Making Art in India: From Biennale to Studio

January 3-20, 2019 (Note: Dates subject to change)
United States

Making Art in India

*Note: Dates subject to change

Art in India is rich and complex. While artists from India exhibit internationally in major galleries and museums across the world, their work is immersed in the local histories, politics and culture. Through participation in hands-on workshops, lectures, tours and studio visits, students will engage with some of the most prominent contemporary artists, curators, historians and social practitioners in India and will learn how the art world of today is shaped by contemporary artists outside of the Western Hemisphere. This trip, for studio and/or art history credit will begin in the art capital of India, Mumbai, where we will visit renowned museums and galleries and visit studios of prominent artists like Shilpa Gupta, Atul & Anju Dodiya, Manish Nai, Sudhir Patwardhan and Jitish Kallat. Students will also get an opportunity to converse with renowned curators and historians including Dr. Arshiya Lokhandwala, Girish Sahane and Dr. Suraj Pandit.

The class will then travel south to Kochi, Kerala for the internationally renowned 4th edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale where students will study closely the production, exhibition and practice of art in a local setting that is also layered in the past. The city of Kochi that hosts India's only contemporary art biennale is also a city that has been at the confluence of maritime exchange between Europe and the Far East for centuries. The curator Anita Dube will personally lead the group through the biennale and will provide a platform for discussions and dialogue.

The trip will end in Varanasi, one of the oldest and sacred cities of India where they will be hosted by Kriti residency and gallery. As artists-in-residence at an internationally known art space, students will have an opportunity to create and exhibit art while being immersed in India. Students will be encouraged to reflect on the trip so far and to collaborate with local materials, arts and craftsmen.

Credits: 3 credits STUDIO (3000-level) and / or 3 credits ARTHI (4000-level)


Shaurya Kumar, Printmedia

Nora Taylor, Art History, Theory & Criticism

Program fee:  Approx. $3,000 (including all meals, transport during the program, and accommodation; not including airfare to India and visa fee).

PLUS Tuition cost per credit:

Undergraduate—$1,613 per credit hour

Graduate—$1,665 per credit hour.


Budget at least $1,450 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 Application for INDIA Winter Study Trip to faculty for pre-approval to register.


Online registration begins: October 10, 2018

Deposit due at registration: $525

Information sessions:

Thursday, September 6, 12:10 p.m.

MacLean Centre, 112 S. Michigan Ave., room MC 707

Thursday, September 20, 4:15 p.m.

MacLean Centre, 112 S. Michigan Ave., room MC 112


From previous trip’s course evaluations:

  • This course was absolutely incredible. We had the best professors and tour guides who organized the trip to perfection. Every day was better than the other and we learned so much about India’s history, culture and politics. I hope this winter study trip continues to be offered every year. We visited the most important historical sites as well as the most contemporary artist's studios in India. I will never forget this course and everything that I have learned.
  • Nora is one of the most kind people I’ve been taught by at my years at saic. She is so knowledgeable of all the history of the places we visited and always had such a positive energy. She is an instructor I hope to work with in the future and continue learning from.
  • Come with an open mind, be prepared to walk a lot, come with questions. The trip is worth it.
  • Plan ahead, research all available scholarships. Read more than required, learn more than you are required, as you will be more prepared. Travel with an open mind, let spontaneity take the lead, and show respect to where you are being welcomed, do not take hospitality for granted.
  • Definitely pack light! You’ll be buying lots of amazing things in India. Let loose, make friends, ask questions! You’ll learn so much from the people around you and from the things you’ll see. This trip is incredible and truly life changing. Don’t hesitate to enroll in this trip, it’s so worth it.
  • Expect good things. You will not be disappointed.
  • Traveling with a group means that the benefit of the group becomes a priority over individual whims. Our trip was successful due to the enormous efforts of the faculty, local guides and SAIC Study Trip office. Everyone in the group was safe at all times, because the rules were made in the best interest of the group and we looked out for each other. On this type of trip, it's harmful to everyone in the group if one person expects special treatment or acts as if the rules don't apply to them. Expect to have the travel experience of a lifetime if you're able to be polite, respectful, and kind to others. Highly recommended study trip to a place that's generally not so accessible. The itinerary gave us an intimate view of India that we couldn't have experienced without the knowledge and connections of the leaders.