On October 20th 2016, an interactive Rangoli performance took place at the Champlain College Art Gallery in Burlington, VT. Participants were students from the Global Studies Senior Seminar and the performance took place during a solo exhibition of my work. Peripheral Vision features work created as a result of a 15-week residency in the Champlain College MakerLab in the spring of 2016. While exploring the line between permanence and the ephemeral, I have been experimenting with cutting-edge 3D-printer technology and created a body of work that attempts to connect three different elements of my practice: rangoli, painting and sculpture.
In October 2015, I was invited to teach a Rangoli workshop at the Annual Fall Conference for the Vermont Art Teachers Association, ‘Imagination Encircles The World’.
The conference was attended by over 75 art teachers from all over the state and was hosted by the Shelburne Museum in Shelburne VT. It was a real joy and a day filled with gratitude.
Throughout my middle and high school experience, it was my art teacher that developed and nurtured my passion for the arts through her patience, motivation and creativity. She was instrumental in my choice of career as a visual/ teaching artist; and so I thank you Barbara Larlham, and thank you Vermont art teachers, for all the creativity, confidence and innovative thinking you inspire.
Over the Summer I had the opportunity to teach a Rangoli workshop to students at the Community Art Center, an incredible non-profit community arts organization in Cambridge, MA. We had an inspired session, and spent the day creating designs, dyeing rice and understanding scale. Later that month, the youth teams used their skills to make community Rangoli designs as part of Change4Peace; 8 lunchtime art-making sessions at Kendall Square and the Green Rose Heritage Park.
Images courtesy of Teen Media Program/ Community Art Center
This week I’ve had a flashback to a project I was involved with in the Summer of 2006. In conjunction with Shisha (the international agency for South Asian visual arts & crafts), I conducted a series of Rangoli workshops with the Year 6 students of St. Edwards Roman Catholic Primary School, in Rusholme, Manchester UK. They used grains and pulses to complete their designs, which initiated a conversation about food; variety, availability and origins. We thought it might be fun to study food in more detail, so after a series of still-life drawing and watercolor painting sessions, we scanned and reproduced the images for use on our larger Rangoli designs. The result was a series of beautiful, mosaic-style Rangoli panels using images of food, both exotic and familiar, to create the stunning patterns.
The project was successful on many levels: engaging students in art practice, promoting an understanding of cultural diversity and identity, and fostering community pride.
In February I visited the Lesley Ellis School, an independent school, preschool through Grade 6, located in Arlington, MA. We covered a lot of ground, in short classes of 30 – 45 minutes. The students were able to learn about Rangoli through a visual presentation and witness its uses, history, processes and materials. They then had the opportunity to create their own Rangoli design using a blank grid and create a foundation for a further, more in-depth study at some time in the future. It was a great day and a lot of fun. Many thanks to Laura Douglass for your help and support.
If you are interested in booking a Rangoli workshop for your school, either day-long or residency, or would just like some further information, please contact me, Gowri Savoor, on firstname.lastname@example.org
In October 2011, I was invited to Morehead State University, Morehead, Kentucky, to perform and coordinate a participatory Rangoli drawing.
The finished design was 5ft x 5ft in size, took over 15lbs of rice in 10 colors and utilized the help of 18 participants over 6 hours.
Many thanks to Jennifer Reis, Gallery Director of MSU and the following students for their help, focus and enthusiasm:
Annie Peterson, Morgan Gaunce, Sarah Porter, Jaleesa Wonell, Maria Blevins, Nancy Sartor, Alana Brewer, Chrissy Smith, Tara Castellano, Callie Morgan, Torri Bakonyi, Collin Hite, Carly Saunders, Oana Elena Nae, Angie Comstock and Sarah Burkhardt.
On the weekend of 2nd and 3rd April 2011, I was invited to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA to perform a Rangoli, as part of Sensational India!, a weekend of creative activities celebrating the arts and culture of India.
Two separate designs were provided for children interested in participating in rangoli making.
The Rangoli design was a celebration of springtime. It included around 8-10 colours, took 10hrs to complete and was 6 x 6ft in size.
On this occasion the design was drawn out onto fabric first, making its demolition a little easier.