Hamida Khatri is an artist, writer, curator, arts educator, and a community activist, born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, and living and working in New York, U.S. She works in a variety of mediums, from figurative drawings to photography, to sculptural puppets, to animation. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts and a Certificate in Teaching from the Maryland Institute College of Art (U.S.), Certificate in Humanistic Counselling from Counselling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (U.K.), a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture and Photography from the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture (Pakistan), and a Bachelor and Master of Business Administration in Marketing from the Institute of Business Management (Pakistan).
She is the Founder and Director of Creative Therapy Platform: A Voluntary Travel-Community Project focused on crafting healing spaces in underrepresented areas. Taking inspiration from Shaun McNiff’s (Professor and Dean at Lesley University, U.S.) description of art as medicine for the soul, her surrealist approach to gender issues negotiates the psychology of emotions. Through these voluntary projects, she helps transform ‘space’ into a healthy communal place where meditative artmaking is practiced. One of the major objectives of her community-based art practice is to deepen participants’ understanding of and comfort with the ‘liberatory process’ through their own creative investigations. She has conducted workshops in several schools, government non-profit organizations, and institutes in India, Bangladesh, U.K., and the U.S.
Her recent success lies in the initiation of a social justice community-based venture, [i am] Project KALI – Celebration of Womanhood, in Baltimore, MD, where she has created a safe space for women with a history of trauma and abuse by introducing art activities, like puppet and quilt making. The project secured grants by The Pollination Project, France-Merrick Opportunity Fund, and Launch Artists in Baltimore Award. By establishing linking platforms, she has been able to curate numerous shows where community participants’ artworks have been displayed, including: Gallery Four, Motor House, Rousse Gallery, Meyerhoff Gallery, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Her first book, Project KALI, was self-published in June 2017 and has been tremendously supported by many art educators and institutes. She has presented her work widely in Pakistan, India, and the U.S., including the 9th Annual Art & Design Education for Social Justice Symposium at the Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, in January 2018.
Her entire professional art practice embodies the spirit of feminist ideologies and seeks to document the uncharted memories of domesticated women, within patriarchal societies. She has also been an artist-in-residence for Elsewhere (Greensboro, U.S.), Khoj International Artists’ Association (India), Uronto Residential Artist Exchange Program (Bangladesh), and Soch Studio (India). Her work has been widely exhibited in the U.S, as well as Pakistan and Bangladesh, including the Florence Biennale – X Edition in Italy and the first Karachi Biennale in her hometown, Karachi, Pakistan.