Traditional Arts, Visual Arts
MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2016, 2013
Artist StatementMy work is an ongoing search for meaning in my spiritual journey from the microcosm to the macrocosm. Using symbols, I have been trying to understand concepts that are simple yet profound.
Shanthi Chandrasekar is a multidisciplinary multimedia artist who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. Her interest in understanding 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, along with an introduction to Indian miniature 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.
Shanthi’s works have been displayed in a variety of locations through the Washington D.C. area, New York City, India, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Lantern Gallery. Her work was recently on display at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery in Silver Spring, National Institutes of Health (Nov 2018), the American Center for Physics (Oct 2018) in Maryland and the American Association For Advancement of Science, DC (March 2019). She has an upcoming solo show at the FermiLab Art Gallery in Chicago (Aug 2019).
Her pen and ink drawings won her the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award in 2013 and 2016 for Works on Paper. She was awarded the Individual Artist grants from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD in 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2019 to create bodies of work in different media. She also won the Maryland Traditions Master Apprentice Award to teach Kolam drawing in 2010. Her drawing was selected as the Cyberwire’s Creating Connections winner in 2018. In 2013, she won the Gold and the Fan Favorite Medals in the DC Art Center’s Art Decathlon by creating artwork in ten different disciplines including drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, printmaking, photography, fiber art, conceptual art, audio and video, culminating in the award of a solo show in the gallery. She has been sharing her knowledge of Kolam drawing with audiences from the greater DC area, and was invited to lead a performance of Kolam creation at the gala reopening of Freer and Sackler in 2017. Her paper installation was featured as the backdrop for TEDxJHU 2019 conference in Baltimore. Inova Schar Cancer Institutes, Montgomery County and DC Art Bank have purchased her work for their permanent collections. The staff team selected Shanthi’s neuroscience inspired pen & ink drawing as their pick for the Netherland’s Art of Neuroscience Art Competition. Apart from these, she has won numerous awards in local competitions.
Recently, Shanthi ventured into book illustration and has illustrated for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Katha Sagar: Ocean of Stories and the Sri Shiva Vishnu Temple's Sri Ramanujan-An Illustrated Biography. Her pencil illustration for Slime: How Algae Created Us, Plague Us, and Just Might Save Us was published in June 2019.
She served as the Exhibits Coordinator for the galleries at the Takoma Park Community Center from 2012-18. She is listed as a teaching artist and community scholar on the Montgomery County’s rosters. She continues to teach Indian art at India School.
She had her studio at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (2010-16) and is currently working from her studio at Studio B, 7475 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, Maryland (US).