BY JYOTHSNA HEGDE
Atlanta, GA, April 7, 2023: Over 30 participants came together to discover and embrace the power of a woman through a therapeutic art workshop held at Hampton Park Library in Cumming GA on April 1, 2023. The event was hosted by Shashikala Foundation in partnership with Dr Nisha Gupta, UWG professor of psychology in creative art, in a collaborative group setting.
The workshop covered methods designed by her and helped participants put their personal stories on paper in a supportive environment. Examples of art made by Dr. Gupta using excerpts from famous authors and poems & spiced with whimsical elements were instrumental in explaining the process.
“Dr. Nisha Gupta explained how art is so ingrained in our inner being that it can be an extremely powerful tool to manage mental health. So, celebrating women and encouraging art, promoting mental health management in a culturally relevant way helped many participants,” Pramod Waingankar, Founder, Shashikala Foundation said.
“I approached this workshop with the goal of using art as a springboard to help us engage in open-hearted, vulnerable dialogue about our psychological experiences as a community of Desi women—not only experiences of hardship, but experiences of resiliency and empowerment through all the ebbs and flows of life. I wanted to ensure that each woman left the workshop feeling more in touch with that unique inner power that makes them each so special for the person that they are—and that they created a piece of art to always remind them of this power,” Dr. Gupta noted.
“This workshop is essential to so much healing and growth,” workshop participant Dr. Urmila Kolekar said.
Through the three-hour workshop, each of the participants, under the guidance of Dr. Gupta, learned to express their insights as art. The art supply kits were prepared by the foundation executive team – resident artist, Chaitali Nadkarni.
“From what I sensed, the mission was accomplished because the collective power of Desi women radiated in the room that day. It felt good to be there, surrounded by the creative energy of such inspiring, courageous, and passionate women,” Dr. Gupta remarked.
Shashikala Foundation is Georgia USA registered non-profit 501(3)(c) organization started in 2022, founded by Pramod Waingankar, with a vision to spread joy and happiness using Visual Art medium as the main tool. The mission of the organization is to Identify underprivileged kids who are talented in the field of art and provide them scholarships in the form of education, guidance, and mentorship, conduct art workshops for our younger generation and give them the opportunity to explore various visual art forms and celebrate cultural festivals through art.