JCAL Exhibition


“Humans, at the elemental level, have always been social beings. 
While we turned inwards, into our own silence and art. Two such people were Barkha and I. 
We both individually deepened our intimacy with ourselves and our art. 
Eventually, as humans often do, they make sure to find ways to stay connected. “ 


Shreya Mehta and Barkha Patel came together with self-produced a short in-person residency in North Salem, NY at Evari Studios in September 2020, in the midst of the pandemic.


The time in the space helped them recognize how personal struggles defined the way we approach our respective art forms. 
“We found ourselves conversing about self-introspection at the tattva or elemental level. Who and what are we at our core, we asked? We eventually recognized and agreed that no matter how different our lives, we are all but the same. However complex, humans are sculptures made from the panch (five) simple tattvas of earth, air, water, fire, and ether.”


As Shreya created visuals based on the dancers movement, Barkha created dances based on the paintings of the elements. Like an infinity sign, they were in a constant give and take from one another. 
WhatsApp Image 2021-03-31 at 3.26.44 PM

Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) is excited to partner with the South Asian Womxn’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) to present Encounters, a group exhibition curated by Grace Aneiza Ali. Encounters is the product of all women, all of the South Asian Diaspora, working in collaboration as “artist pairs” across geographical, cultural, political, and religious boundaries to maintain a space for connection and creativity.

There will be a private reception for the artists and organizers on Friday, April 2. The exhibition is open to the public on weekdays and select

Saturdays, also by appointment, between Thursday, April 1 and Saturday, May 15, 2021. More information can be found at jcal.org/visit-the-gallery. Encounters can also be encountered online at jcal.org/encounters.

On Saturday, May 8 at 12 pm, there will be “Sand Art and Dance Performance with Shreya Mehta and Barkha Patel,” a live performance in the Miller Gallery (COVID safe, with social distancing) that will be live-streamed as well. Viewers of this 48-minute performance will be invited to peek into the artists’ creative process, beginning with the chanting of the eternal sound Aum, followed by a short meditation and a performance of the five elements.

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