September 25, 2019

“Ethnic Expo” Exhibit At Plainsboro Library

“ETHNIC EXPO”: An exhibit of Indian textiles will be on view October 5 through 30 at the Plainsboro Library. A reception with live demonstrations is Sunday, October 6 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“Ethnic Expo,” an exhibit of Indian textiles, opens at Plainsboro Library on October 5. Curated by Anita Kulkarni, the exhibit is designed as a visual and tactile experience that features both framed art and unframed art that can be touched. It is also educational, exploring the rich artistic traditions of India.

A reception will be held on Sunday, October 6, 2 to 4 p.m., where visitors can view live demonstrations of Warli and Madhubani handpainting styles (3:30-4 p.m.). The show runs through October 30.

“The legacy of Indian silk-making and weaving is rich and long-standing. The gorgeous silks are unmatched in their charm; and when improvised with India’s regional culture and symbolism they produce some of the finest textiles in the world,” says Kulkarni. “The silk weaving skills run in the families where older generations hand down the knowledge to the younger ones in an informal process. Most art is learned via observation and imbibed through years of practice. There are no manuals, no standardization, by far no formal training, and despite the extraordinary art they create, livelihood may still be a struggle for artisans. But the product is superlative, and world class in its quality, artistry, and appearance. India presents a great range of weaving trends with their textures, dying methods, design philosophy, motive selection and symbolism, color palettes, gold-silver brocade (zari), and opulent embroidery.”

Kulkarni holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture (Bombay University, India) and master’s degree in landscape architecture (University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.) and has over 25 years of experience in the field of architecture and design. Born and raised in India, Kulkarni came to the U.S. for her higher studies. She has published many articles on the subject of architecture.

While designing interiors, she chanced upon the traditional silk weaving, hand-painting, and threadwork styles embedded in different Indian regions. The story of context and traditions defining forms became a central concept in her explorations and in her work. Kulkarni has accessorized many of her spaces with the alive, colorful, depictive elements of silk, and in addition has continued to research the lesser known visual arts of India.

Also deeply passionate about Indian classical music and dance, Kulkarni is a producer-director of stage productions in music and dance, a painter in mixed media, and also a published author who regards art as an expression of soul and a connection with the divine. It is with this inspiration that she founded Renu — The Foundation for Art, a New Jersey nonprofit organization dedicated to arts. The Foundation is active internationally with the mission of interpreting the uplifting Indian arts to global audiences for their beauty, spirituality and enrichment. This textile exhibit, “Ethnic Expo,” is one part of the Renu organization. Visit http/ for more information.

The Plainsboro Library is located at 9 Van Doren Street, Plainsboro. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. For more information, call (609) 275-2897.