Art Incubate Project - Community Blanket with Artist Johanna Thompson

This project was completed and exhibited at Schneider Haus National Historic Site in 2021. Thank you to everyone who contributed.

We are pleased to be working with Art$Pay on their Art Incubate project with Artist Johanna Thompson to create a Community Blanket which once created will be installed and displayed at Schneider Haus. We are inviting participants to contribute a crocheted granny square to be included in this large scale installation. Each square should measure approximately 5 - 6 inches and submissions are limited to up to 3 squares per person. 

Artist Statement and Bio

Johanna Thomson

Johanna Thompson is a multidisciplinary artist based in Kitchener. She received her MFA from York University and holds a BFA in photography from NSCAD University. Her work explores memory that is felt in the body and considers the ways the past is carried with us. Her practice attends to the sensorial and ephemeral nature of memory, and seeks to form tactile and emotional connections with the past.

Joanna explains, "Throughout these uncertain times I have found myself turning to craft to ease my anxiety and to hold something tangible. The endlessly repetitive gestures of crochet are meditative and grounding. I began making blankets out of a desire to hold others and to feel held. Blanket making is a gesture of care for oneself and others. It is through the crocheting of granny squares that I explore my desire to connect and care for distant loved ones.

This project came out of a desire to express care for community and to feel connected while apart." 

Crochet hooks
You will need the following materials:
  • Crochet hook (5.5mm - 6.5mm recommended) 
  • Yarn (wool or acrylic, worsted weight)
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle


ArtsPay LogoArt$Pay is an artist-run, non-profit initiative for Waterloo Region with a mission to connect visual art practitioners with opportunities, community, and advocate for fair pay. Developing an online resource and artist directory, Art$Pay is an in-depth tool for the development of the local visual arts sector, focusing on employment, marketing, education, professional development and public awareness.

Art$Pay expanded its role with the creation of Art Incubate at 52 & 56 Regina Street North in Waterloo, a tangible artist support program including 16 studios and 2 galleries, designed to offer local visual artists exceptional studio space with a focus on generating community engagement. The studios house artists from a mix of career levels to share networks, resources, new ideas, energy and mediums. Interest in collaboration and community are requirements for any studio tenancy.

Responding specifically to the lack of affordable studio space for young emerging artists and a community network, Art$Pay developed the Incubator Program. Five selected emerging artists are mentored and awarded with sponsored studio spaces for one year, a small stipend for art supplies and payment towards community outreach activities. Sponsors of the Incubator program include Createscape Waterloo Region, HIP Developments,  Region of Waterloo, City of Waterloo, City of Kitchener, Perimeter Development Corporation, and Miller Thomson LLP.