Erasing Borders: Passport to Contemporary Indian Art  Feb-June 2008

Salma Arastu

Salma Arastu

Salma Arastu

Salma Arastu was born in Rajasthan, India. She graduated with an MFA in painting from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Baroda, India. And for the last thirty years has been exhibiting her paintings in India, Iran, Kuwait and the United States.
Hindu by birth and Muslim by marriage, her work expounds on the unity of all-encompassing God, common in all religions. She seeks Universal in her art.
Ms. Arastu has received recognition both regionally and nationally, winning numerous awards. Her lyrical and spiritual paintings, based on memories of her childhood, her love of people, and her deep faith, is inspiring, warm and beautiful.
In addition to her prolific painting, she is also creating lyrical metal sculptures and exploring digital media to narrate experiences.
She has recently moved from East coast to East Bay area in California and Artjaz gallery in Philadelphia, Monsoon gallery in Bethlehem and Space on Surgeon gallery in Santa Ana CA, represent her works.
Ms. Arastu has also written several published works of free-verse poetry and short stories in her native Hindi.
  • 2005 September: The Hope Horn Gallery, Scranton University, Scranton, PA
  • 2005 September: Monsoon Galleries, Bethlehem, PA
  • 2005 April: Fayberger Gallery at Penn State University, Reading PA
  • 2005 February: Radford University Art Museum, Radford Uni. Radford,VA
  • 2004 May: The Art Alliance, Cornwell, Upstate New York
  • 2004 April: Gelabert Studios Gallery, New York, NY
  • 2003 April: Artjaz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2003 April: Black Cultural Center, Lafayette College, and Easton, PA
  • 2002 May: Barns and Noble, Broadway, New York
  • 2002 April: Open Space Gallery, Allentown, PA
  • 2000 September: ArtJaz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2000 June: Sweet cream cafe gallery, Strousburg, PA
  • 2000 April-May-An Invitational exhibition of paintings and six-week residency program in Schwabisch Gmund, Germany. 15th March 2000 to the end of April 2000.
  • 1999 June-Reading Art Museum. Reading, PA
  • 1998 June-Art Gallery De Art Magic, Easton, PA
  • 1998 February-Art Heritage, New Delhi, India
  • 1998 January-A Gallery, New York, NY
  • 1997 September-The Gallery at Northampton Community College, Bethlehem,
  • 1997 October-Hub Gallery, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA
  • 1993 Design Accent, Allentown, PA.
  • 1992 Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA.
  • 1992 Powers Art Gallery, East Strousburg University, PA.
  • 1991 Fine Arts Commission, Rotunda Gallery, Bethlehem, PA.
  • 1989 Springer Gallery, Allentown, PA.
  • 1989 DuBois Gallery & Display Cases Maginnes Hall, Lehigh University,
  • 1989 John’s United Church of Christ, Kutztown, PA. East Penn Emerging Art 1986 Boushari Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
  • 1984 British Council Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
  • 1981 Kala Bhavan Gallery, Hyderabad, India.
  • 1979 Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi, India.
  • 1978 Azad Gallery, Tehran, Iran.
  • 1977 Art Gallery, Hotel Intercontinental, Tehran, Iran.
  • 1976 Kala Bhavan Gallery, Hyderabad, India.
  • 1975 Kala Bhavan, Hyderabad, India. 1973 Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Calcutta, India.
  • 2006 Feb 4th-March 4th-Space Spurgeon gallery, Santa Anna, CA
  • 2005 Lehigh University Museum Galleries, Spring Show
  • 2004 May: State College gallery, State College, PA
  • 2003 Jan 27th- Feb 22nd “ Muslim women Artists” aRamona Gallery, NY,
  • 2003 Feb- April “ Muslim Women Artist” Anne Fisher Gallery, Washington,
  • 2003 July: Berks Art Alliance, Reading Museum, Reading, PA
  • 2002 October: Book Exhibit, Museum of Contemporary Art, Costa Rica
  • 2002 August: Music through Art, Banana Factory, Bethlehem, PA
  • 2002 September: Diversity Art Gallery, Clark, NJ
  • 2002 July: Berks Art alliance, Reading Art Museum, Reading, PA
  • 2001 September: Artjaz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 2001-2003 National Acrylic show, Salmagundi club, New York, NY
  • 2001 Open space gallery national show “guys and dolls” Allentown, PA
  • 2001-2004 Annual juried exhibition, The State Museum of PA, Harrisburg, PA
  • 2001 Miniature art show, Banana Factory, Bethlehem, PA
  • 1999 Mayfair Annual Show, Allentown, PA.
  • 1999 M A C Show at The Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA
  • 1999 M A C show at Ramsey’s II, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1999 Invitational show at United Nation’s Turkish Plaza, New York, NY
  • 1997 Asian American Arts Center, New York, NY
  • 1997 Gallery at 678, New York City, NY
  • 1997 CCC Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1997 Minority Arts Council Show, Philadelphia, PA
  • 1997 Museum of Harrisburg, Harrisburg, PA
  • 1997 Doshi Center for Contemporary Art, Harrisburg, PA
  • 1997 Permanent Mission of India, New York ,NY
  • 1997 Allentown Art Museum, Allentown , PA
  • 1996 Very Special Arts, Washington, DC
  • 1996 Main Street Gallery, Nyack, NY
  • 1996 Bixlers Gallery, Strousburg, PA
  • 1995 Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA.
  • 1994 Museum Of Natural History, New York. NY.
  • 1994 Ceres Art Gallery, New York, NY.
  • 1994 La Mama La Gallery, New York, NY.


