Raghuajpur International Art/Craft Exchange Testimonials

My experience here in Odisha has been very inspiring. The culture, the art forms, and the interaction with fellow artists has had a very positive impact. I intend to take the richness of this experience and infuse my work with as much of it as I can. The fabrics, the Gods and Goddesses, the people and the friendships have become a part of me. I hope it will be a part of my person creativity for years to come.
--Shirley Rimer (Canada)

The experience at the residency has given me a totally different approach to hand crafts and artisans. Being able to learn their work techniques and to live among them has made me reflect about heritage in a different way. Furthermore, this new insights will allow me to develop a much more conscious body of work.
--Camila Poblete

In India, I am photographing daily life in Raghurajpur, festivals and parades. It has been a special experience to live in a village of artists, representing several generations of families and to see how art is an integral part of their lives. Learning and observing how the traditional arts are made has given me a special appreciation of the culture. The people have welcomed me into their homes and I am honored to have been a part of this magical place.
--Maureen France (U.S.A.)

During the RIACE program I have been particularly interested in color relationships and the saturation of colors used in the village in art work, on homes, and worn on saris. I adore that each of the works, be it pata chitra or palm leaf seem to encapsulate a whole world or a story in such tiny circles and encrusted. There is something truly divine in the repetition, patterning, and decorating of surfaces. The images evidence time and tradition and seem to me to serve as visual mantras. I have already begun thinking of ways that the idea of decorating, using motifs, and building a mantra-like image may be used in my studio practice.

The ingenuity and resourcefulness of the artists has also provided me with a great amount of inspiration- anything can be transformed by the artist- cow dung becomes toys, tamarind becomes glue and gesso, and most of the hues are made using natural ingredients which are plentiful in the area. Ive been learning to use what is available and how to problem solve creatively. I look forward to applying this idea by expanding what I use to create larger more mixed media works in my sculpture studio.
--Emilyn Schuhmann (U.S.A.)

RIA/CE 2011 was an unprecedented success. The vision of Carol Hummel and Kshitish Das was to provide an opportunity for artists from around the world to exchange ideas and skills with the traditional craftspeople of Raghurajpur, Orissa, India. But instead of merely exchanging artistic ideas, the participants -- foreigners and Indians alike -- learned about one anotherís cultures, formed deep friendships, and changed each otherís lives.

Being immersed in daily village life proved to be an exceptional experience for personal, artistic and spiritual growth.
-- Ben DeRubertis, USA

In 2012, twenty artists from around the world -- USA, Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Lithuania, the Philippines and England -- participated in the Raghurajpur International Art/Craft Exchange. It was an incredible experience on many, many levels.

RIACE gave me a very much-needed step back into the world.
-- Melissa Daubert, USA

The RIA/CE 2011 and 2012 artists are:

Ausra Kleizaite Lithuania
Ben DeRubertis Jr. USA
Carol Hummel USA
Cathe Janke USA
Emily Clarke Ireland
Kanta Kochhar-Lindgren USA
Kate Marshall UK
Laura Byrne Ireland
Lynda Abraham USA
Leyah Jensen USA
Melissa Daubert USA
Mae Aguinaldo The Philippines
Marigold Hodgkinson UK
Petra Matuskova Czech Republic
Rupa Chordia USA
Shannon Brunette USA
Stephanie Dixon USA
Tony Walsh USA
Lawrence Woodford (Manu Dasa) Canada
Ch Asis saran India
Tapash ranjan Moharathy India
Kshitish ch . Das India