Thursday: Aalpana Artmaking at SFCC

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Santa Fe Community College’s Library and the President’s Diversity Advisory Committee (PDAC) present two art events in September on Aalpana-making, a form of circular ground art rooted in ceremonial art traditions from south Asia. Shalimar Krebs, co-chair of PDAC and Associate Dean of the SFCC School of Liberal Arts and School of Arts, Design, & Media Arts said, “This circular-art-making event at SFCC hopes to mark and symbolize the coming together of our campus community at the beginning of this school year.”

SFCC art instructor (and BAG member) Sudeshna Sengupta will present both the online lecture and the live Aalpana-making, which are free and open to the public.

Aalpana ground art is an ancient form of “ephemeral art happening” rooted in ceremonial art traditions of south Asia, in which the art-making process offers a collective experience to the individual viewers and participants gathering around it through the duration of the artform. Temporary in nature, traditionally the process of creating this form of circular floor art brings people together to welcome and celebrate special occasions. Our natural tendency is to form a unified whole from smaller parts — to help people, who gather around it, to develop a calming focus to collectively set goals for common good and work together.

Sudeshna will present an online lecture about Aalpana-making from 12 noon to 1 pm MT on Thursday, September 8, 2022. Participants must pre-register at

There will also be a live demonstration of Aalpana-making in the SFCC Courtyard (6401 Richards Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87508) from 9 am to 10 am on Thursday, September 15. The actual art creation will take much longer. The Aalpana will be available for viewing until sunset, when it will be dismantled.

Sudeshna Sengupta, MFA, is an Adjunct Faculty member at the SFCC School of Arts, Design, & Media Arts. Her career as a teaching artist spans multiple decades, continents, and cultures that inform her pedagogy of decolonizing studio art. Besides her academic training and contemporary art practice, Sudeshna grew up with and around various traditional art forms in India, all of which continue to nurture her life and art. If you have questions, email Sudeshna at