ART NOTES: Joan Sharma shows her work in the Spectrum Gallery’s annual exhibition


A photo taken by Fresno State art Professor Joan K. Sharma (pictured below) during her 2015 sabbatical trip to India and Bhutan will be part of Spectrum Gallery‘s annual exhibition and benefit.

joan_sharma_photo1“Camel Decoration, Pushkar Fair” will be shown along with a fantastic variety of photographic art by more than 50 photographers. The opening reception is during ArtHop, from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Spectrum Gallery, 608 E Olive Ave. in Fresno’s Tower District.

Here is what Sharma has to say about the photo:

“Camel Decoration, Pushkar Fair” appears to be an abstraction yet documents a creative decoration on the side of a Camel at the annual Pushkar Fair. The hair is shaved and henna paste applied to create geometric patterns.

My recent exhibition at the Spectrum Gallery in June juxtaposed images from diverse regions and cultures within India including Kolkata, Bengal State during Durga Puja, Agra during Diwali, the festival of lights, Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, Kathakali Dance Centers in Kochi and the backwaters of Kerala by houseboat. In addition, I had the opportunity to travel to Bhutan for the first time and visit many Buddhist monasteries and festivals. More images from Bhutan and India may be viewed on my website.

Through the medium of photography, I work to express my response and deep appreciation for these diverse, resonant cultures. It is also a way to record the rapid and striking changes on a variety of levels that I continue to observe. A life-long fascination and deep respect for south Asian history, culture and philosophies inspired me to travel to India for the first time in 1989. I co-directed two study-tours to India in 2006-07 and 2010-11.

I am a painter and photographer. In 2005, as part of a community service project, I worked with Village of Hope residents to paint a 72- foot mural across from the Village of Hope community at the Poverello House. The mural expressed their ideas about the history as well as appreciation for the work of Poverello House.

My work has been widely exhibited and is in private and public collections. “Hindu Priest, Madhubani” was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2016 IPA – International Photography awards, (Family of Man).


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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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