The University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute, the Departments of Art History, Art and Design Studies, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection and the Center for South Asia welcome internationally known print/dye artist, design specialist and community development advocate Meeta Mastani as the Fall 2016 Interdisciplinary Artist in Residence. 

While in residence, Meeta will teach a semester-long interdisciplinary course, "Tactile Textiles - From 2D to 3D." Students will learn the art of painting, printing and dyeing in non-toxic colors in addition to the global artistry of draping and the histories of ancient craft traditions in South Asia. Guest artists will engage with students and participate in public lectures.

Meeta will mentor those interested in and committed to using their creativity in socially engaged artistic work as global citizens, consult for the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection on its South Asian textiles and will extend programs to the wider Madison community, including open workshops and demos. The residency will culminate with a final multimedia public installation and performance in December 2016.


The Meeta Mastani residency is sponsored by the UW-Madison Arts Institute and is hosted by the Department of Art History, with Professor Henry Drewal as lead faculty. Her residency is co-sponsored by the Departments of Art and Design Studies, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection and the Center for South Asia.

The UW-Madison Arts Institute has hosted world-class artists in residence since 1995 and formally launched the Interdisciplinary Arts Residency Program (IARP) in 1999. The IARP is made possible by funding from the university's Office of the Provost.

Guest Artists


Sarah K Khan is a multimedia artist working in the area of film, photography, textiles and more. She is the creator of ‘Amrita Simla,’ a character that speaks of political and personal narratives, making visible the invisible in a seriously playful and playfully serious way. As part of the residency, Khan will talk of her work and art as a tool of political expression.

Photo by Henry J Drewal

Lakshmi Narayan Kadambi is a researcher, writer and creative interventionist working with Indian textiles and crafts. Through her program Thinkfolk, she connects communities of artists and artisans in South Asia with communities in New England, especially students, teachers and practitioners of art, design and culture. She travels extensively sharing her draping expertise and has been published in Saris: Tradition and Beyond and Threads and Voices. For the residency, she will demonstrate and teach the art of draping textiles and talk about the changes in cultural contexts that elicit different responses in draping.

Photo courtesy of artist


Meghana Jain Singh is an Associate Professor at the Indian Institute of Crafts & Design, Jaipur. Trained in multiple skills in design and education domains, she has been part of commercial and grassroots design setups, design colleges, schools and special education, including designing contemporary hand prints for the last ten years. During the residency, she will work with students to facilitate the process of developing a concept into a print.

Photo by Dhanajai Singh


  • Click here to view photos from the final residency event, "Tactile Textiles: Color and Culture." You can view photo albums from Meeta's entire residency on SmugMug by clicking here.
  • Meeta Mastani combines playful images and natural colors to create hand printed textiles of modern India with Earth Play at the Madison Children's Museum, on display in the windows through the end of January.
  • In collaboration with Associate Professor Mary Hark (Design Studies), Meeta has created an artist book with handmade paper made of un-ginned cotton, flax and abaca, and dyed with natural colors. The book will contain some of Meeta's textile art and that of her students while they were learning the process. The book will be gifted to the Kohler Art Library.
  • Meeta will visit the Center for Contemporary Art and Culture at the Pacific Northwest College of Art to give an artist talk titled "Breaking Patterns" on December 8. Click here to learn more! Note: this event was canceled due to inclement weather.
  • Meeta visited an Introduction to Textiles class taught by Associate Professor Mary Hark (Design Studies) to lead a natural dyeing workshop on December 6.
  • In collaboration with Li Chiao-Ping Dance, Meeta Mastani has created a multifaceted work exploring the temporality of human existence for the new ensemble dance piece Weight of Things, November 17 - 19, 2016. Click here for details.
  • On Tuesday, November 8, Meeta Mastani held a henna workshop with The Studio residents enrolled in the fall 2016 Studio Seminar course. Click here to view a photo album.
  • Meghana Jain Sing appeared at Free Family Night at the Madison Children's Museum on October 5 to discuss story-telling and art-making through stories.
  • Meeta participated in a Spatula&Barcode Supper Club-Dinner and a conversation about food migration on October 3.
  • Meeta will present a lecture at Virginia Commonwealth University on Thursday, September 22 as a visiting artist.