ST. JOHN’S, NL
A College of the North Atlantic (CNA) student is striving to make the world a more accepting place – one stitch at a time.
Beck MacLeod is a Textile & Apparel Design student at CNA’s Prince Phillip Drive campus in St. John’s, NL, who is set to graduate this summer.
“I’m mainly a weaver, embroiderer, knitter, and natural print and dye artist,” said MacLeod, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. “Although I always want to learn more and explore other methods.”
MacLeod says for them, fashion has always been a great creative outlet.
“Fashion is self-expression, it's a way to create yourself, and I've used textile art as a tool of healing and reclamation throughout my life,” they said.
They added that fashion can also help bring awareness.
“I also use textiles as a form of activism; the modern fashion industry is one of the world’s biggest sources of pollutants, child labour, and human right violations,” they said. “I think the best way to start combatting that is to simply limit participation – start mending your own clothes, limit shopping fast fashion, and be aware of the business and labour practices of the brands you buy from.”
MacLeod also creates patches that are sold to raise money for Black and Indigenous organizations in Canada and the U.S.
The graduate says their time at CNA was enjoyable.
“It's been great! I've had a lot of fun and am leaving with lifelong friends; I feel so grateful I was able to discover and explore my passion,” they said, noting that one of the highlights of the program was the camaraderie.
“The program is wonderful. There's such a sense of community between both the students and the instructors; it's very close knit. The instructors are all extremely knowledgeable and have been great in terms of accommodations.”
The artist says that inclusivity is something that is important to them.
“I’ll be teaching textile classes and workshops this summer as well, and I hope to continue that into the future, because I think it’s vital to focus on accessibility within art, and I enjoy bringing my unique perspective to teaching.”
MacLeod also has an online business.
“Currently, I have an Etsy store that I hope to expand in the coming months, I would love to someday have a physical shop and studio space, where I could teach classes as well as sell my art.”
Born near Chicago, IL in the U.S., they said they enjoy spending time outside when they aren’t in school or working on various art projects.
“I like to read, bake, and make art,” they said. “When the weather co-operates, I also like to spend time outdoors and hike as many trails that I can manage with my cane.”
They moved to Nova Scotia in their teenage years, and are currently based in St. John’s, NL.
“I think I will always call Nova Scotia home; it's where I found my adoptive family and through them, a safe place to become myself.”
For more information about the Textile & Apparel Design program, visit www.cna.nl.ca
To learn more about MacLeod’s work, visit @punk.stitches on Instagram and Facebook.
College of the North Atlantic