  • 2005 Honorable mention at Lehigh art alliance show, Bethlehem, PA
  • 2004 First place, North Eastern Regional art show at Marywood University, PA
  • 2004 First place, Lehigh Art Alliance Annual Show, Bethlehem, PA
  • 2001 Honorable mention at Reading art Museum for Berks Art Alliance Show
  • 2001 Honorable mention at Harrisburg Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
  • 2000 Quakertown National Bank award, Lehigh Art Alliance show,Bethlehem.
  • 1995 Second Prize in Works on Paper, Soho, NY.
  • 1995 Second Place in painting, West Park Civic Association, Allentown.
  • 1992 Best Painting Award at Easton Hospital’s Annual Show
  • 1988 Best Painting Award from Northampton Community College, Bethlehem.
  • 1980 First Place award in Painting, AP Lalit Kala Academy, India.
  • 1979 First Place award in Painting at Bhartiya Kala Parishad, India
  • 1973 Scholarship Award to study Masters Program at MS University, India.
  • 1974 First award in Graphics, Gujrath Lalit Kala academy, India.


B.F.A. Jawaharlal University, Hyderabad, India.
MFA from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India.
Associate degree from Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA

Selected Public Collections

State Museum of the art, Harrisburg, PA
Museum Of Modern Art, Hyderabad, India.
Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad, India.
National Gallery Of Art, New Delhi, India.
Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, PA
PP & L,Allentown Spring Health Clinic, Bethlehem
In USA, more than 200 paintings in private collections.


  • 2003 September: awarded residency fellowship at Vermont studios, Vermont
  • 2000 In March of 2000, Salma Arastu was selected to go over to Schwabisch Gmund, Germany for six weeks artist residency program. Where apart from having an exhibition, she taught in schools too.
  • 2001 January 2001, invited to make a print at Lafayette College’s Experimental printmaking workshop for “ Lehigh Valley Fine artists portfolio”.
  • 2001 Attended a Book making workshop for exchange of artists program in collabration of Banana Factory/Lafayette College EPI Easton PA, in July .

Teaching Experience
Being the Resident artist at Banana Factory, A community art center in Bethlehem, PA from 1998-2005, taught art classes in summer to school children.

