This award celebrates excellence in craft by Indigenous artists (First Nations, Metis, Inuit), and is open to those working at any stage in their career. The Mayhall family sees supporting Indigenous Craftspeople as a key priority in craft.
Established in 2022 by family, in memory of Melinda (Mindy) Fuller Mayhall, who was an accomplished artist and long-time supporter of craft throughout Ontario. Mindy was born and educated in Indiana, earning a BA in 1961 from DePauw University before moving to Canada with her husband John in 1970 where they worked together with Inuit communities. This move marked the beginning of her education as a craft artist, where she began explorations in textiles, alongside collecting the work of local craft artists in wood, ivory, and soapstone.
Through her connection with the Ontario Arts Council, Mindy enrolled in a basket making course with Ankaret Dean, which launched her career as a non-traditional basket maker using a multitide of materials. She became a community champion for basketry, including serving as the Chair of the Basketry Network, and organizing basketry workshops in the Couchiching, Ottawa, and Toronto areas. She further developed a teaching practice across the country, and exhibited work in galleries and museums internationally.
Mindy served as a Board member of Craft Ontario from 1999-2004, including Board President, and lead the Emerging Professionals planning Committee. She recieved the Mather Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2001 for her work to support craft artists throughout the province.
After many years as a basket artist, Mindy turned her creativity to beadwork, and this continued until a diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease ended her craft career. Mindy passed away in October of 2020.The Craft Awards program is able to take place on an annual basis through the valued support of many generous donors and sponsors. Our thanks go out to the following organizations, business, and individuals: FUSION: the Ontario Clay and Glass Association, Gladstone House, Lacy West Supplies Ltd, The Pottery Supply House, Tucker's Pottery Supplies Ltd., as well as members and friends of the Copeland, Corcoran, Gregor, McPherson, Mather, Mayhall, Shanks, Walker, and Yung families.