KAVITA SHAH - Artist - Art Educator
I am a visual artist with a master’s degree in printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (1985).
My next project is research on festival prints held in Paris called Le Mois de L’Estemps in the month of May 2020.
After graduation, I taught art in schools for a couple of years and was offered a fellowship by the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad, from 1988 to 1990. In my two years there, I focused on lithography and linocut. Towards the end of my tenure, I also had the opportunity to participate in a papermaking workshop with Prof. Jan Baker from USA.
I have enjoyed working in Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal (1995-97), a vibrant multidisciplinary art center with an exhaustive library on literature and music, well-established ceramic and print-making studios, museums of tribal and contemporary art, and a great theatre repertoire. I had the most wonderful time working in various disciplines, from ceramics to theatre design to art direction for films, during my stay there.
In 1997, on the occasion of the 50th Year of Indian Independence, the French government invited five Indian printmakers to work in an atelier in Paris for 2 weeks. My name was among the chosen five. It was a very well-organized program supported by Novotel Hotels and L'Association Française d'Action Artistique (AFAA). My print studio of choice was Atelier Lacourière et Frélaut, and our work produced during the program was displayed in their National Assembly and in Le Mois de l'Estampe.
In 1998, I worked with Robert Blackburn in his Print Making Workshop in New York. Inspired by Bob, on my return to India, with my artist friends, I started a cooperative print making studio named Chhaap. The purpose was to create a facility for us, and for other young artists, to print. To fulfill our objective of popularizing print as an art form, and to promote other contemporary art, we created many print portfolios by contemporary artists, conducted workshops, and started Artist–in-Residence programs.
My focus shifted from the narrative-figurative style, which was very prominent in Fine Arts colleges in the early ‘80s, to non-figurative explorations. Travelling to Paris and New York gave me the opportunity to see contemporary art and new trends. The international exposure also provided inspiration to rethink, restructure, and relocate myself in the larger picture.
In 2006, ‘Footprints - Women in printmaking’ was my first large project of curating a show. Supported by Hivos, the show comprised three generations of women printmakers from India, Hongkong, Pakistan, UK, and the US. In a well-designed catalogue, the participants shared their views about the challenges and advantages of being a woman printmaker. It was planned as a travelling show that went from Vadodara to Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Bangalore, and a part of it was also presented at the Southern Graphic Council symposium in Kansas City, USA.
Impact 5 international was held in 2007 in Tallin, Estonia, where I presented a talk on the history of contemporary printmaking of India. The five-day symposium was packed with workshops, talks, exhibitions, and networking. It was a beautifully enriching experience for me. Soon after returning from Estonia, I floated an exchange portfolio project on the theme of Ganjifa (Persian name for the game of deck of cards). One card each was created by 54 printmakers from more than 14 countries. Each artist received a set of 54 prints and exhibited in their own countries. I had mounted the show that travelled to many cities in India and to Bristol in the Impact 7 conference in 2009.
Following the success of Ganjifa, many other exchange portfolios followed on the theme of different board games, like Snakes and Ladders and Chess. I curated a segment of the first Print Biennial of China Art Academy in Hangzhou in 2015. The same year, I also attended the board meeting of Res Artis in Slovakia with 9 other members from different countries.
From 2005 to 2015, I served as Associate Professor in an architecture college, teaching basic design and electives of art. Along with my work, I was interested in academics and art management. I felt teaching was the best way to learn. Working with young students gives a different kind of energy and a fresh outlook.
I received the Art Think South Asia fellowship, designed for art managers. Organized by Khoj, Goethe Institute and British Council, this began with residential training in Delhi by international coaches on finance, strategy, digital media, and management. It concluded with a secondment in Berlin. An extremely well-designed course, this gave me lot of insights and skills to organize programs at Chhaap Foundation.
During 2016-17, I did a project with Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, as a consultant to refurbish their printmaking studio, presses, tools, etc., as well as studio structure and planning of workshops and other activities. I curated two shows in their PRINT exhibition and participated in the symposium panel on Curator, Collector, and Collectives.
2019 was an exciting year for me, as I went to Otterbein University, Ohio, USA as an artist in residence and held a solo show in the Miller Gallery. I also gave a talk on my work at the Phoenix Rising Printmaking Cooperative, School of Visual Arts, Boston University, and School of Art and Art History, University of Iowa.
My next project is research on festival prints held in Paris called Le Mois de L’Estemps in the month of May 2020.
