Programs & Exhibitions

Creative Confluence: South Asian Community Reflections, Connections, and Dialogue

Fall 2022 Programs

A celebration of creativity and diversity in the DMV’s South Asian communities curated by a team of local South Asian artists and leaders, including Samia Mahbub Ahmad, Nadia Amdad, Ryan Artes, Shanthi Chandrasekar, Nilimma Devi, Ameena Fareeda, Harjant Gill, Farida Hughes, Anila Kumari, Shyama Kuver, Alif Laila, Neha Misra, Adrianna Morgan, Pratisha Pradhan, Rachana Saurabh, Priya  Sekar, Manoj Singh, Jasmine Smith, Shobha Subramanian, Nimi Trehan, and Nikita Yogaraj.


Exhibition | Creative Confluence: South Asian Community Reflections, Connections, and Dialogue

Asian Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts, Towson University
On view September 14 – December 17 (closed November 23-27)
Gallery Hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday 
Opening Reception / Meet the Artists on September 14, 7:30 p.m.
Register here for the Opening Reception (optional). Suggested donation $10

Explore the rich array of creativity, cultures, and traditions expressed through the works of twenty-two South Asian artists from across the Greater Baltimore and Washington, DC area.  Discover the intersecting and distinct experiences of these artists—with cultural roots in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Trinidad and Tobago—who share their perspectives on lineage, self-identity, ideas of homeland, spiritual traditions, sensory experience, and connections to the natural world.

Author Talk | American Muslim: An Immigrant’s Story by Saima Sitwat

Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 7 p.m.
Towson University, University Union, Room 324
281 University Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
(Intersection of Osler Drive and Emerson Drive)
Register here (optional): Suggested donation: $10

Join author, Saima Sitwat, for a conversation about major themes of her book, American Muslim: An Immigrant’s Journey. Hear excerpts from Sitwat’s memoir and explore questions such as, “What does it mean to be a minority, a Muslim, an immigrant, and a woman in 21st century America?” Co-sponsored by TU Center for Student Diversity.

Performance | Tvameva Music

Sunday, October 2, 2022, 2 p.m.
VENUE UPDATE:
Towson University, Center for the Arts, Recital Hall
7700 Osler Drive, Towson, MD 21204
Register here (required). Suggested donation: $15

Tvameva (meaning "you are" in Sanskrit) is a unique world fusion band based in the Washington DC Region. This presentation features founder-vocalist-producer, Arvind Venugopal, and award-winning guitarist, Rahul Mukerji. The group blends South Indian Carnatic music traditions with new age electronic, classic rock, and other musical sounds. The result is a sublime and spiritually-grounded new sound which respectfully balances tradition with fearless exploration.

Studio Tour | Nimi Trehan

Saturday, October 8, 2022, 2 p.m.
Potomac, MD
Register here (required). Tickets: $15 general/$10 members

Nimi Trehan is a Maryland based artist with a background in art and interior design. She designed interiors for the residential, corporate, healthcare and federal sectors in India and the US. She has participated in several group as well as solo exhibits locally and internationally.

Lighting Ceremony | Bamboo Lotus Illumination

Thursday, October 20, 2022, 7 p.m.
Asian Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts, Towson University
1 Fine Arts Drive, Towson, MD 21204
Register here (optional). Suggested donation: $10

Celebrate and learn about Diwali, the Festival of Light celebrated by Hindus around the world. Join artist Adrianna Morgan, in the illumination of her site-specific installation honoring the Indo-Caribbean “bamboo bending” tradition of creating decorative forms to display sacred South Asian oil lamps (diyas). Listen to an artist talk to learn about this practice and the art installation from Adrianna and her production team, and explore Diwali customs with artist, Shanthi Chandrasekar.

Studio Tour | Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts

Saturday, October 22, 2022, 11 a.m.
1525 Forest Glen Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Register here (required). Tickets: $15 general/$10 members

Visit this hub of Indian dance, storytelling, and visual arts in Silver Spring comprised of studios, open-air spaces, a yoga garden, and a sacred North Indian-inspired stage made with recycled materials. Learn kuchipudi hand gestures and basic foot stamped rhythms and observe an advanced dance lesson. Explore the yoga garden, landscaped with earthenware from India and a large mural of Princess Sita by a Silver Spring artist.  Enjoy chai, samosas, and other light snacks while chatting with SIDRA’s founder, Nilimma Devi, and the passionate, inter-generational, bi-cultural Devi Dance performers.

The Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts (SIDRA) was established in 1988 by Nilimma Devi, one of the first women to be allowed to learn the art form of kuchipudi. Devi views kuchipudi classical dance, not as an isolated art, but as a rich tapestry of interwoven art forms. SIDRA introduces dance through a blend of yoga, creative writing, storytelling and music – all links in the chain of kuchipudi aesthetics.

Film | Mississippi Masala

Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 7 p.m.
Towson University, University Union, Room 324
281 University Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
(Intersection of Osler Drive and Emerson Drive)
Register here (optional). Suggested donation: $10

After Mina's (Sarita Choudhury) Indian family is ousted from their home in Uganda by dictator Idi Amin, they relocate to Mississippi to start a new life. Mina falls for Demetrius (Denzel Washington), a young carpet cleaner, despite the protests of their families over their racial difference. The families and their surrounding communities begin to feud, putting even more pressure on the couple's romance. Having to choose between family and love, Mina and Demetrius run away together. Director: Mira Nair. Cast: Denzel Washington; Roshan Seth; Sarita Choudhury. Run Time: 120 Minutes.

Studio Tour | Shanthi Chandrasekar

Saturday, November 5, 2022, 2 p.m.
Studio B
7475 Wisconsin Avenue, Lower Level, Bethesda, MD 20814
Register here (required). Tickets: $15 general/$10 members

Shanthi Chandrasekar is a multimedia, multidisciplinary artist who has been drawing and painting since early childhood. Her interest in understanding different forms of visual media has led her to experiment with drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and papermaking. She has also been trained in the traditional art forms of kolam and Tanjore-style painting. While many of her works are influenced by her Indian heritage, her true inspiration comes from the mystery and majesty of the world around her; her muse lives where the scientific overlaps with the spiritual.

Performance and Discussion | Rhythm & Grace: Dancing through India

Saturday, November 12, 2022, 2 p.m.
Motor House
120 West North Ave., Baltimore, MD 21201
Register here (required). Suggested donation: $15

This performance and discussion introduces various styles of dance—from classical to folk to Bollywood—from the Indian subcontinent as represented in the local South Asian dance diaspora. It features multi-generational dancers from Maryland and explores questions about intergenerational transmission and maintenance and development of cultural heritage, such as What remains? What is sometimes lost? What gets further enriched in the entire process? Curated by dancer, choreographer, singer Shobha Subramanian, Jayamangala. 

Film | English Vinglish

Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 7 p.m.
Towson University, University Union, Room 324
281 University Avenue, Towson, MD 21204
(Intersection of Osler Drive and Emerson Drive)
Register here (optional). Suggested donation: $10

A tradition-minded Indian housewife (Sridevi) enrolls in an accelerated English-language course after she finds herself unable to place a simple order in an American restaurant. Director: Gauri Shinde. Cast: Sridevi, Adil Hussain. Run Time: 134 Minutes.


Past Events

Roots & Branches:
Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future


Forever Indonesian by Nico Gozal
Forever Indonesian by Nico Gozal

Exhibition | Forever Indonesian, A Journey Through Art

February 9-May 14, 2022 (closed March 21-26)
Gallery Hours: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday 
Opening with In-gallery Artist Talk on February 9, 2022
Register Here for the opening/artist talk.

Nico Gozal is an Indonesian of Chinese descent who is also an American citizen. In sharing his unique style of silk painting that blends elements of Indonesian traditions with contemporary techniques, he shares the culture of his homeland, his childhood, his experiences as an immigrant in the United States, and his experiences balancing multiple cultures. Through this exhibit, Gozal wishes to convey that, no matter where we end up in this world, no matter what country we ultimately identify with and call home, our birthplace makes an indelible mark on who we become.

Artist Nico Gozal
Artist Nico Gozal

Virtual Demonstration | Silk Painting with Nico Gozal

February 22, 2022, 7 p.m.
Virtual: Register Here (Free. Suggested donation: $10)

Watch artist Nico Gozal take you through the process of gutta / Serti silk painting depicting colorful images and scenes inspired by his homeland in this virtual demonstration via Zoom.

 

Tuhuwasesa shadow puppet
Tuhuwasesa shadow puppet

Mini-Exhibition | Wayang Kulit: Javanese Shadow Puppets

February 9-May 14, 2022 
Corridor Vitrines of the Asian Arts Gallery, CA 2037

Explore the artistry and mythical world of puppets created for Java's wayang kulit tradition. Please note that masks covering the nose and mouth are required in all TU buildings for all individuals.

 

Asia North 2022 graphic
Asia North 2022 graphic by Ameena Fareeda

Asia North Festival 2022 | A Celebration of Art, Culture and Community

Spring 2022, Station North Arts District, Baltimore
Details

Asia in Maryland 2021

September 8 - December 11, 2021
Diverse works of art by Maryland-based Asian and AAPI visual artists which showcase the stories of, raise awareness about, and facilitate dialogue about the ideas and issues that are most important to the 500,000+ Asian and AAPI residents who play integral roles in the fabric of Maryland life.

