East India Meets West at COS Art Gallery

Feb 5, 2011 | 2011 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Education

by Amie Rangel

Featuring Drawings and Prints by Mario Kiran
February 7th – February 25th

The Art Gallery at the College of the Sequoias in Visalia will have their first exhibit of the spring semester which will showcase drawings and prints by artist Mario Kiran in a solo exhibition titled DHARAM (Religion). Formerly a COS art instructor, Kiran is now an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Texas, Permian Basin in Odessa and we are especially proud to see his latest creations.

Lithograph by Mario Kiran

Mario Kiran is an artist from East India where he received a diploma in Drawing and Painting from Ken School of Fine Arts in Bangalore in 1999. Shortly thereafter, he moved to the US to pursue a Master of Fine Arts Degree in painting, which he obtained from the University of South Dakota in 2004.

As a defining moment, Kiran’s experience of this dramatic geographic and cultural shift has profoundly influenced the fragmentary style and content of his imagery. His drawings and prints “create a cross-cultural relationship between East Indian and Western influences,” states Kiran. “My work is camouflaged with images of people I meet and places I have traveled.” His prints explore a wide range of traditional processes including lithography, etching, engraving, and woodcut.

Kiran’s knowledge of and intrigue with the Indian miniature style informs the rich color and detailed imagery depicted throughout his work, although Kiran’s works take on a slightly larger scale. Historically Indian miniatures were made with detailed decorative patterns to record events within a royal context. Aspects of Kiran’s elaborate compositions retain the miniature style but they are explored with surreal concepts in mind for the placement of the imagery.

Kiran’s works are an expression, or as he puts it, “a visual tale,” of the diverse architecture, clothing, and language we often experience on a daily basis—relative to the imagery and culture he came from. Kiran wants to engage audiences to freely explore meaning and interpretations of his works from their own experiences.

For over a decade now, Kiran’s artwork has been featured in more than a dozen solo exhibitions among places ranging from colleges, universities, public, and private galleries, and even at the Hindu Temple in Omaha, Nebraska. His work has also been exhibited widely among group and juried exhibitions both nationally and internationally.

Among the many juried shows that Kiran has participated in he has received several distinguished awards, including an award of merit at the 33rd Annual Fall Juried art exhibition at the McCormic Gallery in Midland Texas, and the first place printmaking award at the 14th annual “Lines and Shapes” juried exhibition at the Art Center in Estes Park, Colorado.

Kiran has regularly been invited to colleges and universities throughout the U.S. to conduct lectures and printmaking workshops. Additionally, he has executed a number of commissioned projects including several works for establishments in Bangalore, India and also one at Winnebago Treaty Hospital in Nebraska.

The show opens Monday, February 7th and runs through Friday, February 25th at the COS Art Gallery located in the Kaweah Building Rm 214A, 915 S. Mooney Blvd. Their hours are Monday through Thursday from 11-3pm and Fridays by appointment. For further information please contact them at: amier@cos.edu or 559.737.4861. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 10th from 5-7pm. Mario Kiran will be in attendance during the reception. For more info on their exhibits visit their Facebook Page.

Amie Rangel is originally from Dinuba. She attended COS in Visalia, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing/Painting & Printmaking from Cal State University in Long Beach, & a Master of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Intermedia from the University of Alberta. She is currently teaching Drawing and Color and Design at COS, Co-Gallery Director of the COS Art Gallery, and is involved in several art events throughout the community.


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