Anila Quayyum Agha: Art, Education, and the Making of Future Creative Thinkers

anila_agha_mainDate: October 12, 2015
Reception: 4:30-5:30 PM
Lecture: 5:30-7:00 PM
Location: IUPUI Campus Center Theater, 420 University Blvd. Indianapolis, IN 46202

A successful art practice need not be measured solely on commercial success but also on the quality of life of the practitioner. Artistic excellence in creative fields is often the result of a great deal of time spent in research: analyzing, synthesizing and then producing well crafted art or design work that is heartfelt, layered and relevant to our times. The source of my own artwork has been interpretations of contrasts and similarities, within cultures/religions/rituals of people of myriad cultures. This subject matter requires deep intellectual introspection, concept development and research to assimilate it into the artwork. Having a disciplined approach to exploring a broad spectrum of ideas helps to formulate the foundations for a successful and self-sustaining long-term practice. Furthermore artistic training provides opportunities to explore a wide array of interests and to experiment and innovate with a variety of materials/processes along with conceptual development and a mastery of the visual language to deal with the challenges present in our current societies and which is essential for success in the world today. Such skills are transferable into myriad disciplines for professional advancement for students while simultaneously adding value to their lives through personal well being.

About the speaker:

Anila Quayyum Agha is Associate Professor of Drawing and Foundation Studies in the Herron School of Art and Design. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She has an MFA from the University of North Texas. Agha’s work has been exhibited in multiple international art fairs as well as in over twenty solo shows and fifty group shows. In 2005, Agha was an Artist in Resident at the Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston. In 2008 she relocated to Indianapolis to teach at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and is currently the associate professor of drawing. In 2009 Agha was the recipient of the Efroymson Arts Fellowship. She has received two IAHI grants (2010/ 2015) and a New Frontiers Research Grant (2012) from Indiana University. In 2013 Agha received the Creative Renewal Fellowship awarded by the Indianapolis Arts Council. Agha won the two top prizes at ArtPrize 2014, in the international art competition held in Grand Rapids,Michigan. Her entry, titled “Intersections”, earned the ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize and split the Juried Grand Prize in a tie.

Agha works in a cross disciplinary fashion with mixed media; creating artwork that explores global politics, cultural multiplicity, mass media, and social and gender roles in our current cultural and global scenario. As a result her artwork is conceptually challenging, producing complicated weaves of thought, artistic action and social experience.