"Blend 32" by Farida Hughes
"Blend 32" by Farida Hughes

Virtual Listening Party | Mirrors and Windows: Art and Evolving AAPI Identities

Thursday, September 23, 7 p.m.
Virtual: Register Here (Free. Suggested donation: $10)

Explore artwork by Asia in Maryland artists Tima Aflitunov, Farida Hughes, and Jinyoung Koh and reflect on how their work provides a mirror and/or window into expressions and notions of AAPI identities. Hear from the artists themselves as they share the experiences, feelings, and aspirations that created the shapes, colors, and textures in their work. Hosted by TU Department of Theatre Arts professor, Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi. 

"수박 (Watermelon) Summer (2019)" by Ellie Rha. Black and white photograph, outdoor scene,  of a young Korean girl eating a slice of waterman. She is seated between two Korean women. An open box of pizza and but open watermelon are in the foreground. Racks of clothes on hangers and a man walking on the street in the background.
"수박 (Watermelon) Summer (2019)" by Ellie Rha

Panel Discussion | Through Our Lens – The Way Forward for AAPIs in the Media

Wednesday, October 6, 7 p.m.
Virtual: Register Here (Free. Suggested donation: $10)

Explore artwork by Asia in Maryland artists Yifan Luo, Ellie Rha, and Kiddo Pan and how it reflects the intersections between media representations of AAPIs and consequent perceptions of AAPIs in society at large. Delve into how art can serve as activism, be a source of cultural power, and play a role in correcting and realigning current representations and perceptions. Join the artists in envisioning a future for AAPI voices and visibility. Moderated by WeiAnne Reidy.  

Our Stories Virtual Festival - Photo of storyteller Aya, a Filipino woman wearing a black mask and pink short sleeve short. Taped on the wall behind her are the words "POVERTY," "DISTANCE LEARNING," "COVID-19,"UNEMPLOYMENT" and "HUNGER."
Storyteller Aya

Storytelling Festival | Our Stories Virtual Festival

Thursdays, October 21 and 28, 7 P.M.
Virtual: Register Here (Free. Suggested donation: $10)

Celebrate our common humanity and the unique beauty of diverse experiences during this community festival where friends from Maryland, California, India and the Philippines share stories about facing life’s challenges and their experiences with and reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic. 

OCTOBER 21, 7 P.M. (ET) — Confronting life's challenges

  • Hanns Scheewe (Tandag City, Philippines) “A Love Letter From Space”
  • Miyo Yamauchi (Los Angeles, CA) “I Know It All”
  • Anila Kumari (Silver Spring, MD) “The Wind Under Me”
  • Renu Narayan (Chennai, India) “Ambi Finds a Home”
  • Maria Solita Zaldivar-Guzman (Aklan, Philippines) “The Little Star”

OCTOBER 28, 7 P.M. (ET) — Coronavirus chronicles

  • Christine Marie Magpile, Cris Macazo, Katrina Saga & Patricia Marie Dizon (Manila, Philippines) “My Mother’s a Health Frontliner”
  • Golpo Nodi (Kolkata, India) “Piu and Her Explorations”
  • Hyunsuk Erickson (Rockville, MD) “My Father’s Shelter vs. My Shelter”
  • Aya (Philippines) “Newton’s Third Law of Motion

 

Artist Phaan Howng with her Bag of Rocks for a Bag of Rice installation

Exhibition | Phaan Howng: A Bag of Rocks for A Bag of Rice

Virtual: VIEW EXHIBIT HERE

Exquisitely disposed rocks and trees and vegetation. The promise of an inspired space of meditation and detachment. Such has been of the Westernized image of the Chinese and Japanese garden. Yet, such enchanted “natural” spaces camouflage the histories of empire, wealth, privilege, exploitation, ecological extraction, and displacement behind their creation. Phaan Howng’s site-specific installation engages East Asian gardens as a case study of the dynamics embedded within these private spaces.

Exhibition and Virtual Festival | Asia North 2021: A Celebration of Art, Culture and Community

April 10 - May 15, Station North Arts District and Online
Co-presented with Central Baltimore Partnership

Celebrate art, culture, and the Korean history and heritage of Baltimore’s Charles North community. Regional AAPI artists and organizations present an exhibit and virtual festival including artist talks, performances, cooking demonstrations, and art workshops.

