Indian Cultural Festival

Sunday, Mar 08, 10 am to 5 pm
At CMA, 103 Charlton Street, New York
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Join us on Sunday, March 8 for a celebration of Indian culture! CMA is partnering with Happy Family, an organization that celebrates the Asian diaspora through food, art, and education, to present interactive workshops all day long. Happy Family alum Divya Gadangi will be facilitating a live Bhangra Video Collage in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery at 12 pm and 2 pm, followed by screenings throughout the day. Kristy Raffensberger of Hudson Park Library will be hosting Story Time at 1 pm. 

Come dance with us! Bhangra is the popular Bollywood party dance we know from movies and weddings. It’s a communal dance, often accompanied with dhol (double headed drum) and heavy music. Though it can be choreographed with specific dance moves, it can be more freestyle as well. Young artists will learn Bhangra dance moves, perform them in front of a green screen, and be transported into an interactive canvas!

Interactive Workshops Include:

“Blued” Prints! Inspired by Sameer Kulavoor in the Pepperman Family Fine Arts Studio: During monsoon season, blue tarpaulin sheets or ‘taad-patri’ as they are locally known, are a common sight on the streets of metropolitan cities in India. They are used in various ways for protection against the sun, water, and wind. Artist Sameer Kulavoor created a series of illustrations for his project Blued Book as a documentation of this phenomenon. Today in the studio, draw inspiration from his work and create your own illustrations by fusing together printmaking and drawing. Teaching Artists will help young artists etch a plate and screen-print a blue block pattern. Next, students will add detail with black ink, just like Kulavoor!

Grid Paper Kolam in the Pepperman Family Fine Arts Studio: Kolam are intricate geometric drawings created on the floor, commonly seen outside entrances of homes in South India. They are normally created by women of the household using rice flour and a dot grid. During the day, these drawings are walked on, washed off by the rain, eaten by ants, and generally left to the elements.Today, look to images of kolam and use a piece of grid paper to create your own geometric design inspired by this cultural practice!

Painted Trucks On The Move Inspired by Nafees Ahmad Khan in the Cynthia C. Wainwright Gallery: Truck drivers in India are on the road for months at a time, and their trucks become a second home for them. It is a long-standing tradition for these drivers to personalize their vehicles by hiring sign painters to decorate them with symbols, bright colors and slogans. Nafees Ahmad Khan is one of India’s many truck painters. Today, use upcycled materials such as cardboard and buttons to make and personalize your own truck. Drawing inspiration from this truck art tradition, decorate your truck with colorful designs, a slogan, or symbols that represent what home means to you.  

Clay Creatures Inspired by Deepti Sunder at the Clay Bar: Flowers as big as trees, books the size of mattresses, a friendly pink snake with lime-green polka dots peeking out of the bushes — this is the world of Jiljil & Boo, one of the many imaginative worlds created by CMA Teaching Artist Deepti Sunder. Whether it’s crafting giant animals and plants out of papier-mache, making clay sculptures, or drawing illustrations, Deepti finds great joy in the mere act of making something with her hands. Originally from Mumbai, India, and now based in Brooklyn, she describes herself as an illustrator and maker. Her style is whimsical, charming and inventive, pairing together bright colors and rhythmic patterns to construct fantastical worlds, characters and scenes. Today, make a clay creature inspired by Deepti’s imaginary world at the Clay Bar!

Animated Streets of India in the Media Lab: Using a collaborative set inspired by Indian streets, create your own animated narrative across this set and imagine yourself transported around the world. What exciting adventures will you have today in the Media Lab?

Sonic Fusion with Sneha Khanwalkar in the Sound Booth: Sneha Khanwalkar is an Indian music director. Her music has a psychedelic and transporting undercurrent combined with everyday sounds sonically fused together. Using her music as influence, create your own unique sounds from everyday life and make the familiar otherworldly!

About Happy Family: Happy Family is a NYC-based creative studio that celebrates the Asian diaspora, deepens cross-cultural understanding, and bridges the gap between emerging and established voices of the Asian diaspora. Happy Family was founded in 2018 as an annual event called Happy Family Night Market — NYC’s first and only pan-Asian cultural and culinary festival. This year’s 3rd annual Happy Family Night Market is slated for September 2020. Learn more at www.happyfamilymkt.com

About Divya Gadangi: Gadangi is a South Asian American interdisciplinary artist, chef, and alum of HFNM 2018, where she participated as “Taj Mah Balls” — originally conceived as a joke before becoming a way for her to use the humble meatball as a vehicle to share her family’s lesser known South Asian food. In 2019, she served as Happy Family’s Public Art & Marketplace Curator, encouraging viewers to ask: What makes an artwork or artist identifiably “Asian?” And how does this identity inform the viewer’s experience of the work?

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. This program is in partnership with Happy Family, an organization that celebrates the Asian diaspora through food, art, and education to present interactive workshops.

Related story

In advance of Sunday's Indian Cultural Festival, CMA caught up with Teaching Artist Deepti Sunder to learn about her art practice, growing up in Saudi Arabia and India, and how the concept of home influences her work. Read more