Growing up in Kolkata, India, in a large extended family, painter Chitra Ramanathan (FAA ’93, BUS ’97) remembers an art-filled childhood. At her preschool, she learned the music and dance of this culturally vibrant region, as well as drawing, painting, and working with clay. “I must have developed an early aptitude for art, constantly drawing everything I noticed around me,” she says.
She went on to earn
The artist in her own words:
For myself, blank walls represent blank canvases that await metamorphosis to public spaces that convey powerful messages or visually portray a pleasant experience that is both beautiful to behold and thought-provoking. Being an established painter who frequently engages in large-scale work, I have accepted invitational commissions to create site-specific art often based on my originals. For the Contemporary Mural Art Festival, I have chosen prior projects which were both permanent and temporary installations:
Painting directly on a wall space after removing all traces of plaster and priming for new work, I created a mural measuring 13.8 feet wide, 4 feet high at Crooked Creek Elementary school, Indianapolis in 2008 through a grant by the Washington Township School District, Indiana. Developing the idea that this was an opportunity to work with children by employing the students from Kindergarten to fifth grade, I put forth the proposal to the administrator in charge of the commission. To my surprise and delight, it was accepted with great enthusiasm. Each child who was willing to participate was asked to create a small painting or drawing, or bring in a picture. The title for the mural was named “Our Global Connections” based on the international enrollment that the school had, and so it was decided that I would paint a world map covering land and sea, where the children’s pieces went in after I painted the initial surface, and when each child had painted or stuck a piece. I completed the work in my abstract style that my work is known for. Video shows children’s work attached prior to my completing the piece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JHG9WPy33E
I created other projects to embellish designated walls or backdrops, such as five large paintings commissioned in 2006 for an installation period of six months projected to showcase the front of Chase (Bank) Towers, Monument Circle, Indianapolis. This project titled “Picture Windows” was a public art program by the Arts Council of Indianapolis. https://www.indyartsguide.org/artist/chitra-ramanathan, Photo at https://www.chitrafineart.com/completed-art-commissions/#gallery/0ac0e9fc6a91be43db0f4161acdd66fb/116
A pair of my acrylic and mixed media paintings are permanently displayed inside the Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas since 2004. Each painting measures 6 feet high and 4 feet across. The wall space was specifically created to compliment the colors in my paintings, and were commissioned by MGM Resorts International. Photo: https://www.chitrafineart.com/1195-2/
In 1996, I created a pair of paintings for a designated wall space at the College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with plans underway to relocate to a Chicago Medical Art Gallery in the College of Medicine Learning Center, Chicago in 2018.
Current: New group exhibit titled “Vision 2020” at the Kudzu Art Zone, Norcross, Georgia, USA. Opening reception on February 29, 2020. Through March 22.
Spotlight on Artists at Kudzu Gallery is presenting the exhibit “2020 Vision”, featuring works by six selected local artists including Chitra Ramanathan.
Born in India and studying in France, Chitra Ramanathan was inspired by Impressionism, especially Monet’s Haystack series. Her distinct style consists of bright colors in large paintings with rapid brush strokes and interwoven textural materials, creating the aura of extending beyond a two-dimensional surface. A marriage of Expressionism and Impressionism has been a focus for her ongoing work. “Melodious Waves” in this exhibit is a bright and glowing example of her vision.
Kudzu Gallery and Studios is located in downtown Norcross at 116 Carlyle Street. It is open Monday through Saturday 11 am to 4 pm. The 2020 Visions exhibit runs through March 22; for more information call 770-840-9844 or see the website kudzuartzone. Thank you! Lucy Brady.” – End Quote.
Chitra Ramanathan’s paintings have sold from $2,000 for an 18 in. X 24 in. piece, and $9,000 upwards, including a pair of my paintings were commissioned by MGM Resorts in 2004.
Chitra Ramanathan received her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Painting with honors in 1993 and her M.B.A degree with concentrations in Art Museum Administration and Human Resources in 1997 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During her student years, she spent an extensive period of time studying art in Paris, France, and later completed an invitational Professional Artist Residency at the Camac Centre D’Art at Marnay sur Seine, France. In 2012 she completed a Professional Artist Residency as well at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy.
In 2005, the artist completed an invitational artist talk and visual presentation of her body of work at the Royal Academy of Arts, London UK, as well conducting student critiques at the Royal Academy Schools.
Member, College Art Association, New York
Americans for the Arts
Current: Group exhibit titled “Vision 2020” at the Kudzu Art Zone, Norcross, Georgia, USA. Opening reception on February 29, 2020. Through March 22.
Solo exhibition, the Quinlan Art Center, Gainsville, Georgia, USA. April 16-June 1, 2020.
Permanent site-specific public art at the Bellagio, Las Vegas, Commission: MGM Resorts International
Video features a large selection of Chitra Ramanathan\'s original paintings from her body of work that have been acquired by individual and business clients, including invitational public art commissions. \"The Creative process begins long before a brush touches the canvas but with Chitra it continues and grows throughout the entire painting” – Video Interview with contemporary visual painter Chitra Ramanathan by ArtSpecifier’s Joyce CREIGER.