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Create DL Power Box Art

Winter with
Blooming Orchids

Artist • Shakuntala Maheshwari

Details of the Power Box Art
  • Title Winter with Blooming Orchids
  • Artist Shakuntala Maheshwari
  • Date October 2023
  • Location 📍West Lake Drive and County Road 6
  • Special Recognition to the following supporters

    • DL Arts and Culture Commission
    • Detroit Lakes Public Utilities
    • Trophy House
    • Blandin Foundation
    • Historic Holmes Theatre

The Story of the Art

Winter with
Blooming Orchids

The inspiration behind Orchids comes from a personal experience and a desire to capture and preserve a beautiful moment in my life.

In the midst of a long and cold Minnesota winter, I witnessed my orchids blooming. These delicate flowers emerged with long stems, adorned with six to seven vibrant blooms each. Their presence brought warmth and happiness to my winter days.

Featured Power Box Art • Winter with Blooming Orchids
"Winter with Blooming Orchids" power box art wrap panels • Artist: Shakun Maheshwari
About the Artist

Shakuntala Maheshwari

I was born in Rajasthan, India, a state of princes and palaces, but my memories from childhood are of the simple moments in village life. Weddings were especially memorable as we adorned our hands with intricate henna designs. The application of henna was not just an art form but also a social event, bringing women in the community together. I spent hours perfecting the delicate patterns on my own hand.

My exposure to folk art during those formative years ignited a passion for various art forms. I began painting and decorating everyday objects, from pottery to drinking glasses. The support and encouragement from my family and friends motivated me to continue exploring my artistic pursuits.

During college, where I majored in biology, I found the most fascinating aspect to be creating highly detailed drawings of anatomy and plants. After graduating, I ventured into even more art forms, including beadwork, wire sculpture, and batik. I also took my first steps into painting, clay work, and plaster-of-Paris sculpture. In Bombay, I held my first solo art show, where I displayed paintings, embroidered pieces, sculptures, and decorated textiles.

Upon moving to the United States after marriage, I began showcasing my artwork at local art shows. As my children started school, I pursued a program at North Hennepin Community College, where I obtained a certificate in Graphic Design in 1993. This experience exposed me to new ways of creating and expressing myself. I experimented with various mediums such as pastels, watercolors, pen-and-ink, mixed-media, and photography. Photography, in particular, captivated me with its darkroom process. At North Hennepin, I also began developing my unique personal style, blending elements from my Indian heritage with modern methods and mediums.

In 1995-96, I embarked on a new venture by opening my own gallery, Shakuntala Gallery, on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. This endeavor provided me with invaluable learning experiences, although it eventually became time-consuming. When the city began demolishing the buildings, I closed the gallery and continued running my business from home. After attending workshops at Intermedia Arts, I became a roster artist for Young Audiences. I started demonstrating and teaching the folk arts of henna and rangoli  in schools events,and various cultural festivals.

Today, my artwork reflects a fusion of folk art, photography, and graphic design. Drawing inspiration from my ethnic background, my work encompasses vibrant colors, stylized designs, and captivating storytelling. Over the years, I have participated in numerous art shows and competitions, receiving awards for my paintings and photographs. My work has been showcased in various galleries, spanning across the Midwest, California, and India.

Some notable highlights from the past few years include the Mosaic Pillar project, supported by a state art board grant for a coloring book symbolism in 2022, the Eye on India photography display at MSP Airport for a year, the Community in Bloom Mosaic project in Roseville, and the Sail project in Detroit Lakes in 2021. 

Shakuntala Maheshwari, Project 412 artist