Visual Artist Natessa Amin '06 Shines a Light on Memory & Cultural Heritage

Visual Artist Natessa Amin '06 Shines a Light on Memory & Cultural Heritage
Adele Starrs

The Romano Gallery welcomes former student and award-winning artist Natessa Amin ’06 for an exhibit titled “Memory Palace” from October 19 to November 20. Born in Pennsylvania to an Indian-American family, Ms. Amin is no stranger to the complexities of growing up biracial in the United States. The contrasting cultures and religions of her heritage provide a deep well of inspiration for the artist, and she frequently incorporates imagery into her paintings that evokes Indian, African and Pennsylvania Dutch textiles as a response to her family’s background and the place in which she was raised. 

Natessa Amin ’06 art

With her highly tactile painting practice, Ms. Amin employs techniques such as layering pigments, dyes, silver leaf, glass particles and textural gels. She often sprinkles pigments and dyes over the canvas, drags granulated glass particles across surfaces and uses lines made with embroidery thread to guide the curve of the forms that emerge. “I aim to create worlds of tactile immediacy that dismantle hierarchy for the viewer in the hope of forming new connections from one piece to the next,” Ms. Amin says. “Through this series of...interchanging visualizations, I search for moments of convergence as I negotiate and reconcile what it means to be hybrid.”

Currently an assistant professor of practice at Moravian University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Ms. Amin is also the co-founder and director of the artist-run FJORD Gallery in Philadelphia. Her work has been exhibited in many group and solo shows. Recent exhibitions include Natessa Amin: Hyphen at CUE Art Foundation in New York, New York; But we can’t say what we’ve seen at Tiger Strikes Asteroid in Los Angeles, California; and Fields and Formations: A Survey of Mid Atlantic Abstraction at the Delaware Contemporary/American University Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. She holds a BFA from Boston University and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from the University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Amin will join the Blair community for an artist’s talk at 7 p.m. on November 18 in The Romano Gallery.