1997 Diploma in French Language from Alliance Française, under French Embassy, Bhopal
1992 Junior Research Fellowship / Lecturer ship by UGC (NET)
1985 Masters Visual Arts (Printmaking) Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Vadodara.
Area of specialization: Etching, Linocut and Lithography
1983 Bachelor Visual Arts (Painting) Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Vadodara
Area of specialization : Painting, drawing, photography, ceramics
Professional Career –
Print Making, Art Education
2016-18 Consultant for print making workshop at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
2016- 19 Mentor at Art1st, NTS Kokata, DPS Surat and DPS Pune
2005- 15 Associate Professor, College of Architecture, S.V.I.T. Vasad
2000- Managing Trustee of Chhaap Foundation for Print making Trust.
Conducted workshops: Mono print, Etching and Dry point
1999-2000 T. Lecturer, Graphics Dept., Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara
1995-7 Art direction for Indo-German Film and Theatres, Bhopal
1992 Visiting Lecturer, Collage of Fine Art, Bangalore
1991-5 Art Teacher, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, V.M. Public school, Vadodara
1988-90 Creativity Workshop, Kanoria Art Center, Ahmedabad
1986-8 Art Teacher, Navarachana Higher Secondary School, Vadodara
Awards and Recognition
2011 Elected as Board of Directors, ResArtis Forum, Amsterdam.
2000 Millennium by AIFACS & Gujarat State Lalitkala Academy
1998 Invitation by the French Embassy,and L’AFAA to participate in printmaking workshop in Paris
1989 Society of Gulburga, Gulburga, India
1988 Gujarat State Lalitkala Academy, Ahmedabad
1985 AIFACS and Group 8, New Delhi
Artist in residence
2019 Otterbein University, OH USA
2015 GlogauAir, Berlin
2007 KulttuuriKauppila, Finland
2009 Dedalo Art centre,Italy
2014-15 ArthingSouthAsia- Khoj, New Delhi
1998-90 Kanoria Art Center, Ahmedabad
2018 First international Print Biennale, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
2017 Curator, collector and collective, at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
2015 Impact 9, Hangzhou, China
2009 Exhibited Ganjifa portfolio at Impact 6, Bristol, UK
2007 Paper/poster presentation in Impact 5 international print conference held in Tallinn, Estonia
2006 Points, Plots, Ploys- Southern Graphics Conference held at Kansas City, USA
2004 Multiple Encounter – Indo American Printmaking seminar at Indira Gandhi Center for Arts, New Delhi
2017 Curated Print maker from Rajesthan and Khel show at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.
2015 Curated show “games people play” for the first China Art Academy print Biennial, Hangzhou, China
2013 “Chess book” artist book exchange project with 13 international artists
2012 “Indian contemporary prints” for Kirikiri Island in New Zealand.
2009 Snakes and Ladders-portfolio exchange with 35 international artists
2008 Gunjifa- deck of cards. Exchange portfolio of 54 international printmakers Conceived and executed
2007 Footprint- portfolio Exhibition at SGC, International Printmaking conference, Kansas city, USA
2006 Footprints Women in printmaking - traveling exhibition of 30 women printmakers from different generations, cities and counties held in Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Vadodara.
2019 Iowa University, Iowa. “ Contemporary Printmaking in India today”
Boston University, Boston USA “ My journey in Printmaking”
Phoenix Raising, Columbus, OH “Print as personal language”
2015 The new dynamics in the world of Printmaking. Jaipur Art Summit.
2014 Article in Mid America Print Journal USA
2013 "Print colloquium” NGMA and MPCVA Mumbai.
