Join kolam artists Shanthi Chandrasekar, Aishwariya Chandrasekar and Lauren Kingsland for an evening of Restoration.
Making a kolam can be a personal centering practice. Each dot may stand for something true for you this day, a gratitude or a challenge. Drawing a symmetrical line around the dots can mirror how you may move through your day with grace in the presence of what is true.
During this exhibition you will experience the process of Kolam making and learn to create your own. DIY Kolams will have the opportunity to be featured in a virtual community exhibit.
*Patrons will be able to visit the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery to view the Kolams from September 3 – November 1.
Shanthi Chandrasekar is a Maryland-based multimedia and multidisciplinary artist with an academic background in Physics and Psychology. She has won the Maryland State, Montgomery County Awards and Grants, apart from numerous other awards, and has also exhibited her work widely. Her interest in understanding abstract concepts through different forms of visual media has led her to experiment with drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and papermaking. She has also been trained in the traditional art forms of Kolam and Tanjore-style painting. While many of her works are influenced by her Indian heritage, her true inspiration comes from the mystery and majesty of the world around her; her muse lives where the scientific overlaps with the spiritual.
Aishwariya Chandrasekar is a visual artist based in Rockville, Maryland, who has been painting and drawing from the age of one. Her artwork utilizes pen and ink to create visual interpretations of the concepts that drive her curiosity, such as human behavior, societies, and social change. By utilizing repetitive lines and shapes, she draws on ideas of fractals, intersections, and emergences to form a multi-disciplinary approach to such explorations, often figuring out her own intentions and ideas through the pursuit itself.
She has been trained in drawing Kolams by her mother, Shanthi Chandrasekar, through the Maryland Traditions Master-Apprentice program and has participated in the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival. Her work has been exhibited at various venues including the Children’s National Hospital, Sandy Spring Museum, and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Washington D.C. campus), and has been part of virtual exhibits held by Joint Mathematics Meetings and FermiLab. She has a BSc. in Psychology and Business Management, with a minor in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland, College Park, and recently completed her Master’s in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Lauren has a BA from Stephens College in Greek, Art History, Mathematics and Music and a masters degree from Maryland University of Integrative Health Applied Healing Arts program focused on using the kolam as a mindfulness practice. Through her professional artist studios in the Gaithersburg Arts Barn (2002 – 2012) and the Sandy Spring Museum (2012 – 2017) she created series of art quilts based on kolam, and created commission quilts for more than 150 clients. As an artist in residence for the Georgetown Lombardi Arts & Humanities program she offered creative engagement experiences for patients, families and staff pre-pandemic. Through AHP on-line she now reaches students all over the world. She teaches fiber art through the Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts program. She has been a recent recipient of apprenticeship and exhibit support grants from the MD State Arts Council. In 2013 she received a Creative MoCo grant for her “Quilted Mementos” project.
These kolam quilts combine a love of combining cloth and fibers with found objects and a fascination with Sacred Geometry and symmetry. They express inner peacefulness and honor our cycles of days, seasons and years. Using domestic textile materials and techniques of quiltmaking and sewing keep makers and viewers alike in touch with our long, valuable human history of thread work. It is Art made from the materials of ordinary life; at once both sacred and mundane.