My experience at MICA was invaluable.
A 2010-2011 recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, alumna Jenny Sidhu Mullins used her fellowship to work in India, researching spiritual tourism and Buddhist painting techniques. “I learned different ways of making and viewing art as a part of an artist’s life,” she said. “For example, in the case of a thangka painting [a Tibetan silk painting with embroidery], each painting is seen as a sort of meditation.”
With interests in both eastern and western culture, as well as work that questions cultural stereotypes, Mullins found herself gravitating toward spiritual locales such as Amma The Hugging Saint in Kerala and the home of the Dalai Lama in exile at McLeod Ganj. In the process, she learned that master painters in India often used art to preserve their culture. “Rather than exploring and commenting on contemporary culture, they attempted to hold onto traditions from the past that are quickly becoming extinct,” she said.
“Every day was very much an adventure,” she said. She also enjoyed the many new relationships she cultivated and credits MICA for helping her learn the value of an artistic network. “My experience at MICA was invaluable,” she said. “Having a network of artists and two years to clarify my work in a boiler pot atmosphere was essential in getting to where I am today.” Having received her MFA from MICA, Mullins’ work is exhibited internationally and was recently added to the American Embassy in Mumbai’s permanent collection. She is now based in Washington, DC.