I draw obsessively, adore adornment, make art accessible, & collaborate often.
My detailed artworks showcase layered histories, using ornamentation and patterning to reveal alternate narratives that celebrate diversity in all its forms.
I believe that artistic expression is a basic human need. Since 2008 I have run the affordable art subscription Papirmass, and have mailed over 100,000 prints to art lovers around the world.
My work has been exhibited at the Shanghai International Arts Festival, Toronto's AGO, Montreal's Musée des Beaux Arts , and the Sea Wall’s Love Letters Festival (Toronto), and has appeared in numerous publications, including Fast Company, Juxtapoz, Canadian Art, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and Bust.
I live in Toronto with my partner and collaborator JP King.
The W Hotel
Cirque du Soleil
The Polaris Prize
Born: Edmonton, AB
Work/Live: Toronto, ON
2015 Objectify, Nuvango Gallery, Toronto
2014 Flora & Fauna, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto
Hot Topic Redux, Galerie La Centrale Powerhouse, Montreal
2012 Flora & Fauna, Arbor Gallery, Vankleek Hill
2011 Hot Topic, Galerie Maison Kasini, Montreal
2016 UAB Project, Grimsby Public Art Gallery, Grimsby
Love Letters to the Great Lakes, Rally, Toronto
2015 Under New Management, Union Gallery, Kingston
Under New Management, The New Gallery, Calgary
2014 En Masse, Art Media Centre, Shanghai
En Masse, Art Labour Gallery, Shanghai
Papirmass Five-Year Anniversary, Hermann & Audrey, Toronto
Prints & Inks, Ideaspace, Ottawa
It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Like This, Videofag, Toronto
2013 AGGG II, Rennan Isaacs Contemporary, Guelph
Summer Reading Room, The Hole Gallery, New York
Creative Type V, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto
29, Gallery West, Toronto
2012 Live Free, The Hellion Gallery, Portland
Creative Type IV, Cooper Cole Gallery, Toronto
Salon Masse, Galerie Pangée, Montreal
Reshelving Initiative 5, Eyelevel Gallery, Halifax
2011 Big Bang (with En Masse collective), Musée des Beaux Arts, Montreal
Collage Show, Monastiraki, Montreal
Poplar & Pine: Where Are We Going?, Latitude 53, Edmonton
Chromatic II, SAT, Montreal
Baronesque, Maison du Conseil des Arts de Montreal, Montreal
No Sleep Till Brooklyn, Underworld, Montreal
Papirmass, S.P.A.C.E. Gallery, Vermont
Distroboto 10-year Anniversary, Monastiraki, Montreal
2010 The Box Project, ARPRIM, Montreal
Digital Miniprint Exhibition, Voix Visuelle, Ottawa
Crowded House, 52 McCaul, Toronto
Papergirl Berlin, neurotitan Gallery, Berlin
The National Portrait Gallery, Latitude 53, Edmonton
MassivArt: Chromatic, SAT, Montreal
FESTIVALS, MURALS, & PUBLIC COMMISSIONS
2016 Mural: Wallpaper, Union Station, Toronto Canada
Mural: Untitled, with En Masse, Facebook Canada Office, Toronto Canada
Mural: Queer the North, Up Here Festival, Sudbury Canada
Mural: Wild Walls, Osheaga Music Festival, Montreal Canada
Mural: Wild Flowers, SeaWalls/Love Letters Festival, Toronto Canada
2015 Mural: Young Hearts Run Free, Toronto Canada
Mural: Electric City/Nogojiwanong, Peterborough Canada
Mural: Welcome, Wayhome Music & Arts Festival, Oro Medonte Canada
Mural: Paper Traces, Live Art Festival, Pan Am Path, Toronto Canada
Mural: Let’s Go Places Together, Telus Social Art Rally, Toronto Canada
Mural: Everything That Happens, Artscape Sandbox Theatre, Toronto Canada
Festival: MassivArt Chromatic, Paris France
2014 Mural: En Masse Collaboration, Shanghai International Arts Festival, Shanghai China
Installation: Hunted Hunters, Long Winter, Toronto Canada
Performance: Fortune Seller, AGO First Thursdays, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Canada
2013 Installation: Hot Topic, Feminist Art Conference, Toronto Canada
Mural: AGO First Thursdays: installation, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Canada
2012 Festival: Nuit Blanche: 12-HR Zine Machine, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto Canada
Mural: Super Crawl (with En Masse), Hamilton Canada
Conference: Open Engagement: The Cedar Room, Portland State University, Portland USA
Festival: Sheroes, League of Legendary Ladies, with Whippersnapper Gallery, Toronto Canada
2011 Festival: Exposure Queer Arts: Papirmasse-a-thon, Nina Haggerty Gallery, Edmonton Canada
Mural: Pop Montreal: No Cars Go (with Cease Collective), Montreal Canada
Festival: Nuit Blanche: Papirmasse-a-thon, Galerie Maison Kasini, Montreal Canada
