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Raksha Art Show: A celebration of resilience and healing

BY VEENA RAO

Cover photo: The Raksha team.

Atlanta, GA, April 29, 2024: South Asian artists, patrons, well-wishers, and friends gathered at the Doraville Art Center on Saturday, April 27, for the opening night of the annual Raksha Art Show. Guests were welcomed to an evening of artistic exploration, hors d’oeuvres and beverages, marking the beginning of a celebration of art and community that will continue until May 5.

This year’s theme, “Unsung & Unseen: Stories of Resilience & Healing from trauma, conflict & oppression,” is a powerful backdrop for the diverse array of artworks on display. With 56 pieces of art contributed by 31 artists, including both established names and emerging talents, the exhibition is a rich tapestry of visual art.

Some of the artists. Photo courtesy: Meenakshi Iyer

Aparna Bhattacharyya, the executive director of Raksha, emphasized the significance of the art show as a platform for both supporting local artists and addressing critical societal issues. Speaking to this reporter, Bhattacharyya said, “The art show is such an important way in which we not only support local artists but it’s also our gift to the community to show support, and send important messages about healing.”

She said art is a powerful medium to evoke empathy and spark conversations on pressing issues, stating, “Nobody wants to hear about the important issues if we do a workshop on it. But if we talk about issues through art, it touches people’s hearts in a much stronger way.”

Gouri Shukla (right) with artist Afreen Khundmiri.

Gouri Shukla, community engagement & communications manager at Raksha, explained the inspiration behind the theme, stating, “So many of us are gifted but unsung and unseen. The idea was to feature the unsung.”

The art show not only serves as a platform for artistic expression but also as a catalyst for healing and empowerment. Bhattacharyya noted, “Art is a great medium to heal and, and to spread awareness and also have difficult conversations without even having the conversation.”

By creating spaces for survivors to find solace and for the community to engage in meaningful dialogue, the Raksha Art Show is more than an art exhibition. “It’s a very fulfilling kind of feeling, where it’s creativity and community. We are all just having a good time and getting to know each other,” Shukla said.

Artist Meenakshi Iyer points toward her painting.

In addition to the diverse artworks on display, the Raksha Art Show offers enriching workshops for attendees. Artis Moutushi had a workshop for kids on April 27th. A Mandalas Workshop by artist Raji is slated to be held on Saturday, May 4th from 1 pm to 4 pm.

In a world often fraught with discord, the Raksha Art Show is an attempt at uniting people in celebration of creativity, compassion, and collective healing. In the words of Bhattacharyya, “We are in the midst of so much conflict. We want both to be able to really think about what’s happening and start conversations so that we can make change in our community.”

Aparna Bhattacharyya (left) with artist Tanjina Islam.

Featured artists include Veena Potla, Tanjina Islam, Siva Tayi, Shilpi McReynolds, Sujatha Maturu, Shams Kherani, Ramya Shivkumar, Sadhana Windlass, Sandhya Prathap, Shachi Srivastava, Rajarajeswani Rajsekaran (Raji), Padmalatha Ravi, Nandita Godbole, Moutushi Majid, Monika Mittal, Meenakshi Iyer, Lata Sharma, Monica Satoskar, Lakshmi Harisubramanian, Kofo Durojaiye, Jaya Saxena, Jose Juan Lara Jr., Kamini Anand, Kima Whipple-Jackson, Geeta Buttan, Deepa Prabhu, Hamza Arman, Catherine West, Govind Poyapakkam, Caroline Fernandes, and Afreen Khundmiri.

The art show is on through May 5th. More details at
Raksha Art Show 2024 – Raksha, Inc.

Artist Geeta Buttan.

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