A highly accomplished artist, Amrita Jha received a Young Artist Scholarship from the Indian Government. Her paintings range from light-hearted scenes of daily life, to religious and philosophical images, and frequently deal with women’s issues and identity in the surrounding highly patriarchial society. Her painting, "Tiger", was on the cover of the September 2014 issue of Marg, India’s most influential magazine of the arts. Her paintings have been in numerous exhibits and art festivals in India and the US. Tula Goenka at Syracuse University has filmed an interview with Amrita.
Dulari Devi is a Master Painter and Instructor at the Mithila Art Institute. A resident of Ranti, she received the State of Bihar Award for Excellence in Art in 2013, and authored her award winning autobiography "Following My Paintbrush", Tara Books, 2010. Taught to paint by Karpoori Devi one of the early Masters, she was commissioned by Madhubani to paint murals of the Ramayana on its monument to Vidyapati. Her murals, closely observed village scenes, and paintings of Ganesh and Durga are in high demand. She is the subject of a film by Tula Goenka at Syracuse University.
Inspired by his sister, the noted painter, Lalitha Devi of Simri village, nearby Madhubani, Naresh started painting at the age of fourteen and was exhibiting at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi by 2001. Keenly observant and highly productive, his paintings – done only in black ink with elaborate and highly imaginative painted geometric borders - range from episodes in the Ramayana, the Mahabarta, and the legend of Raja Salhesh, to scenes of the natural world, trees, forests, and brilliant suns.
Rani Jha is a Master Painter and Instructor at the Mithila Art Institute, and lives in Madhubani. A PhD in Mithila Studies from Darbhanga University, she wrote a dissertation on Women in Mithila’s History, Society and Culture. An ardent feminist, her paintings frequently deal with gender and women’s issues ranging from female foeticide and gender disparities in education and health care, to the importance of women joining forces against patriarchy. In 2015 she was for 3 weeks a Visiting Artist and Workshop Leader during a major EAF exhibition of Mithila paintings at Syracuse University. Tula Goenka at Syracuse University has filmed an interview with Rani Jha.
Santosh Kumar Das completed a BFA at MS University in Baroda, then returned to his Ranti village home to develop his vision for Mithila painting. He was the first Director of the Mithila Art Institute and achieved wide recognition for his Gujarat Series, 23 paintings on the 2002 communal riot in Gujarat that was included in the 2005 international traveling exhibit, "Edge of Desire". A prolific and brilliant painter, the Ojas Art Gallery in New Delhi awarded him the Master Artist Prize in Mithila Art at the 2016 Jaipur Literary Festival. Kathryn Myers, an Art Historian and filmmaker at the University of Connecticut filmed an extended interview with Santosh at his home in Ranti village.
Shalinee Kumari was the first graduate of the Mithila Art Institute to have a solo exhibition in the USA - at the upscale Frey-Norris Gallery in San Francisco in 2009. Her paintings range from Folktales to Global Warming, Capitalism, Terrorism, and an array of deeply felt feminist concerns for personal identity, equality and empowerment in the surrounding male-dominated society. Originally from the tiny village of Baxi-Tola, she now lives in Hyderabad with her husband and daughter and is teaching Mithila painting at IIT Hyderabad. Tula Goenka at Syracuse University has filmed an interview with Shalinee.
A leading and celebrated painter from Jitwarpur village, Urmila Devi has received numerous awards and is on the Board of Directors of the Mithila Art Institute. Though adept at figurative work (seen behind her), she usually paints abstracts and narratives in the tattoo style using repeated figures in elegant geometrical figures, e.g., lines, circles, or within boxes. Both her son, Shravan, and her granddaughter, Abhilasha, are also fine painters. Kathryn Myers, an Art Historian at the University of Connecticut, has done a film about her and her family.
A fine painter with a sensitive touch for emotions, her work has ranged from feminist paintings on the differential treatment of boys and girls, to a stunning series of narratives, from with as many as twelve episodes in a single painting, to as many as six separate paintings to tell a story. Themes range from the escapades of Krishna's youth, to Gods debating the Yugas, to testing the devotion of a royal couple, to magical moral folktales. Her three daughters Puja, Rupam and Nisha are also fine painters.