Professor and Chair, Studio Art Department, Manhattanville College (New York, NY)
Professor Mukerji joined the faculty of the Studio Art Department at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York where she is a full-time professor. Professor Mukerji has exhibited extensively - nationally as well as internationally. She is represented in a number of prominent art collections and has an impressive record of solo exhibitions. Professor Mukerji’s work is defined as aesthetic activism as she is interested in changing herself and others through the practice and discipline of making art. The images in Professor Mukerji’s artwork are a fusion of tradition and current contemporary concepts. Her artwork is inspired by memory, observation and a connection to New York City. Her artwork is evidence of her passport to numerous countries that she has visited. These countries are her connection with the many people that find their way to New York City.
Alakananda Mukerji was born and grew up in Banaras, India. She received a Doctor of Philosophy in Art History from the Banaras Hindu University. After that, she went to Athens, Greece, on a scholarship from the Greek government for a post-graduate diploma in Fine Arts, and later on, she received a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting from the State University of New York in New Paltz.
“I was born in the small Indian city of Banaras to a very conservative family, and I went around the world to study and became a full Professor and Chair of a New York College,” explains Mukerji. “At the same time, I am maintaining a full-time career as an artist; among many shows, I just had a solo art exhibit in one of the oldest and most renowned galleries in the Chelsea area of Manhattan.”
When asked who inspires her, she offers a long list of inspirations from her parents, who were both educators, to artistic notables like Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg, K. S. Kulkarni, Himmat Shah and M.F. Husain and filmmaker Satyajit Ray. She adds, ”I always look at their work and get inspired to create my own work.”
While she is confident in her work, abilities to teach and her professional life, she admits that she is painfully shy in nature. But Professor Alakananda Mukerji will soon be getting used to the spotlight as her time has come to step into its shining light.