Asia North 2021 schedule

Asia North 2021 Exhibition

April 10 - May 15

Virtual: VIEW EXHIBIT HERE
Launching on April 10, the exhibit will be on view online and in socially distanced locations throughout the Station North Arts District, including Motor House, Joe Squared, SNF Parkway Theatre, North Avenue Market, Impact Hub, and Nancy by SNAC.

Featured artists include: Reed Bmore, Cheng Cao, Molli Chang, Anu Das, Marlo De Lara, Gloria Tseng Fischer, Farhad Heidarian, Margaret Huey, Linda Kato, Jinyoung Koh, Sunjin Lee, Jing Ma, Hadrian Mendoza, Miki + Dolor + Van Ngo + Hsiao-Chu Hsia, Sookkyung Park, Grace Ren, Slothpotato, Nahid Tootoonchi, , Anjali Wells, Andersen Woof, and Nikita Yogaraj.

Asia North 2021 Virtual Kick-Off

Saturday, April 10, 4 p.m. ET

REGISTER/JOIN
The virtual kick-off event features a video tour of the exhibit in Station North and performances and presentations by Greater Baltimore/DMV artists, including salmunori and pansori by Korean Performing Arts Academy of America (KPAAA), FilAm artist Derrick Quevedo, Sughra Hussainy (Afghani and Islamic miniature painting, calligraphy and illumination), Henna artist Ambika Ramsundar, and Jorgelina Lopez (contemporary home décor using Japanese textile techniques). Handiasporia blues musician and producer, EN’B, concludes the program with their performance of a fusion of Korean and R&B music.

Night Market Online

Saturday, April 10, 6:30 p.m. ET

REGISTER/JOIN
Charm City Night Market presents a Night Market Online cooking demonstration with Brown Rice. 

Virtual Workshop: Exploring Identity through Culture

Saturday, April 17, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. ET

LEARN MORE/REGISTER
AA&CC and the Asian Pasifika Arts Collective (APAC) co-present this virtual workshop led by artist, Lek Vercauteren Borja, on Saturday, April 17 at 1pm. Participants create collages from their personal and cultural experiences.

Virtual Concert: Dong Xi - The Way

Wednesday, April 21, 8 p.m. ET

REGISTER/JOIN
Chao Tian and Tom Teasley bring Chinese dulcimer and world percussion together in conversations based on the Taoist philosophy of Wu Wei, meaning “action through inaction.” Register/Join the event here 

Virtual Workshop: Zinemaking 101

Friday, April 30, 7 p.m. ET 

LEARN MORE/REGISTER
During this happy-hour virtual workshop with Margaret Huey, learn about the creativity, community, and action we can enact with zines, a cheap, accessible, and fun way to share information and stories. 

Virtual Workshop: Making Stories with Where We’re From

Friday, May 7, 7 p.m. ET

LEARN MORE/REGISTER
During this happy-hour virtual workshop with artist Margaret Huey, build your visual and written storytelling skills from your own memories, experiences, and knowledge.

Festival artwork by Ameena Fareeda.

Asia North 2021 partners, sponsors, and supporters include Asian Arts & Culture Center, Central Baltimore Partnership, Station North Arts District, Motor House, Joe Squared, SNF Parkway Theatre, North Avenue Market, Impact Hub, Nancy by SNAC, Charm City Night Market, Asian Pasifika Arts Collective, E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council, Yoshinobu & Kathleen Shiota, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Citizens of Baltimore County, AA&CC Members, TD Bank, BB&T/Truist, PNC Bank, WYPR, Guppy Management Services, Community Housing Partners, Mike Shecter, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Kawasaki Sister City Committee, Baltimore Changwon Sister City Committee, and Brown Rice. 

Online Exhibition | Anak (My Child)

Virtual: VIEW EXHIBIT HERE

Lek Vercauteren Borja’s mixed media works explore the personal and social impact of Spanish colonization and American imperialism on the Filipino experience. Vercauteren Borja weaves history with personal experience to draw out broader contemporary Filipino American stories of identity, displacement, trauma, survival, resilience, and belonging.

Artist Talk | Meet the Artist: Lek Vercauteren Borja

Thursday, February 11, 6:30 p.m.
Virtual: Register Here (Free)

Celebrate the launch of Anak (My Child) with a talk by multimedia artist, Lek Vercauteren Borja, who discusses her dynamic and ethereal mixed media works and the experiences that inspire them. Vercauteren Borja emigrated from the Philippines to the U.S. with her family at age 10 and has since moved through the world many times feeling displaced. She uses art to return to those moments in order to better understand them and their effect on shaping her as a person.

