MULHERN FAMILY Sponsor “Emerging Artist” Booth

As a tribute to their mother and grandmother Maymie Mulhern, the Mulhern Family is funding a new sponsorship for The Wearable Art Show: “The Emerging Artist Booth”. And this year’s Emerging Artist is Kelly Dunn, who creates “wearable tatting”. The sponsor and sponsored appear to be a match made in heaven.

To know Maymie Mulhern’s story is to understand this sponsorship in her honour.
Maymie Mulhern was a lively, charismatic person, gifted artist, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother. In addition to her extraordinary original embroidery, Maymie also worked in pottery, glass and jewellery.

As a true artist, her work was original, never repeating the same design twice. As a
result, her embroidery rarely had a symmetrical pattern. Instead, she preferred her own
free form designs, which frequently featured birds and fish. She used a wide variety of
embroidery threads, including silk, cotton and wool, and experimented in trapunto to
bring a three dimensional effect to her work. She stitched on many fabric types,
including silk, cotton, organza and wool. Her clothing pieces ranged from dresses
scarves, hats, coats and embroidered boots.

for blog - embroiderytatting embroidery photo for blog


These two pieces which will be displayed at TWAS, are representative of her incredible embroidery skills.



Maymie was born in Bawlf, Alberta in 1909, but spent most of her life in Vancouver, British Columbia. Each decade of her life presented an opportunity to explore a different kind of artistic expression. As an artist, she was inspired until the end of her life to create beautiful and original artwork in many mediums for all those who loved her. Despite a stroke in 1980, her creative energy continued.

Her daughter Dana says that she and her siblings were very much influenced by their mother’s lifelong creativity: “My sister Kelly sewed but shows her creativity with plants and flowers. She worked in the field and continues to tend her own garden and produce stunningly beautiful bouquets sometimes for sale and special events.

My brother Kerry is a master collector of many things and loves fabric. He paints on ties for special occasions which are usually quite funny and whimsical. But his prime material is wood. He does beautiful cedar sculpture, angels in particular.

I have sewn for many years, clothing mostly and now back to doing my own one of a kind quilts. I started making polar fleece and feather hats which are called Mellyi’s…. these hobbies are ongoing at the same time.”

Like Maymie, “Emerging Artist” Kelly’s love of craft has been with her most of her life. At the age of eight Kelly learned to knit from her grandmother and there began a long road of creative projects. Also like Maymie, she has experimented with many types of creative expression, including crochet, folk art painting, needlepoint and tatting.
What would Maymie have thought of The Wearable Art Show? She would have loved it, which is why the family has chosen to sponsor Kelly Dunn and to also display their mother’s work at the show.

What would Maymie say to Kelly, if she could speak with her now? “Create what you want and have fun doing it.” Fitting words from a woman who lived them her entire life.

Find out more about Emerging Artist Kelly Dunn on her bio page.

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