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Tanya Minhas, Visual Artist
Tanya Minhas grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. She came to the United States to attend Princeton University, and stayed on, making her home in New York City. She attended graduate school at Columbia University, and painted portraits in oils in Mary Beth McKenzie's studio class at Art Students League. She also got married, had a daughter, and started making clothing — first a line of handmade children's clothing, and a line of women's clothing. Among other things, her artwork deals with the feelings of enforced separations and growing apart. She tries to cup those emotions in her heart and present them through her intricate drawing as a tribute to finding beauty and harmony in everything, including shades of melancholy and waves of joyousness. Her most recent body of work explores the etheric spirit of wildflowers, and is an expression of creation and of natural beauty from a place of inner peace and joy, however ephemeral that might be.
"I draw because it helps me to breathe. When I move my wrists and make the shapes you see in my work, that effort is an attempt to articulate my inexplicable belief that a sense of harmony is possible even in a state of constant flux. When I draw, I mostly think of the waves in the ocean, crashing to the shore, and spilling all over, before being pulled sharply back into one vast body of water. I think also of the shapes the wind makes in sandy beaches and deserts, of how it moves the leaves on trees in patterns, I think of snowflakes falling gently, and imagine the sound of hailstorms. I like to look at my drawings, and in them I confront a melancholy that I carry with me always, and that I also try to keep at bay always."
"My life in New York is in stark contrast to my childhood in Karachi. Here there is the immense pleasure I get from being able to walk out of my door in the East Village, and to the corner deli. That I know the name of the owner of my Laundromat, and of his wife and his son. That I can strike a conversation with anyone. To me it is a big freedom. Yet I always feel as if I am overstepping my internal boundary and that I am doing something wrong, even though I know that’s usually not the case."
"People often see movement in my drawings, and this makes me so pleased because of course, at each moment, everything, including the air around us, is shifting, and taking us along. At the very least, I feel that a visceral reaction is evoked, and a feeling is shared. In that sense, my work is similar to music. I feel waves emotionally, and sometimes intellectually, I transform a neurosis into a lulling beauty. I lose myself."
"At the time of publication of this TATIP Anthology, I will have graduated from Community Word Project's Teaching Artist Training Program, and had experience as an Intern working at PS84 in Brooklyn, under the guidance of Teaching Artists Felipe Galindo and Molly Goldman. My experience as an Intern was wonderful - I saw first hand how much preparation it requires to work as an "artist ensemble" integrating different art mediums to present as a classroom lessons, how teachers and Teaching Artists work to support each other in the interest of the children, and also how satisfying it is for the children when they are presented with the culmination of their efforts. In the case of my specific internship, we worked on creating collaborative murals based on poems written by three sections of third grade. The murals were unveiled in front of the parents, school staff and students and each child got an anthology with poems and images of the murals to take home. Overall, I loved working in the classroom assigned to me, and it was very rewarding for me in sum."
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Solo Show, The Colour of Our Intentions, Ardnaglass, Woodstock, New York, May 2015
Private Commission, Acrylic on Canvas, New York, May 2015
Private Commission, Ink on Paper, New York, March 2015
Solo Art Show, Sublimation and Transformation, New York, November 2014
The Faberge Big Egg Hunt, www.thebigegghunt.org, New York, April 2014
Private Commission, New York, January 2014
Governor’s Island Art Fair, September 2013
Art/Csur, Southampton, New York, 2013
Whitehall Award/Rocking The Boat Benefit, New York, 2013 Community World Project Art Benefit, New York, 2013
Wall Mural in Duchess County Greek Revival House, 2012 Wall Mural in Uptown New York Residence, 2011
Wall Mural in Downtown New York Residence, 2011 Church Street Music School Art Benefit, New York, 2009
Interested in TATIP? Find out more about our 2015-16 Program!
See more of our 2014-15 Graduates in the 2015 TATIP Anthology!