Local artist offers workshop in Indian art

Local artist Mona Pande of Shavertown, aided by her daughter and fellow artist, Leana, will teach several styles of traditional Indian art to interested young people during a workshop planned for June 21 through June 25 at the Wyoming Valley Art League in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

The workshop, designed for students ages 10 through 16, will be free, thanks to a $2,500 grant the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts has awarded to Pande.

“The grant writer was my daughter, Leana Pande, and she will be teaching the workshop with me,” Pande said, noting that art has long been a family affair among her relatives.

“I had seen my mother and my grandmother and my aunts painting, and my grandfather,” Pande said, explaining she learned by watching them.

“My great-grandfather also painted,” she said. “He had painted in palaces in India.”

Pande, who exhibited some of her work last weekend at Wilkes-Barre’s Fine Arts Fiesta, said she will teach three styles of Indian art during the June workshop. They include the Pichwai style, which often uses as its subjects lotus flowers in water, and cows; the Warali style, which she described as a tribal Indian art form that uses a basic geometric shapes, and Madhubani Art, which dates back 2,500 years and is “characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns.”

Pande said Tuesday she wasn’t sure what time of day the workshop will be offered, but invites potential students to contact her at [email protected]/.

The last time she offered a class, Pande said, about 15 students took part. If there are more this time, she said, the class might move outdoors. Art materials will be free, and part of the fun will involve painting a mural as a group project.

“It creates a sense of community,” she said. “Community bonding. I like the idea.”

“Generally what people do is the main artist does the main drawing on a big piece of cloth and everybody adds something. But they don’t say ‘I did this’ and ‘you did that.’ They say ‘We made it together.’ “

“It’s a group effort that creates the confidence and the bonding.”