2012 Goa Literary and Art Festival, Goa
2010 Ganjifa show at Kala Akademi, hosted by Cultural Ministry of Goa
2009 Ganjifa folio exhibited at Impact 6 Bristol, UK
2007 Illustrated talk on contemporary printmaking in India at Chicago Art college, Chicago. USA
2006 Paper presentation on–“Contemporary printmaking with historical sketch” at MPCVA, Mumbai.
2005 Article for “Third eye”, Times of India, Baroda.
2004 “Meet the artist” Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda
2019 Multimedia camp by Lalit Kala Academi, at J.J.School of Arts, Mumbai
2018 RMZ foundation Print makers Camp, Bangalore.
2013 Artist-in-residence, at Udaipur West Zone cultural centre.
2010 Bangalore University, Grphic camp by Lalitkala academi, Chennai.
2009 Graphics camp at JNTU, Hyderabad, by Lalit kala Academy New Delhi
Print making camp at CAVA, Mysore. By Karnataka Culture Ministry
2008 Lalit kala Academi organized print making workshop at MSU, Vadodara.
2001-4 Rashtriya Lalitkala Kendra, Lucknow
1998 Print Making Workshop, New York, USA
1997 Atelier La Couriere et Frelaut, Paris, Atelier Bramsen, Paris France
1995-7 Prints for the Parliament House, Bharat Bhavan Bhopal India
1990 Paper Making, with Jan Baker (USA), Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad
1986 Etching workshop conducted by Prof. Paul Lingeren at Faculty Fine Arts, Vadodara
Projects (initiated and executed)
2015 Japanese woodblock print workshop with support from The Japan Foundation, New Delhi and Graphics Dept. Faculty of Fine Arts
2011 Serigraph workshop with non toxic inks
“Print Bazaar “ prints in public places
2006 Organized several guest lectures and workshops by international artists From USA, UK, Italy and Finland at College of Architecture, SVIT and Chhaap workshop.
2006 Dry point workshop for Architecture College of Vidya Nagar and Vasad
2005 Print making workshop for hearing impaired children at Chhaap.
2004 Dry point workshop: With 13 participants for 15 days, technique as well as collaboration printing. Ended with group show at Chhaap and portfolio for each artist
2003 Heritage Walk: In Baroda city with 45 artists with architect Mr. Debashish Nayak followed by Etching workshop depicting the walk by 35 artists
2002 Mono-print workshop: Held at Chhaap for 20 artists and non artists to introduce them to medium of printmaking.
One day short workshop for International students brought by “Sparrow” on technique of printmaking and hands on workshop
2001 Etching workshop: Held at Chhaap on Basic and advance level for students of art as well as non artists. Short term course for 15 to 20 days
Book making workshop: with Marguerite French on complete binding techniques and artistic bookmaking
2000 Portfolios: Two more portfolios of etching prints with 14 Baroda artists. Complete plate making to edition making and portfolio presentation
1999 Fund raising: portfolio of etching prints with 12 Baroda artists to generate fund to set up Chhaap printmaking studio.
Exhibition – Solo
2019 Miller Gallery, Westerville, OH USA
2017 Splatter Studio, Vadodara
2016 H-Gallery, Falun, Sweden
2002-3 Alliance Française d’ Ahmedabad
2001 Artcore, Vadodara
1999 Atelier 2221, New Delhi
1997 Alliance Francaise, Bhopal
1994 Welcomgroup, Vadodara
1987 Bajaj Art Gallery, Bombay
Exhibition - Group Shows
2019 Stree Vision 51 Indian contemporary print makers, Poland
2018 First Print Biennale Lalit kala Academi, New Delhi
2013 Print Biennale- Sarcelle, France-
2013 Show stopper- Indian printmakers in Tempa, USA
2012 Multiple Encounter Indo American show in New Delhi
2010 National Printmakers show by Marvel Art Gallery, Ahmedabad
2009 Sarcelle, France- Print Biennale
2008 Gallery Art and Soul, Mumbai
2007 Form of arts and art forms- ABS Gallery, Vadodara
2005 XI Triennial – India, New Delhi
2004 Group show of Indian Contemporary Printmakers – New York “Multiple Encounters” Delhi
2000-1 Gujarat State Lalitkala Ahmedabad
1999 Expression Graphics, Chicago, USA Small format Prints, Poland, Woman Made Gallery, and Chicago, USA
1998 “Le Mois de l’Estamps” Paris, France, Apparao Gallery, Madras, Bangalore Alliance Française Gallery, New Delhi Triveni Gallery, New Delhi
1997 Portland Art Museum, Portland, USA International Print Biennale, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, India 40th National Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Bangalore Jehangir Art Gallery, Bombay
1996 “Exposition-96” Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi
1995-7 International Print Biennale, Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal
1990 Jehangir Art Gallery, sponsored by Kanoria Art Centro, Bombay
1988 “Young printmakers” sponsored by CMC Ltd., New Delhi
1986 Festival of India, USA
2011 - 2016 Rashtriya Lalitkala Academy, New Delhi
(Accorded on nomination for participation in national exhibitions)
Elected Board Member, ResArtis, Netherland