2018 Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award

I am honoured and delighted to be one of two recipients of the 2018 Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award juried by the Textile Museum of Canada. This museum is a favourite of mine and with this award, I will be researching their collection of South Asian garments, textiles and fibre collections. Stay tuned for a public presentation on my work at the museum in Spring 2019 alongside Catherine Blackburn, the other recipient of this award.

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From the Textile Museum of Canada Press Release:

The Textile Museum of Canada is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award - Catherine Blackburn and Meera Sethi.

“We are so pleased to be announcing Catherine and Meera as our 2018 Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award Winners. This award allows us to foster the potential of artists at a critical stage of their careers and we look forward to supporting their growth over the next year. We are honoured to be continuing Melissa’s legacy as a mentor and artist.”

- Sarah Quinton, Curatorial Director

Now in it’s second year, The Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award helps emerging artists conduct self-directed activities such as art production, apprenticeships, residencies, and research. The Textile Museum of Canada supports the applicant’s customized program of research and access to the Museum’s library, exhibitions, and permanent collection. 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 Melissa Levin

Melissa Levin (1958-2015) was an artist, mentor and teacher whose career as a textile and costume designer was synonymous with her exuberant love of colour and pattern. This award was established in honour of Melissa’s passion for mentoring emerging artists, with generous donations made by family, friends and communities. www.melissalevinartist.com

The Textile Museum of Canada is the only museum in Canada that explores ideas and builds cultural understanding through the universally relevant media of textiles. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the Museum’s permanent collection spans nearly 2,000 years and consists of more than 15,000 artifacts.

The Textile Museum of Canada is a non-profit cultural and internationally renowned educational institution, which marked its 40th anniversary in 2015. A leader in the digitization of collections and interactive environments, the Museum has been recognized the world over for innovation in the development of landmark educational, research, and creative initiatives.

Open seven days a week, the Museum 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 Museum 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 textilemuseum.ca.

For more information, please see the full press release.

NYU A/P/A Institute Artist Talk

On November 16, 2016 I was invited to participate in a public conversation at New York University entitled “Fashion Diaspora” with artist Ayqa Khan, academic and author of Fashioning Diaspora: Beauty, Feminity, and South Asia American Culture (Temple UP, 2016) Vanita Reddy, academic Sharon Heijin Lee, academic and author of The Beautiful Generation: Asian Americans and the Cultural Economy of Fashion (Duke UP, 2011)Thuy Linh Tu, and myself. It was an engaging post-Trump evening of sharing artwork, research and ideas on the ways in which we can look to fashion as a way of understanding diaspora. We had a full house and a lively discussion. You can watch a recording of the entire evenings proceedings and see photos from the event. A very special thank you to The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU for the opportunity to share my work in New York.

Diwali 2016 Artwork for McDonalds

Diwali 2016 brought many gifts including the opportunity to create a Diwali poster for McDonald’s restaurants in the US. Working closely with Leo Burnett USA, I created an original artwork for the McDonald’s Diwali 2016 campaign. The poster made a month-long appearance at each and every McDonald’s across the United States. It was a wonderful experience expanding my skills to include commercial illustration. Check out the poster below.

Royal Canadian Mint Coin Design

Gold, silver, nickel and coins of various other metals have been a regular feature of Diwali for me. Even the humble penny. As a child celebrating Diwali I remember following a ritual laid out by my father that I little understood: washing all the coins in the prayer plate, annointing them with milk and red sandoor. It was an offering to Laxmi, the Goddess of prosperity.

I continue this today, however this year I have had the privilege of designing a 1oz. gold coin for the Royal Canadian Mint. Inspired by Rangoli designs, this Limited Edition coin is available online from the Royal Canadian Mint where you can also read about the symbolism. Click on the hand to reveal the numismatic coin!

Solo Show @ Daniels Spectrum Opening Night Photos

Opening night for my current solo exhibition "Upping the Aunty" at Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park, Toronto was spectacular. We had such a fabulous range of people come through over the 4 hours. People saw, coloured, ate, drank (there may even have been a few dance moves), connected. Daniels Spectrum and the wonderful people who work there from the curator elle alconcel to the Executive Director Seema Jethalal is an inspired place existing in the precious in-between space of a gallery and a community hub. It is an honour to show my work there. Photo credit: Yannick Anton (@yannickanton)

A Colouring Book for Adults

While continuing work on my Upping the Aunty series of large-scale paintings, I decided to take a few weeks off to create the Upping the Aunty colouring book for adults and children alike. The book features 30 drawings all ready to be coloured in. It's a feminist project that simultaneously challenges how we see our aunties and how we see fashion. Some of the drawings are humorous, some subversive and others just plain fun.

The book was launched at The 6IX Goddess, NorBlack NorWhite's pop-up in Toronto this past September. The first print run has sold out, however a second run in ready for purchase in the shop for the holiday season. The Upping the Aunty Colouring Book is only $20 and ships internationally from Toronto. Get yours!