Utsav! A 3-month celebration of Asian Indian culture


Inspired by the richness of the communities we serve and live in, ArtEast is celebrating the beauty and unique culture of India throughout the months of July, August, and September. Our cultural exploration of India will feature art, music, dance, and traditions of India to encourage awareness, appreciation, and connection amongst all people in our community.

Our partnership with the Issaquah Highlands Council and the support we receive from local community leaders such as the India Cultural Club and Downtown Issaquah Association ensure that our unique programs continue to offer a nurturing environment for local and regional artists – bringing outstanding content, stimulating conversation and relevant cultural education to the Issaquah community.

This series of connected events will begin with 2 exhibitions, one at Blakely Hall, the other at ArtEast Art Center. Throughout the quarter we will have classes, hands on demonstrations, summer camps and a full day of celebration; UTSAV! On September 8 in downtown Issaquah.


Utsav! – A Celebration of Asian Indian Culture
July 17 – September 12, Blakely Hall

Opening reception: July 19, 6-8pm

India, a country with an amazingly diverse and rich culture, is often called a country of festivals, with every day being a reason to celebrate among the multi-ethnic populace. As part of a series that explores our connections to the environment, the earth, and the community, ArtEast invites artists of Asian Indian descent to submit artwork that depicts celebration, while highlighting any of the multitude of art forms and techniques that have originated from the vastly varied and unique cultures of the Indian subcontinent. The intent of this exhibition and related events is to help increase awareness and appreciation of the diverse richness of our communities.

Artist Panel Discussion
August 1, Blakely Hall

Any action that’s done with purity and sincerity, and in complete harmony with mind, body, and soul, is an art form that elevates the spirit.  Join ArtEast at Blakely Hall for a panel discussion on the Art of India, as we continue our three-month long celebration, UTSAV! Four artists from various disciplines will each delve into the art and culture of India via discussions on Ayurveda, Creative Cooking, Music as Meditation, and Yoga.

Kamla Kakaria Solo Exhibition
August 10 to October 1, ArtEast Art Center

Opening reception: August 11, 6-8pm

As a first generation Indian American, Kamla Kakaria grew up with the extreme beauty of color and form so fundamental to Indian culture. Indian festivals are joyous occasions that overstimulate the senses and attending these shaped both Kakaria’s artwork and her identity. This installation reflects India’s influence in sculpture, prints, and the hundreds of white beeswax covered flowers that create a central form within a bright, colorful environment.

Tea Talk & Tasting
August 11th, 6:30- 7pm,  ArtEast Art Center

Chai means tea!  Masala chai (spice blended tea) is popular here in the west, but most Americans buy it pre-blended from the grocery store whereas Indian people typically blend their own at home.  How did this delicious blend of black tea and spices become so popular in India and what typically goes into this masala spice blend?

Roberta, owner of Experience Tea Studio here in Issaquah, will give an overview of the history of tea in China and India and blend and steep some masala chai for tasting.

Sari Collection Display
September 1 – 9, ArtEast Art Center front window

A Sari, saree, sadi, or shari is a traditional Indian female garment of brightly colored fabric, ranging from cotton to silk brocade, 6-9 yards long and 2-4 feet wide. It is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder. It is usually worn with a blouse and a petticoat. There are a multitude of ways to wrap a sari, based on the climate of each region. Come see our display of these beautiful garments in the window of the ArtEast Gallery September 1-9, and learn how to wrap them at UTSAV on September 8.

Asian-Indian art classes, artist demos, and hands-on activities

Madhubani Artmaking Studio at ArtEast
Thursday, July 12, 6-8pm
Instructor: Vidhi Modi

Learn the history and technique of Madhubani art through discussion and a hands-on demo.
$0/ArtEast members $10/nonmembers

Tribal And Folk Art Youth Summer Camp at ArtEast
Monday-Friday, July 30-August 3, 1pm–4pm
Instructor: Ekta Gupta

Explore the origin and evolution of tribal and folk art forms from various regions of India, dating back to 5000 B.C. These forms are still widely used and can be seen on the walls of homes in remote villages, as well as in museums and art galleries around the world. Ages 8-11. $175/ArtEast members $200/nonmembers.

Warli Art Salon at ArtEast
Thursday, August 16, 6-8pm

Warli painting is a unique art form from the North Sahyadri Range region of India. It is distinct because it challenges perspective and proportion; it’s a 2-dimensional art form that uses simple lines, squares and triangular shapes to tell a story. Dating back to more than 2000 years, it can be traced to the Egyptian Pyramids and even the Mayan age. As a tribal art form, common themes include the cycle of birth and death. Led by the renowned Shabbir Khambatti, come learn about this distinctive style with us at the ArtEast Art Center.

Hands-on art activity at Highlands Day
Saturday, August 25
Highlands Day, Issaquah Highlands

Utsav! Celebration, Downtown Issaquah

Saturday, September 8

A full-day Utsav! celebration in Downtown Issaquah featuring food trucks, a fashion show, artist booths, and dance presentations. Mark your calendars and prepare for a joyous festival event!

10 AM –  Community Yoga at ArtEast
Join local instructor Ragini as she takes you through the foundations of yoga practice to help you understand your body and channel energy. Class flows at a moderate pace with ample alignment instructions that will help you get stronger and more grounded, with just the right amount of flexibility. Ragini will present options that allow everyone to be fully involved at any level, honoring your limits, and challenging your soul to expand your boundaries. Register to reserve your space.

11:00 – Dance Performance
Bhangra Dance by ABC Girls

11:30 – Dance Performance
The Classical Odissi Dance performed by the Urvasi group, under the creative direction of Dr. Ratna Roy

12:00 – Dance Performance
Kathak performance choreography by Romi Ghosh (Nritya Dance School)

12:30 – Music Performance
Tabla and Hindustani Guitar, presented by Seattle Raga Institute, under the creative direction of Josh Humphrey.

1:00 – Dance Performance
Nakshatra group performing on Ghoomar

1:30 – Dance Performance
Holi theme medley performed by Dancing Stars group

2:00 – Fashion Show by ArtEast volunteers

2:30 – Dance Performance
Ladies Ghoomar Dance – Bollywood-Rajasthani Folk by the Ojasvi Dance School

3:00 – Dance Performance
Classical Kathak Dance by the Ojasvi Dance School

3:30 – Dance Performance
Kid’s Classical Fusion Dance on Durga-Tandav Stotras by the Ojasvi Dance School

11:00 – 1:00 Music Performance at the Train Depot