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Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders

Opalka Gallery in Albany, NY exhibits the work of Siona Benjamin, internationally acclaimed Jewish-Indian artist.

Siona Benjamin: Beyond Borders is on view August 23 – October 9, 2016.

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 8, 6-8 pm. Artist Lecture, 5 pm.

Curator’s tour: September 29, 5:30 pm

Films: September 15 & 19, 6:30 pm

Other events by Siona:

Artist presentation at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Sept 9 2016 at 3pm)

Four city tour, artist presentation and Blue Like Me film showing in conjunction with “Bridges” Exhibition Organized by CARAVAN Exhibitions   (catalog) in Laramie, Cody & Powell, Lander and Rock Springs Wyoming. (Sept 14 thru 18 2016)

Artist talk and presentation of film Blue Like Me at Agudas Israel synagogue in Hazleton, PA (Sept 11th 2016).

TV interview with Joanna Gagis Exec. Producer & V.P. of Programming Host, Life & Living Caucus Educational Corporation  (Sept 28th 2016)


Siona Benjamin’s boldly colorful work reflects her transition between worlds as she attempts to create a dialogue between the ancient and the modern. Originally from Mumbai, now living in the US, Benjamin holds MFA degrees in both painting and theater set design. Her multimedia work reflects her background as a Jewish Indian woman raised in a predominantly Hindu and Muslim India and educated in Catholic and Zoroastrian schools. Inspired by traditions as diverse as Indian miniature painting, Byzantine icons, illuminated manuscripts, and American Pop Art, she combines the imagery of her past with the role she plays in America today, making a mosaic that includes cultural, religious, and feminist narratives.

Siona Benjamin – Exodus: I See Myself in You, 3.4 x 10 feet

Featuring over 80 works, this survey will include examples from her early series, Finding Home, begun in the 90s, on up through her current project, Exodus: I See Myself in You, about the struggles of Syrian refugees. Her heritage informs her practice; she weaves themes of identity, place, and belonging into everything she does. Many of her figures, such as the female characters in Finding Home,have blue skin. It’s a color Benjamin says she picked for its neutrality to represent her “skin color as being a Jewish woman of color, of being the other, of being transcultural, of belonging everywhere and nowhere at the same time.”

Exodus 5

The show will also feature an interactive installation, My Magic Carpet, a gold tent 11 feet in diameter into which viewers will be invited to recline. During the exhibit, we’ll be screening a double feature of shorts, Blue Like Me: The Art of Siona Benjamin and Next Year in Bombay about the Bene Israel community in Mumbai, on September 15, andShree 420, a classic Bollywood film on September 29.

Exodus 1

The recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, Benjamin has exhibited widely and has been featured in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Art in America.

She exhibited in many Jewish Art Salon exhibitions, including New York / New Work at the Jerusalem Biennale 2015. For more:

Opalka Gallery

140 New Scotland Ave.

Albany, NY 12208


Gallery Hours

Tuesday – Friday 10am – 7pm

Saturday – Sunday 12pm – 4pm

Monday by appointment only

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