Global to Local: Crafting Contemporary Art in India

January 3–20, 2018

Banner Study Trip India

Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mumbai

This trip, for studio and/or art history credit will aim to learn about both traditional and contemporary art and craft traditions in India. Exploring the cities of Delhi, Agra, Jaipur and Mumbai, the course will investigate how Indian contemporary artists have been influenced, have adopted and/or collaborated with local craftsman to create contemporary works that speak both of local traditions and the global world.

Participating in hands-on workshops and through lectures, tours and studio visits, students will engage with some of the most prominent contemporary artists, curators, historians, social practitioners and craft revivalists who work intimately with traditional craftsmen traditions including folk/tribal painters, musicians, weavers, book and paper makers among many others. As contemporary Indian artists have now gained the attention of museums worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago, students will learn how the art world of today is shaped by contemporary artists outside of the Western Hemisphere.

The class will start in India’s capital city, New Delhi where the students will visit several museums including the National Museum, the Crafts museum, Kiran Nadar Museum etc. as well as the studios of established artists including Amar Kanwar, Raqs Media Collective, Mithu Sen and Sumakshi Singh. Then, the trip will take us to the Agra to visit historic monuments including Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri to experience the marvels of Mughal art and architecture. We will then travel to Mumbai where the group will visit more studios of artists such as Atul and Anju Dodiya, Jitish and Rena Kallat and Manish Nai among others. Along with numerous gallery and museum visits, students will also get an opportunity to hear lectures by famous curators and historians including Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala and Girish Sahane.


3 credits STUDIO and / or 3 credits ARTHI (4000-level)


  • Shaurya Kumar, Printmedia
  • Nora Taylor, Art History, Theory and Criticism

Program fee

Approx. $2,650 (including all meals, transport during the program, and accommodation; not including airfare to India and visa fee).

PLUS Tuition cost per credit

Undergraduate—$1,552 per credit hour
Graduate—$1,625 per credit hour.


Budget at least $1,300 for airfare if flying from the United States.

(Note this is only an estimated figure. Actual fare will depend on many variables including airline, number of stopovers, exchange rate fluctuations, ports of departure and return, and date of ticket purchase).

Application process

Instructor consent required. Submit the India Winter Study Trip Application‌ [PDF] to faculty for pre-approval to register.

Online registration begins

October 11, 2017

Deposit due at registration


Information sessions

Thursday, September 7, 12:10 p.m.
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave., suite MC 111

Monday, September 11, 4:15 p.m.
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave., suite MC 617

Friday, September 22, 12:10 p.m.
MacLean Center, 112 S. Michigan Ave., suite MC 111

Excerpts from course evaluations from previous trips

  • This has by far been one of the best experiences of my life. I feel so incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity. That's why I have put off filling out this course evaluation until two hours before it's due because I can't sum up this trip it's amazing and far too dense.
  • Shaurya is an amazing teacher but also an amazing human being. I didn't know it was possible for a teacher to care so much for their students. He managed to keep up a positive group dynamic while checking in with each student on a daily basis among being busy with daily activities. He never failed to impress me and his constant love and support made the trip what it was.
  • I feel that many of my views have changed and I am thinking of concepts and issues in the world that I've never considered before.
  • Do lots of research before you leave, pack plenty of medicine and toilet paper. Make sure to have clothing for extreme heat and cooler nights.
  • Be ready with your finger on the mouse when it comes time to register—make sure you get a spot. This was the most adventurous and insightful experience of my life to date. I enjoyed each and every day of the trip, and I wouldn't trade those three weeks in India for anything.
  • Prepare in advance. It's a different world. Research the culture and language. There are so many documentaries out there on just the society of India, yet alone the art there. If you're on edge about the trip, just do it. I saved up for two years for this trip and it was well worth it. No regrets.