Mural: Festivale Les Escales Improbables: En Masque (with En Masse), Montreal Canada
Mural: Queen of Cards, Under Pressure Graffiti Festival, Montreal Canada
PRESENTATIONS & OTHER ART PRACTICES
Current Founder and Publisher of Papirmass Art Subscription (2008 – present)
Member of En Masse Collective (2010 – present)
2016 Artist Talk: Up Here Festival, Sudbury
2015 Auction: Plug-In ICA, Winnipeg
Instructor: The Entrepreneurial Artist, Haliburton School for the Arts: Fleming College, Haliburton
Artist Talk, Struts Gallery, Sackville
Workshop: Making Ideas Happen, Struts Gallery, Sackville
2014 Panelist: Artists for Artists, CARFAC National Conference, Toronto
Panelist: Hustle Hard, The Drake Hotel, Toronto
Artist Talk: Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, Dawson City
Invited Participant: Canada Council for the Arts National Forum on the Literary Arts, Montreal
Artist Talk, University of Guelph, Guelph
Panelist: OCAD University, Toronto
Auction: Toronto Design Offsite Festival, Toronto
2013 Artist Talk, Canzine Symposium, Toronto
Artist Talk at OCAD University,Toronto
Auction: ArtSIDA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal
Programming Board, XPACE Gallery, Toronto
Submissions Workshop, XPACE Gallery, Toronto
Artist Talk, University of Waterloo
Workshop with JP King at University of Waterloo, Waterloo
2012 Panel Discussion: The Art of Collecting, PAPIER Art Fair, Montreal
Auction: ArtSIDA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal
Artist Talk at Loyalist College, Belleville
2011 Chair of Panel Discussion: Becoming an Artist, Exposure Queer Arts & Culture Festival, Edmonton
Artist Talk, Concordia University, Montreal
2013 New York Art Book Fair, Paper Pusher, New York
2012 Papier, Maison Kasini, Montreal
2011 San Diego Art Fair, En Masse, San Diego
Papier, Maison Kasini, Montreal
GRANTS & AWARDS
2015 Ontario Arts Council, Magazine Publishers Project Grant
2014 Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grant – Shanghai
Canada Council for the Arts Travel Grant – Dawson City
Ontario Arts Council Visual Artists Project Grant
Art Gallery of York University, Artist Book of the Moment, shortlist: Dan-D-Noser
2013 Expozine Small Press Awards nominee: Best English Publication, Dan-D-Noser
2011 Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Quebec Grant to Visual Artists
2010 Voix Visuelle Gallery Digital Print Award, 2nd place
Expozine Small Press Awards nominee: Best English Publication, Papirmass
2008 Special Project Grant, Fine Arts Students Association, Concordia University
2005 Frances Henderson Klingle Scholarship
Barbara and John Poole Family Endowment for the Arts
2015 Struts Gallery, Sackville, NB
2014 Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto, ON
Klondike Institute of Art & Culture, Dawson City, YK
Spark Box Studio, Prince Edward County, ON
2012 Spark Box Studio, Prince Edward County, ON
2014 Various Authors, 6 Years Later 3, Australia: SYL
2013 Various Authors, MUDGUM, Belgium: YumYum Collectif
Various Authors, What Is An Art Book 3, New York: The Modern Language Experiment
Various Authors, 6 Years Later 2, Australia: SYL
2012 Kirsten McCrea, Dan-D-Noser, Toronto, ON: Paper Pusher.
En Masse, essays by Nathalie Bondil & Isa Tousignant, Montreal, QC: MBaM (catalogue)
Bettina Forget, “Kirsten McCrea: Hot Topic”, The Belgo Report: Highlights From 2008-2011: 20-21.
2011 Kirsten McCrea, Hot Topic: Portraits of 20th Century Feminists, Montreal, QC: Maison Kasini.
Gabe Wong, Poplar & Pine: Where Are We Going?, Edmonton, AB (artist multiple/catalogue)
2009 Gabe Wong Poplar & Pine: Where Are We From?, Edmonton, AB (artist multiple/catalogue)
Radio Canada, Marjorie April, “Y a pas deux matins pareils”, September 29, 2016.
Chart Attack, Kristel Jax, “How Up Here Aims to Rebrand Sudbury”, August 18, 2016.
CBC News, Samantha Lui, “Sudbury Gears up for Second Annual Up Here Festival”, August 10, 2016.
Newsweek, “The 2015 Newsweek Gift Guide for Everyone”, December 15, 2015.
Bustle, Caitlin Morrison, “10 Subscriptions to Get”, November 23, 2015.
Mashable, Eli Epstein, “11 Creative Ways to Say Thank You”, November 20, 2015.
Buzzfeed, “40 Awesome Art Prints”, July 31, 2015.
Fast Company, Elisabeth Segran, “From Socks to Sex Toys: Inside America’s Subscription-Box Obsession”, April 6, 2015.
The Today Show (NBC), Jill Martin, “Best Box of the Month Clubs”, March 20, 2015.
Fresh Rag Podcast, Dave Conrey, “Can a Monthly Infusion of Art Change the World?”, Feb 11, 2015 (65:36).
