Ela Shah, other Indian-American artists, awarded prestigious New Jersey State fellowships

Ela Shah

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts announced Feb. 28, 2023, the names of a slew of artists including 4 Indian Americans, working with different mediums, who were awarded a state fellowship.

The Indians among those listed as the ‘2023 Individual Artist Fellows and Finalists’ sharing more than $1.7 million, were :

Sculpture Fellows:
Ela Shah, of Clifton, in Passaic County: $9,000. Shah was the only Indian American in this category.

Choreography Fellows  
Gomathi Manoj, Robbinsville Township, Mercer County: $9,000
Ramya Ramnarayan, South Brunswick Township. Middlesex County: $9,000
Sameena Mitta Jersey City Hudson $13,750

The work of each recipient was reviewed by a panel of peers working in the field, and the awards recognize the outstanding work of each. The financial fellowship expects to help those selected to further their artistic goals.

Shah will be showing her works in Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts in a group show called: Social Memory: Sites of Remembrance.

The Social Memory exhibition is put together by the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) which brings together the diverse work of 15 artists reflecting how individual memory coincides with the collective memory of a group.

Human Bondage  Bronze, Steel Rod 22” x 10” x 10” This is an original bronze sculpture. It is one-of-a-kind and cannot be duplicated. Women have invisible chains to our families and close ones and those chains are impossible to break. I try to hold on to my culture and traditions as much as I can and give them to my children. My feelings can be seen in my work. Photo: provided by Ela Shah

The press release from SAWCC shows the exhibition goes from Marcy 16 to April 9, at the Blackburn 20/20 Gallery in New York City, and is open Wednesday to Sunday 12 noon to 7 pm.

Featured artists at the Social Memory exhibition include:
Rhea Aggarwal
Siona Benjamin
Marcy Chevali
ArtSparks Collective
Shabnam Jannesari
Parvathi Kumar
Farah Mohammad
Namita Paul
Nazrina Rodjan
Ariana Sarwari
Tara Sabharwal
Ela Shah
Mona Sharma
Pallavi Sharma
Fatima Zaidi

The exhibition is curated by Shilpi Chandra, an art historian and curator with a focus on contemporary art of South Asia and its diaspora.

The SAWCC has been showing the works of South Asian women artists for the last 25 years, according to the website.



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