Catherine has been facilitating arts groups for a decade, both independently as well as a contracted employee of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto (serving Toronto and Southwest Ontario). She is the creator and lead artist of the Postpartum Therapeutic Arts Group at the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre (KDCHC), a group which focusses on giving mothers experiencing Postpartum Mood Disorders a new perspective on their experience and an artistic outlet through which to share their stories and advocate for their conditions. She has been honoured to provide experiential guest lectures at the Conrad Grebel Univesity College (University of Waterloo) in the Peace and Conflicts Studies program, as well as to MSW students at the Lutheran Seminary (Wilfrid Laurier). She is lead artist for the Collage and Connectedness exhibition project run by The Centre for Peace Advancement (Waterloo), engaging youth in creating artwork centered around the theme of being connected to community.
Catherine received her certification as an Intermodal Expressive Arts Therapist in 2011 through the CREATE Institute (Toronto) and has had the priviledge of studying at the CREATE Institute in Toronto under the supervision of Ellen G. Levine (CREATE Institute, The European Graduate School, Hincks-Dellcrest Centre), Key Marshall, Melanie Nesbitt and most recently Rowesa Gordon (CREATE Institute). She has worked through Play Therapy with latency aged children (7-14) and their parents, as well as youth and adults using visually based and intermodal explorative one-on-one sessions.
Within her personal arts practice, Catherine is an analogue collage artist and mixed media artist whose works find inspiration in ideas originated by the feminist artists of the Dada period as well as the early Surrealists, lending to the exploration of dichotomy in many of Mellinger’s works. She seeks to create works of beauty whose themes are not always beautiful; grappling with trauma, loss and challenging relational dynamics, all while visually exploring those events with an imaginal mind. She has most recently explored her journey into motherhood in her series The Sea and Me — which was the basis for the project Deep Salt Water; in collaboration with Toronto writer Marianne Apostolides; producing a book of the same title published by BookThug in Spring 2017. Her works have been published in literary magazines, and she has been commissioned by musicians, writers and private collectors.
Catherine is available for in-home private client sessions as well as group facilitation and community engaged arts project consultation in the Southwest Ontario region.