Photographs by Vatsalaa Jha of her hometown in Bihar, India, are on display at the Atwood Gallery on campus through May 1 as part of a series of community art shows.
“I want to share with you the Bihar I see when I visit my family that still lives there,” Jha said in her artist’s statement.
Jha is using her art to challenge stereotypes about Bihar that are found throughout India.
“I want to use my art to challenge these negative and biased narratives and showcase Bihar as a significant part of India, both with its pros and cons,” she said. “I also aspire to unravel and highlight the missed potential of Bihar, its monumental history as the center of ancient India, it’s people’s consistent success in society, and other opportunities that could have been but were never explored.”
Jha immigrated to the United States in 2001 and finds joy in art. Her show is the start of a new series of works by community artists. The School of the Arts is partnering with local artists to display their artwork to bring them exposure and to help students discover new art forms and ways of thinking about the world.
The exhibit is supported by a grant from the Central Minnesota Arts Board and made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts Heritage Fund.
Anyone who is interested in participating in the community art series can contact the School of the Arts at email@example.com.