Featured Artist Member

Featured Artist Member honors the artist members of Berkeley Art Center, highlighting the breadth and variety of mediums, processes and concepts engaged by our community. Only artists whose memberships are current will be considered. To become a member, please sign up HERE. To fill out our Artist Member Informational Survey , click HERE.


Featured Artist September 2017

Mirka Knaster

Fiber artist and writer Mirka Knaster was born in Europe and educated on both coasts of the U.S., with degrees in Romance Languages and Literature, Latin American Studies, Asian Philosophies and Cultures. As a child, she learned how to sew, knit, crochet, and embroider from her mother. For many years, Mirka worked as a writer, first at Stanford University, and then commercially, producing reference works, non-fiction books, and many articles and reviews for magazines and journals. Now she focuses on her blog, Exploring the heART of It.

Mirka has lived in the Andes, Blue Ridge Mountains, and Hawaiian Islands, and traversed much of the world’s continents and islands. Her cross-cultural experiences and research indulge her fascination with how people live, dress, decorate their homes and religious institutions, and celebrate holidays and rites of passage. Since 2005, she has been working on a bluff on the northern Sonoma coast, where she witnesses, with awe, how the ever-changing light transforms the colors of land, sea, and sky from moment to moment.

Inspired and influenced by East Asian aesthetics as well as geometric abstraction and minimalism of 20th-century art, Mirka creates mainly with textiles and paper. Her intention is to convey a sense of elegant simplicity as she explores the relationship between energy and stillness and between spiritual and artistic practices.

Artist Statement

Environment exerts a profound impact. The movements, sounds, and hues of water are especially integral to my sensibility. Drawn to the fundamental clarity of shapes and flow lines, I observe that space is just as important as form, if not more so. I cherish the calm these qualities offer in the tumult and busyness of everyday life. Through them, art has the power to provide not only an experience of aesthetic pleasure, but also a refuge where it's possible to be fully present and know serenity. It offers an opportunity to step outside the constantly churning river of data for some quiet and reflection, however brief. Even a slight alteration in awareness and feeling can change one’s whole day.


Click here to visit the artist's website.

Black Lines on the Move I - iV, 5 x 5 x 1.5", canvas, cotton thread; machine stitching

Black Lines on the Move I - iV, 5 x 5 x 1.5", canvas, cotton thread; machine stitching


For a list of previously featured Member Artists, click the link for the Index of Featured Artists.


Energy & Stillness: Homage to Victor Vasarely, 16 x 33.5" Painted silk organza, cottons; layered and stitched by machine and hand.

Energy & Stillness: Homage to Victor Vasarely, 16 x 33.5"
Painted silk organza, cottons; layered and stitched by machine and hand.

Floating Freely, 14 x 24.5". Hand-dyed and other cottons, felt; layered and stitched by machine and hand.

Jūnihitoe: 21st-Century Interpretation of Heian Beauty, 48 x 45".  Silk from former kimonos; Japanese cotton and silk shibori; other silks and silk/poly; obi-jime cord; machine-pieced, layered, and stitched together.

Jūnihitoe: 21st-Century Interpretation of Heian Beauty, 48 x 45". 
Silk from former kimonos; Japanese cotton and silk shibori; other silks and silk/poly; obi-jime cord; machine-pieced, layered, and stitched together.