Virginia Catherall

Curator of Education, Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Lake Salt Knit


Virginia Catherall is a museum educator as well as a textile artist, knitter, and knitwear designer. She has been Curator of Education at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts for the past 23 years teaching families, children, and teachers about art and museums. In her art she is inspired by the incredible, rugged, and sublime landscape of Great Salt Lake. She is not only informed by the unique natural history and science of the area but also its rich history. She blogs about her adventures in the deserts and mountains of Utah at lake•salt•knit (

Virginia received her BA in Art History from Brigham Young University and a MA in Museum Education from John F. Kennedy University in California. In 2004 she received a MPh in Educational Philosophy from the University of Utah. In 2015, Virginia was Artist-in Residence of Black Rock Desert/High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada. And in 2016 she was Artist-in-Residence for Great Basin National Park.

Title: Lake Salt Knit

Friday, May 11th, 10:55 AM

Abstract: Virginia will discuss her origins as an artist and her inspiration from Great Salt Lake to create textile art and wearable landscapes. As a knitting and textile artist, Virginia’s work has a close affinity to the land and is inspired by the incredible, rugged and sublime landscape around the Lake. Many of her wearable landscapes and sculptures focus on interpreting the science, geography, and biology of an ecosystem within the traditional craft of knitting.

Each work of art echoes something from the landscape. Whether it’s color, texture, or form, the uniqueness of each piece make the viewer or wearer more conscious of what the objects are and why they are wearing them; elevating Craft from a functional item to a conscious and deliberate work of art. The act of creating something so entwined with the land itself sparks a stewardship and urge to conserve that land. Through craft and art, Virginia hopes to engender an appreciation, love, and wonder of the ecology and history of the unique landscape around Utah and Great Salt Lake.


Why We Care

  • I am alone in this place. I can see for miles in every direction and I am utterly alone. The beauty seeps into my soul in the stillness and I am cured of ailments I don't even realize I have.

    Douglas Havens, Alfred Lambourne Prize Participant