The 75th anniversary of the Fulbright program provides an exceptional occasion to celebrate the work of American Fulbright artists and Indian artists who have participated in the international cross-cultural connections the Fulbright program was established to foster. As the second part of the 2017 exhibition “Fellowship,” at Ojas Art Gallery, which featured work by twenty-one Indian Fulbright Alumni artists, this current exhibition expands and illustrates the story of the reciprocal creative energy and spirit of Fulbright artists. It features ten American artists who, in the past decade, have sustained their connections with India through varied means, including subsequent Fulbright-Nehru Fellowships, new and continued creative projects, and productive relationships with Indian artists. The American artists included have each selected an Indian artist to participate in this exhibition based on their interests and support for each other’s creative work. The artists they chose might have been a Fulbright project host who became an artistic collaborator and friend or someone they were introduced to through presentations, workshops, exhibitions, cultural events, mentorships, and the serendipitous connections that occur through the independent research and travel that the Fulbright-Nehru program supports. I invite you to appreciate the work they have included as well as written accounts of how their relationships have been sustained.
Friendships created and sustained with Indian artists have provided American Fulbrighters with a sense of belonging and community. Because of these relationships, the work we create, informed and shaped by India, does not exist in the vacuum of our own observations and interpretations, but is refined by how our Indian peers reflect our work back to us in both critical and constructive ways. We have gained a more intimate knowledge of the vibrant and regionally diverse contemporary Indian art scene through the creative work and insights of our artist friends and colleagues.
Professor of Art, The University of Connecticut
Postscript: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this exhibition was postponed from its original opening date of March 2020 to November 2021. Pradosh Mishra, Fulbright alumni and Professor of Art History at Banaras Hindu University, has graciously stepped in to coordinate the exhibition in my absence for which we are extremely grateful.