Catherine Blackburn and Meera Sethi, recipients of the 2018 Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award

Left to Right: Catherine Blackburn (Sweetmoon Photography / Tenille Campbell), Meera Sethi, Renée van der Avoird

Meet Catherine Blackburn and Meera Sethi, recipients of the 2018 Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award!

Thursday May 9, 6-7:30 pm – presentations begin at 6:15 pm

Join us for artist presentations and a reception as we celebrate the launch of the 2019 Fund! All are welcome.
Free, spaces are limited. Please register in advance at or 416-599-5321 x 2246.

Renée van der Avoird, Assistant Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, will lead a lively conversation with 2018 Award winners Catherine Blackburn and Meera Sethi.

About the Award Winners

Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak, Saskatchewan, of Dene and European ancestry and is a member of the English River First Nation. She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller whose common themes are often prompted by personal narratives to explore the complexities of memory, history and identity. With this award, Catherine has purchased materials and equipment for her studio.

Meera Sethi is a contemporary artist living in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Meera’s practice encompasses a range of media to pose questions about the relationships between migration, diaspora, hybridity, and belonging. She has been conducting research in the Museum’s collection of garments and textiles from South Asia.

About the Moderator

Renée van der Avoird is the Assistant Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She holds a B.A. in French Language & Literature and Fine Arts from Wilfrid Laurier University and an M.A. in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto.

About the Award

Launched in 2017, the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award helps emerging artists conduct self-directed activities such as art production, apprenticeships, residencies or research. The TMC can support the applicant’s customized program of research and access to the TMC’s library, exhibitions and permanent collection of over 15,000 global artifacts. The award is in memory and honour of Melissa Levin (1958-2015), an artist, mentor and teacher whose career as a textile and costume designer was synonymous with her exuberant love of colour and pattern.

About the Fund

Since 2017, many generous individuals have contributed over $20,000 to the Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Fund. We rely on donations from family, friends and community. If you would like to be part of this important initiative, please visit or call 416-599-5321 x2246.

2018 Jury: Omar Badrin, Nina Levitt, Sarah Quinton

Stay tuned for our announcement of the 2019 Call for Submissions!

Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue
Toronto, ON, M5G 2H5

Facebook: @textilemuseumofcanada
Instagram: @textilemuseumofcanada
Twitter: @TMCtoronto

The Textile Museum of Canada has been exploring ideas and building cultural understanding through the universal medium of textiles since 1975. Connecting international textile traditions to contemporary art and design, this national museum is one of Canada’s most engaging arts institutions, welcoming thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world each year. The Museum’s permanent collection spans 2,000 years and consists of over 14,000 artifacts from about 200 countries and regions, uniquely positioning the Museum to speak to global culture as well as our increasingly global communities. A leader in the digitization of collections and interactive environments, the Textile Museum of Canada is recognized for its innovation in the development of landmark educational, research and creative initiatives.

Open seven days a week, the TMC is located steps from the St. Patrick subway station and just a few blocks from Toronto City Hall and the Art Gallery of Ontario. The TMC Shop specializes in textile related merchandise including books and toys and globally sourced artist-designed and artist-made products such as scarves and jewelry. More information about the Museum and its exhibitions can be found online at