Workshop | Year of the Ox Chinese Paper-cut Art with Cheng Cao

Premieres Friday, February 12
Virtual: View Here (Free)

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with artist Cheng Cao who will introduce you to Chinese paper-cutting, or jianzhi (剪紙), a folk art that originated in China around the 6th century CE. Learn how to craft a paper-cut ox. Materials needed: Red paper, pencil, eraser, and scissors. Presented by the Asian Arts & Culture Center for the Walters Art Museum's Virtual Lunar New Year Celebration.

Virtual 50th Anniversary Fundraiser | Salu-Salo: A Filipino American Cultural Feast

Friday, February 26, 7 p.m.
Virtual: Tickets: $0 - $45

“Salu-salo” is a Filipino word for gathering and eating together. Prepare yourself a Filipino meal and join the AA&CC for a virtual salu-salo featuring a cook-off with Sony Florendo, Chef Mike Ledesma (Perch RVA and InstaBowl RVA), Chef Rey Eugenio (Heritage Kitchen), and their takes on favorite Filipino recipes; music by Kulintronica and Diwa de Leon who have creatively electrified traditional Filipino instruments; a virtual tour with ANTHILL Fabric Gallery in the Philippines; and an Asian Arts & Culture Center 50th Anniversary cocktail.

Panel Discussion | Filipino American Diaspora: Self-Representations Emerging from the Shadows

Tuesday, March 9, 7 p.m.
Virtual: Register Here (Free)

How do poetry, art, oral histories and research convey the complicated histories of Filipino Americans, the fourth largest migrant group in the United States? With over 400 years of colonization and invisibilization, Philippine migrants continue to create a sense of the homeland in their new countries. Gain invaluable insights into Filipino American experiences with poet, Luisa A. Igloria; artist, Lek Vercauteren Borja, and authors E.J.R. David and Dwight Ong. Scholar and artist, Marlo DeLara moderates the discussion.

Exhibition & Virtual Festival | Asia North 2021: A Celebration of Art, Culture & Community

Exhibition: April 10 - May 15, Station North Arts District and online
Virtual festival kick-off: April 10
Co-presented with Central Baltimore Partnership

Celebrate art, culture, and the Korean history and heritage of Baltimore’s Charles North community. Regional AAPI artists and organizations present an exhibit and virtual festival including artist talks, performances, cooking demonstrations, and art workshops. 

Korean Kite

Wishes in the Wind: Korean Kite Kit

Kits starting at $20 donation
ORDER ONLINE

Are you a parent or caregiver looking for a creative and challenging STEAM* activity to engage kids at home? Are you a teacher in search of a project to teach remotely that integrates art, social studies, and engineering? Order our Wishes in the Wind Korean Kite Kits. Each kit contains kite paper, bamboo kite spars, kite string and spool, illustrated instructions, STEAM info, and more. Contribute to building bridges across cultures with your purchase.
*Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math

 

Continuing Programs

Family Arts Day

Family Arts Days

The AA&CC collaborates every semester with TU’s Community Art Center to engage families in experiencing and making art through drop-in art activities, performances, interactive gallery experiences, and story time.

 

 

Master Cambodian musician, Chum Ngek, helps a TU music student play the kong thom.

TU Pin Peat Ensemble (Cambodian Classical Music)

The AA&CC and TU Department of Music teamed up to offer the TU Pin Peat (Khmer classical music) Ensemble led by master Cambodian musician, Chum Ngek. Through this course, which was established in spring 2017, TU students expand their artistic and cultural horizons while contributing to the preservation and longevity of a tradition that was nearly decimated during the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia.

Special thanks to the Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and AA&CC members for making this initiative possible.

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural Connection

This ongoing project highlights exhibitions, performances, workshops, artist residencies, and online resources featuring local Asian arts and culture in Maryland communities . It also incorporates The Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project, an interdisciplinary studies course combining ethnography and oral history to explore, understand and document Asian arts and culture in Maryland. Student research informs Center programming. In fall 2015, we initiated the “Connection” with an exhibition, performances, workshops and family days introducing local audiences to the living Khmer art and culture in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project

The Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project (IDFA 480/580 Interdisciplinary Fine Arts Special Topics Seminar) is an interdisciplinary studies course in Towson University’s College of Fine Arts & Communication. This course combines ethnography and oral history to explore, understand and document Asian arts and culture in Maryland. Students identify their own research topic and conduct independent research with guidance from the instructors throughout the semester.  Topics can include art, music, dance, theater, foodways, costumes, healing arts, martial arts and more. Students create a portfolio of their research as a culminating project at the end of the semester. Student projects will be used in programs at the Asian Arts & Culture Center.

Read about the topics OUR students researched...