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Kiran Soni Gupta
Kiran Soni Gupta is an artist, writer and an activist administrator. She is presently Divisional Commissioner, Jaipur in Rajasthan. After joining the Indian Administrative Service in 1985 she has held various distinguished assignments in the Government of India, Kerala & Rajasthan. Kiran has studied public policy and development at the best schools, Maxwell Syracuse and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University where she was a Mason Fellow in 2005-06. Her concerns about various contemporary issues have been expressed regularly in her writings in many national/ international newspapers/journals.

It is however through the brush and paint that Kiran’s creativity finds best illustration. Her works reflect not only her conviction on issues of women, children, poverty, development and environment, but also her sensitivity, keen observation, and also, an abounding faith in humanity.

From sketches, pen and ink works to mixed media, Kiran has given new dimensions to art forms, both traditional and modern. Creativity with colors and experimentation has given her work depth as well as impact. Diverse assignments have provided her opportunities to travel and also, to stay with amidst nature as different as the tropical forests and beaches of Kerala and the desert scrublands of Rajasthan. This exposure finds expression in her landscapes in oil, water colors and also mixed media. The iconic influence of the spirituality of her surroundings is seen in many of her paintings in the Tanjore style.

Kiran's association with well known artists & masters has led her to some of her best etchings, wood cuts, linocuts, lithography & calligraphies. Of late she has produced a series of more than three dozen works titled the 'Harmony' reflecting various forms of the relationships between man & his environment. She organized the “Kala Kumb" through community support in March 2003 that attracted a congregation of 150 artists from all over the country. Her works have been exhibited at different national/international events more recently at California, New York, Cambridge, Syracuse, Toronto, Chicago, London, Iran and Srilanka. More recently she had her exhibit “Beyond Strokes” at Roerich International Memorial Centre, Naggar, Kullu and “Desert Symphony” at Cottage Art Gallery, New Delhi. Her paintings on the “Famine" depicting its impact on women and children in India, won her a National Award in 2003. Another painting the “Matters of Heart" was commended in the All India Fine Arts Exhibition. She was also a visiting artist at the East West Centre, Hawaii. Her artworks auctions in Cambridge in 2007 for raising charity for children’s food and education have helped her in realizing her vision of art for social cause. She also won the Valparaiso Foundation Fellowship, Mojacar, Spain in 2009 and Centrum Residency 2009. She has been recently honored with the “Kala Shiromani Award”2008. The Times of India has brought out a book” Beyond Strokes” based on her selected artworks. She is now the distinguished recipient of the “Achiever of the Year 2009” and also the “Artist of the Year 2009”

She believes that man’s soul is the architect of history and that art is the manifestation of man’s soul & reflection of human identity. Art is unbounded and recognizes no constraints. Her recent artworks auctions in Cambridge for raising charity for children’s food and education have helped her in realizing her vision of art for social causes. In modern times, art is playing a dominant role in bringing about social change transcending borders and minds. Art is the domain of the dialogue between civilizations and cultures; it can speak in a loud and penetrating voice. Art is most often seen as pleasing the eye - creating beauty. Yet the idea of beauty, like that of truth, is most challenging in the present day. If something moves you to an understanding, somehow unreachable for you, by the common paths of words and reason, it's Art for you. Art is not for the sake of anything…. each art work in its own right depicts the image of the soul of the artist and the society at large.
 
For her the truth rings in words of Paul Klee, “A single day is enough to make us a little larger or, another time, a little smaller’. 
 
Born
1960-Jaipur

Education
2005-2006 - Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government)
Master of Public Administration (Mason Fellowship Program)
2004- 2005 - Syracuse University (Maxwell School), NY-USA
Master of Public Administration
Certificate Course in Advanced Women’s Studies SU
Certificate Course in Conflict Resolution SU
Certificate Course in Health Services Management & Policy SU
Certificate Course in Environmental Decision Making, College of Environmental Science & Forestry, SUNY
1980-82 - Punjab Agricultural University, India
Master of Science (Rural Sociology)
1977-78 - Punjab University, Chandigarh, India
Bachelor of Arts with English Honors

Solo Exhibitions
2009 - Centrum Residency US
2008 - “Desert Symphony”- Cottage Art Gallery, New Delhi
2008 - Tirangaa- Group Show at President House, New Delhi
2008 - “Beyond Strokes’ 16th Solo Show at International Roerich Memorial Trust, Nagger, Himachal Pradesh
2008 - “Srishti”- a Group show at Town Hall, Jodhpur

Group Exhibitions
2008 - "Srishti”- a Group show at Town Hall, Jodhpur
2004 - 27. Group show, “ Monkeys- Myths & representations” East West Gallery, Hawaii
2004 - 29. ‘Just A Taste” International Group Show at Monarch Sculpture Park, Washington, US
2004 - Group show, “Shrishti” by Masters of Traditional art, Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner

Art Camp Participations

2003 - Artist’s Camp org. by Bikaner Creative Artist Group in celebration of ARTIST’S DAY
2003 - Artist’s Camp of AIFACS in celebration of ARTIST”S DAY 28th April
2003 - All India Senior Artists Camp (AIFACS), Kala Kumbh 2003, Bikaner 9 to 15th March

Honours and Awards
2009 - Artist of the Year Award
2009 - Achiever of the Year Award on Women’s Day
2008 - Kala Shiromani Award, Jodhpur
2007 - Valpraiso Fellowship at Mojacar, Spain
2006 - J K Galbraith Fellowship, Harvard University
2005 - Ray Vernon Fellowship, Harvard University
2004 - National Award for the painting on “MATTERS OF HEART” in 63rd All India Art Exhibition, Hyderabad
2003 - National Award for the painting on “FAMINE” in the AIFACS Platinum Jubilee All India Art Exhibition
2002 - Best Performance Award given by National Bank Agriculture and Rural Development as Chairman of the Cooperative Bank
2001 - Award for Integrity & Public Service given by Canadian Cultural Organization as District Collector & Magistrate, Ganganagar
1999-2000 - National Productivity Award for best performance as M.D. of the Agricultural Marketing Federation
1998-99 - National Productivity Award for best performance as M.D. of the Agricultural Marketing Federation

Peer Reviews
“Her work demonstrates both mastery in technique and sensitivity & empathy of social issues.  Has potential to promote art in big way.”
-Jatin Das

“Her depiction & presentation of Rajasthan themes is enchanting.”
-Manu Parekh

“It is a show in which the wide range of themes and styles portrays an active & searching mind with a meticulous concern for craft……. evidence of her organizational abilities as much as of her devotion to art.”
 -Prof. Ashley Halpe, Srilanka
 
“We were immediately struck by the artist’s freedom of expression as demonstrated by her many different styles and techniques.  The walls were virtually covered by a synthesis of traditional Indian art and the contemporary style of a truly accomplished portrait painter.  Interspersed between bright, colorful works in the Tanjore and other traditional Indian styles were many almost parched, desert scenes of Rajasthan and powerful portraits of its people.”
-Daisy Campbell, Srilanka 

     
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