the Ackland Art Museum, said the exhibit is meant for all age groups to enjoy. 

“We have our values as a museum,” says Ziglar. “We have three they are rigor, playfulness and responsiveness. This is right up our alley, our playful ally.”

She said pARC is the third installation in a series of interactive installations.

“The first was some beautiful turning, spinning that people could ride around on with different colors made by a Mexican design group,” Ziglar said. 

The second was an “installation based on ancient Arabian water vessel in our collection,” according to Ziglar. 

She said that she hopes the new installation brings new audiences to the Ackland, and that it inspires people to want to learn more about the museum and what it can offer the public. 

“I think the biggest thing is showcasing the value of play and how it can be used in different ways in different spaces to people together,” Swanson said. “And that’s really the true essence of our work, is highlighting that play is a valuable tool.”

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Art exhibition with references to famous movies coming to Strathcona County –



This summer, Strathcona County will have an art exhibition saturated with popular culture references.

Red Deer artist Jason Frizzell will be showcasing his miniature sculpture pieces called “We’ll Build a Palace Upon the Ruins” at Gallery@501, Strathcona County’s only public art gallery.

From July 8 to Aug. 20, the exhibition will be on display for all to enjoy. 

It will showcase close to 60 small-scale sculptures that continue a thematic exploration of transition, identity, denial and discovery. It will also take viewers through different time periods and eras as they explore the showcase.

“Jason has created a really interesting journey of discovery for our visitors when they enter the gallery space,” said Kris Miller, the curator for Gallery@501.

Some pop culture references viewers will see include Mad Max, The Wizard of Oz, Planet of the Apes, The Flintstones and Stephen King.

To go along with the art itself, Gallery@501 also partially recreated Frizzell’s studio space within the gallery. 

“Being that he is working in a miniature format, it is really interesting to see these sculptural pieces. The content, stories, narratives that he is sharing with us for this artwork really struck a chord for us.”

Gallery@501 is also adding a sensory-friendly feature to the exhibition so the art can be explored through touch and iPads for larger viewing.

The public is also invited to an opening reception and exhibition walk-through with Jason Frizzell on July 14 at 7 p.m.

Gallery@501 is located at #120, 501 Festival Avenue, Sherwood Park. It is always free to visit.

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Idea Exchange welcomes new Cambridge Art Galleries director – CambridgeToday



The Idea Exchange is ready to welcome Alix Voz as the new Gallery Director/Curator of Cambridge Art Galleries. Alix will be starting in the position Wednesday, says a release from the city.

“We are thrilled to have Alix joining us in Cambridge,” said Idea Exchange CEO Helen Kelly in a press release. “Her enthusiasm for presenting art exhibitions that are engaging and accessible for the broader community is infectious. We look forward to many dynamic public art projects and programs under her leadership.”

For the past four years, Vos has been working as the director/curator at the WKP Kennedy Gallery in North Bay.

She holds a master of arts in interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Art History and Fine Arts, Geography, Communication and Culture, from York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nipissing University, says the release. She is an adjunct faculty member at Nipissing University where she teaches art courses in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program. She is also an instructor in the Visual and Creative Arts Advanced Program at Sheridan College. 

An active community member, Vos served as the vice-chair of the public art policy committee for the City of North Bay.

Vos has her own contemporary art practice and has had her work exhibited at the Art Gallery of Sudbury, the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, and the Red Head Gallery in Toronto. Her artistic practice includes drawing, having recently published her illustrations in a children’s book. She is currently working on an art-history-inspired children’s illustration book series.

With a love of literature and a passion for art, Vos says she’s excited about the opportunities for community engagement at Idea Exchange.

The community will have an opportunity to meet the new curator/director during the virtual opening reception of Fibreworks 2022 on July 21 at 7 p.m., registration is required to attend.

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