Photo of Miya with her masks at the JCCC gallery, 2019. Photo credit: Marjene Matsunaga Turnbull 

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Miya Turnbull is a multi-disciplinary visual artist of mixed Japanese-Canadian ancestry. She grew up on a farm near Edmonton, Alberta and graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2000. She is primarily a mask maker, but also works in many mediums such as painting, photography, textiles, video, animation, projection, and new to her practise is performance. She focuses in on Self-Portrait- using her Photo-Mask technique to make life-like representations of her face, often distorting and manipulating her image in various ways, which she then wears as a 'false face' or 'second skin'. By keeping her image a constant, Miya is able to experiment with multiple iterations and further explore her heritage, experiences, perceptions and inner world, making these visible, tangible and wearable. 


She has exhibited her masks, photos and video in galleries throughout Canada and internationally. So far in 2022, she has exhibited across Nova Scotia, Toronto, Florida, Vermont, Italy, France, Greece, and the UK, with current and upcoming in Germany and in Nova Scotia. 


Miya's artwork has been on the cover of 2 magazines: Art Reveal (Germany) and Masks Literary Magazine (Columbia College Chicago Library), as well as featured on digital platforms such as Vogue (Thailand), Planted Journal (Italy), Gata Magazine, (Japan), Oficina Palimpsestus (Brazil), and The Perfect Magazine (UK) . Recently her artwork was presented at the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival in Bristol, UK by Dr. Nataliya Tchermalykh (University of Geneva).


Miya currently lives in K'jipuktuk (Halifax, Nova Scotia), on the east coast of Canada. She has been very fortunate to receive the support of Arts NS and Canada Council for the Arts, which has allowed her artwork to flourish.

Most of my masks are not for purchase since I often exhibit them together as a body, however you can always make me an offer for any particular mask.

Please inquire about purchasing any photographs of my work and/or any of the origami pieces. 

Check out my online shop at: to purchase any of my paintings, textiles and feather art. 


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Miya now has a Patreon page. If you love her art and want to help her keep going, please consider a small monthly contribution. Read more here.