Asian American artists discuss “Passages Taken” in celebration of AAPI Heritage Month

passages.fb. Flyer of program at Montclair Art Museum.

In honor of May’s AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month, The Montclair Art Museum and AAPI Montclair are hosting a panel discussion Passages Taken celebrating the work of artists Siona Benjamin, Caren King Choi, and Ela Shah. The event will take place at the Museum on May 25, between 6pm and 9pm.

Moderated by Mayuri Chandra of Arts Ed Newark, the panel will explore transcultural influences and the role of motherhood and community. The audience will get the opportunity to hear from the artists on various themes including their artistic journeys, the sense of home, and the portrayal of motherhood, a formidable passage in and of itself.

Tickets are $35 for general audiences and $30 for MAM members. Wine and South Asian small bites will be served. For more information contact the Museum at 973-746-5555.

About the artists and their work

Siona Benjamin

Siona Benjamin has an MFA in painting from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Ill., and an MFA in theater set design from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011 to India, and a second Fulbright fellowship in 2016-17 to Israel.

Caren King Choi

Caren King Choi is a Chinese-Taiwanese-American artist, illustrator, and writer born and raised in New Jersey. Her artwork, which discusses issues such as representation and family, has been included in exhibitions at venues including the Pollak Gallery, Newark Arts Festival, Express Newark, Akwaaba Gallery, Gallery Aferro, and the Newark Museum.

Ela Shah

Ela Shah received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Diploma in Fine Arts from India. She moved to the United States and received her M.A. in sculpture at Montclair State University. Her work has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums including the Museum of Modern Arts in New Delhi, India and Newark Museum. Her 2021 award-winning documentary “Ela: Breaking Boundaries” has been featured in film festivals around the world.

About AAPI Montclair

AAPI Montclair is grassroots nonprofit group that advocates for and uplifts Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Montclair, NJ area and across New Jersey. Members share experiences and unify their voices to create action and representation for the AAPI community.



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