Darshan Comes to Tuscumbia, AL!

A few years back I penned a piece inviting you to “Jump” into experiencing different cultures.  Eight years later, I am awestruck to be experiencing the first national Indian art exhibition – Darshan, Visions of India, sponsored by the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art, Tuscumbia, AL. Garden Spices invites you to enjoy the pictorial and video splendor of the opening celebration and several of the events. Gate open!- Victorine


We are welcomed to the opening celebration of Darshan (meaning, philosophy) by Rangoli, created by Amita Bhakta  As explained to me by Amita, Rangoli is artwork created with colorful sand.  In this case, Amita used burgeoning daisies and colors representing India, the USA, and Ukraine, which was in her heart.

Traditionally drawn on the floor of one’s home porch, Rangoli  welcomes good luck, prosperity, and welcomes guests.  The sand disappears, but the spirit remains within the home.  At Darshan, Rangoli symbolized the opening of good spirit and blossoming hearts for the exhibition.  Honored representatives of the event lit the candles and a traditional song punctuated the opening of hearts for the celebration.

Clockwise: An Indian dance demonstration, TVAM Director, Christi Britten and moi, Coordinator, Amita Bhakti, Dr. Santanu Borah at the Rangoli, opening with Rangoli,, Jonathan David Cain, Curator, responsible for much of the transformation of the museum.

Photos: Jonathan David Cain

Meet another dancer. Indian dance performance, Subhaashitam: Stories and Scriptures from India.
Niranjana Shashikumar Menon grew up in Combatore, South India and started learning Bharatanatyam at the age of 8. The majority of her training was under the well-known dancer, Smt. Lavanya Sankar, Director of Abhyasa Academy of Classical Dance. Niranjana performed her arangetram in Coimbatore in 2010. After moving to Nashville in 2018, Niranjana joined the Kala Nivedanam School of South Indian Dance and Music as a senior student and performer. She works in Alzheimer’s research at Vanderbilt University as a Neuroimaging Analyst.

Image and caption:  Jonathan David Cain


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The tribute to Sandy Hook by Amita Bhakta

At the opening celebration

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Tuscumbia got to experience the India’s Holi, “the festival of colors.”

So many more videos and photos of Darshan can be viewed on the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art Facebook page.

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