Rani Jha: An Artist's Approach to Mithila Painting

Rani Jha, master painter and teacher at the Mithila Art Institute in Madhubani (Northern India), discusses her aesthetic approach to art. Jha will be a special guest of "Transformations," where she will lead painting demonstrations and workshops.

Scenes from the Mithila Art Institute

Transport yourself to exotic Bihar in Northern India, where you'll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Mithila Art Institute (MAI). Rani Jha, who serves on MAI's faculty, will serve a nine-day residency at SU, in conjunction with "Transformations."

Artist Profile: Amrita Jha

Amrita Jha is part of a small group of young, serious artists in Madhubani who is trying to reconcile the past with the present. "It is already clear from her work that she is an artist not content with simply following, but with engaging tradition," writes Peter Zirnis, a curator and photographer of Mithila art.

Artist Profile: Dulari Devi

"I am an artist, but I wasn’t always one," writes Dulari Devi in her critically acclaimed book, Following My Paint Brush (Tara Books, 2011). Devi, who has overcome extreme poverty and constant menial labor to become one of today's leading Mithila painters, is an inspiration to women everywhere. Her paintings are known for their unique symmetry and repetitive geometric lines.

Artist Profile: Shalinee Kumari

Shalinee Kumari is considered one of today's most progressive Mithila artists, whose paintings are, at once, highly narrative and vibrantly colored. Much of her work addresses such pressing issues as the evils of dowry, bride burning, capitalism, inflation, corporate control of the media, global warming, terrorism, and the sexual exploitation of women. She also has done paintings on women's cricket, gender equality, and women's liberation.

Artist Profile: Rambharos Jha

Rambharos Jha recently burst on the scene with his literary debut, Waterlife (Tara Books, 2012), which looks at underwater organisms, including fish, crab, and lobsters, through a Mithila lens. A self-taught artist, he originally drew on Hindu mythology for inspiration, before turning to more secular subjects. A move to Madhubani led to Jha's fascination with Mithila art and inspired him to create his own version of it.