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Anila Quayyum Agha

  • Visual Art
Agha, Anila Quayyum


“I believe the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship provided untethered resources, support and affirmation, and was deeply inspirational at this point in my career and life. These and many more opportunities have become possible due to the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ generosity and I am truly grateful.”






A mixed media artist, Anila’s work is influenced by Japanese architecture, art, and craft as evident by Murmuration, shown in Gallery 924, and other smaller encaustic works inspired by the landscape and history of Japan.

She desired to immerse herself in the Japanese culture during her renewal process and spent the first year of her fellowship researching and preparing for a concentrated immersion in the country. Anila traveled to Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto and studied art and craft at galleries and museums, and visited temples and gardens to practice serenity and introspection. “The one thing I realized while immersed in the Japanese culture was that my inner serenity doesn’t come from outside, but originates within my own self. This happens when mind, body, and soul are at peace. So, too, creativity cannot be induced, but has to open like a flower from within, allowing for slow and measured progress in comprehension.”

She envisioned she would return to Indianapolis and spend uninterrupted time in her studio, reflecting on her travels, and producing artwork. Instead, upon her return to the United States, she won the double grand prize for ArtPrize 2014 with the work Intersections. She attributes the serenity and research she experienced in Japan with helping her through the excitement and emotions of the ArtPrize win. “I think it was the most important moment in my renewal to spend an extraordinary amount of time with my own thoughts, memories, and breathing.”


Awarded ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize and tied for the Juried Grand Prize for her piece, Intersections
Associate Professor of Drawing, Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University-Purdue University
Indianapolis Master of Fine Arts in Fiber Arts, University of North Texas.

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