Selected Bibliography

  • Geoff Gehman: Swan-Song show at Monsoon exhibits unity of the universe- The Morning Call Allentown PA September 15 2005
  • Fawad Siddiqui: Greeting Life in Islamic art magazine “Horizon” in North America. September 2004
  • Kubley Akman: Modern Dervesh in Turkish art magazine” Gencsanat” published from Turkey. May 2004
  • Kristin E. Holmes: Art aiming to bring diverse people to one God: The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA January 11th 2004.
  • Lee Klien: Art on the eve of destruction: PAJ 75/ MIT Press Journal, September 2003
  • Diana Cercone: The Featured Artist, Art Matters, Philadelphia, PA
  • Lee Klein: This is the one- NY Arts magazine May 2002 issue
  • Al Zagofsky: The Lyrical line and the women - Times News Lehighton, PA April 13 2002
  • Geoff Gehman: Lyrical pilgrimages, rituals are Arastu’s palette- The Morning Call Allentown, PA 11th April 2002
  • Ken Endick: The Express Times, Easton PA February 2002
  • Tony Z : After 9/11 show The Morning Call, Allentown, PA February 2002
  • Charlotta Kotik: Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum of art: Salma Arastu, Traditional and Contemporary Imagery- Salma Arastu: Recent Paintings Catalog from Art Heritage, New Delhi, India, March 1998.
  • Kathryn Williams: Salma Arastu finds American niche with acrylics, greeting cards - Inside the arts, Lehigh Valley, PA, May/June 1999.
  • Geoff Gehman: In Easton, graceful illusions by Salma arastu - The Morning Call,
    Allentown, PA, June 27, 1998.
  • Ken Endick: Islamic Influences - Express Times, Easton, PA, June 12, 1998.
    Geoff Gehman: Mythic Image could create legends of its own- The Morning Call, Allentown,PA, January 29, 1998.
  • Kenneth J. Endick: New art show focuses on “Mythic Imagery”- The Express Times
    Easton, PA, January 30, 1998.
  • Lavina Melwani: Guided by the Unseen, Art in India Magazine- Mumbai, India, April 1998.
    Patricia Summers: .... Art Matters, Philadelphia, PA, June 1998.
  • Isadore LaDuca: At De Arte Magic, Irregular, Easton, PA, June 3rd 1998.
  • Lavina Melwani: A Bite of the Big Apple, India Today, North American Special, February 23rd, 1998.
  • Asia Observer: Admirable Fusion of Grace & Energy... New York, NY, January 29, 1998.
  • News India- Times...Kamlesh Arastu’s Exhibition at A Gallery, New York, NY, February 6, 1998.
  • The Globe Times:Bethlehem, PA, August 1990.
  • Joan Campion: Artist’s Universe is a place of swirling motion..., Free Press - , PA, 22nd Dec. 1989.
  • Geoff Gehman: Artist Arastu tunes her work to dance of life. The Morning Call Allentown, PA, March, 1989.
  • Mary Manotta: her abstracts reflect Nature- The Globe Times, Bethlehem, PA, March 23rd, 1989.
  • Lavina Melwani: Catching the fleeting moment - India Worldwide, New York, NY, March 1989.
  • Tim Higgins: Open Space group show has Variety and vitality - The Morning Call, Allentown, PA, October 6, 1988.
  • Promila Sharma: No halt in Salma’s world - Kuwait Times, Kuwait, February 2nd, 1984.
  • Fatima Ahmed: Painting is a way of life for Salma - Arab Times, Kuwait, February 3rd, 1984.
  • Susan Litherland: Salma’s art reflects dramatic movement - Kuwait Times, Kuwait, January, 1986
  • Keshav Malik: An Outstanding work by Kamlesh - The Times of India, New Delhi, India, September 26, 1979.
  • Swadesh Arora: Rhythmic Paintings - The Evening News, New Delhi, India, September 26, 1979.
  • Kayhan International, Tehran, Iran, September 13, 1977.
  • Tehran Journal, Tehran, Iran, August 20, 1978.
  • Tehran Journal, Tehran, Iran October 26, 1978.
  • Kayhan International, Tehran, Iran, October 19, 1978.
  • A fervent Artist. - The Hindu, Hyderabad, India, February 7, 1975.
  • Striking Paintings by Kamlesh - The Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad, India, February 5, 1975.
  • Art Critic: The Statesman, Calcutta, India, April 2, 1973.

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