The National Post, “Gift Guide: Did you leave it to the last minute, again?”, Dec 19, 2014: B2.
Huffington Post, Rebecca Shapiro, “When A Regular Gift Won’t Cut It, Try Giving An Experience”, Dec 1, 2014.
Lucky Magazine, Alison Syrett Cleary, “11 Stellar Style And Beauty Subscription Boxes We Just Can’t Quit”, Aug 1, 2014.
Broken Pencil, Kelly Boutsalis, “Please Mister Postman: Artists and Canada’s Mail Cuts”, June 18, 2014: 16-17.
NBC News Online, “Gifts that Keep on Giving: 9 Uniquely Awesome Subscriptions”, May 16, 2014.
Canadian Art, Sam Cotter, “Hot Jobs”, December 2013.
BUST Magazine, Lan Truong, “Papirmass”, December 2013: p. 52.
Canadian Living, “Subscriptions for Everyone on Your List”, December 9, 2013.
Apartment Therapy, Gregory Han, “Subscriptions for a Healthier, Happier, and Tastier Life”, June 5, 2013.
Artinfo Canada, Rea MacNamara, “Artist’s Multiple (Choice): Kirsten McCrea’s “Papirmasse””, May 8, 2013.
The Singapore Straits Times, Clara Chow, “Boxed Surprises: Subscription Boxes Offer Up Myriad Goodies”, May 19, 2013.
Real Simple, Valerie Rains, “8 Surprising Subscription Box Ideas”, April 29, 2013.
The Globe and Mail, Dierdre Kelly, “Special Delivery: Artist sends masterpieces through the mail”, April 10, 2013: L5.
She Does The City, Lisa Amergongen, “Papirmasse”, March 20, 2013.
The Montreal Gazette, Fatima Arkin, “Papirmasse makes art accessible, and affordable, to everyone”, Feb 23, 2013: B2.
Artinfo Canada, Sky Goodden and Benjamin Bruneau, “Canada’s Top 30 Under 30”, January 28, 2013.
Trendhunter, Simal Yilmaz, “Shuffled Art Delivery Services”, December 14, 2012.
Flare Magazine, Andrea Karr, “Papirmasse”, November 15, 2012.
Hazlitt, Emily Keeler, “The Accidental Editor: Papirmasse’s Kirsten McCrea”, October 4, 2012.
Chatelaine Magazine, Alanna Glassman, “Mail-Order Art: Build Up Your Collection for $5 a Month”, Feb 2012: 30.
Juxtapoz Online, “The Work of Canada’s Kirsten McCrea”, August 9, 2012
Rabble, Jaela Bernstien, “Kirsten McCrea’s art: Honouring feminists who challenge status quo”, July 9, 2012.
Broken City Lab, Joshua Babcock, “Hi, 5 with Kirsten McCrea”, June 2, 2012.
Infopresse, Sophie Chartier, “L’art en envoi postal”, January 4, 2012.
As It Happens (CBC Radio 1), Carol Off, Radio Interview, 5 January 2012.
Vue Weekly, Paul Blinov, “Exposure Festival”, 19 October 2011.
Live Free Podcast, Mike Maxwell, Interview with En Masse, 11 September 2011.
The Jealous Curator, Danielle Krysa, “I’m Jealous of Kirsten McCrea”, August 5, 2011.
7 Days in Vermont, Megan James, “A Montréal Artist Offers Art Subscriptions – Through Snail Mail”, April 6, 2011: 13.
The Montreal Gazette, Lori Callaghan, “Montreal Has a Lot to Offer Anglo Artists”, 17 July 2010.
The Walrus, Emily Testa, “The Edmonton Manifesto”, 21 December 2009.
Book By Its Cover, Julia Rothman, “Magazine Appreciation Week: Papirmasse”, 10 December 2009.
Edmonton Journal, Janice Ryan, “Edmonton’s own National Portrait Gallery ignites debate about Canadian identity”, Jul 9, 2010.
Vue Weekly, David Berry, “Picture Perfect: The NPG goes beyond cheeky reactions”, June 16, 2010.
See, Andrew Paul, “Portrait of a Gallery: Grassroots movement creates National Portrait Gallery”, June 10, 2010.
The Edmonton Journal, Paula Simons, “The Guerrilla Portrait Gallery”, May 25, 2010.
Georgie Magazine, Nathan Marshall, “Artist Profile: Kirsten McCrea”, 1 March 2010.
See Magazine, Mari Sasano, “Where did Where Are You From? come from?”, 23 September 2009: 12.
SNAP! Magazine, Shayl Prisk, “Artist of the Month”, Summer 2009.
Ottawa Express, Adam Volk, “Pop Goes the Hamster”, 28 May 2009.
Design Milk, Erin Loechner, “Papirmasse”, April 13, 2009.
Vue Weekly, Sarah Hamilton, “Hot Topic Vs. Wednesday Lupypciw: Up for debate”, 13 November 2008: 14.
2008 Concordia University, Montreal, Bachelor of Fine Arts, with Great Distinction
2005 Grant MacEwan, Diploma of Fine Art, with First Class Standing