Mithila Art Institute, Madhubani, India

By Joan Sharma for Ethnic Arts Foundation

Through free education and training, the Mithila Art Institute supports the continuation of one of the world’s oldest folk painting traditions and the empowerment of women and their communities in this remote, developing region of India. 300 applications are submitted and 30 talented artists are selected to receive free education for one year in this painting tradition.

I am inspired to support the work of this institute because of the impressive quality of work produced by students. I am impressed by the extraordinary effort of these artists to preserve and evolve their unique painting tradition.

In order to share this tradition with students and community members, I coordinated a study tour to visit the Mithila Art Institute in Madhubani sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities, CSU, Fresno. Eleven students and nine community members had the opportunity to learn about this painting tradition during a five-day visit to the Mithila Art Institute and Madhubani region, the first visit by an international group. An exhibition of student work from both institutions was held in the Dean’s Gallery of the College of Arts and Humanities, CSU Fresno during May 2011.

I am trying to raise awareness about this rich painting tradition and the dedicated work of The Mithila Art Institute, Ethnic Arts Foundation. The Mithila Art Institute is in urgent need of funds to survive.


Photographer: Joan Sharma / professional

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Award Year: 2011

Non Profit: Ethnic Arts Foundation

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