Founder and Director
Ritu Khoda founded Art1st in 2009 with a vision to create spaces and programmes that make the visual arts more accessible, action-oriented and relevant for various audiences. She has published several award-winning art books for children and produced critically acclaimed films. She works with renowned artists and psychologists to develop programmes for children, teachers, educators and lovers of art.
Ritu holds a master’s degree in business administration from IIM Kolkata and a B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology from Lady Sri Ram College, New Delhi. She worked at India’s prominent advertising agency, JWT for several years, before she finally quit to pursue her dream.
Premjish Achari is a curator, translator and writer based in Delhi. Many of his translations of Indian Literature have been published by Sahitya Akademi. He used to be a visiting faculty at Kamala Nehru College, Delhi University, where he taught New Media Technologies in 2013-14.
He has initiated an independent curatorial platform called Future Collaborations to promote theoretically and politically informed curation. The first edition of Future Collaborations titled Inquiries on the Contemporary opened at Italian Cultural Center in December 2016. His exhibition Things are vanishing before us was part of the Curators Ensemble for Krishnakriti Festival January 2017. He received the Inlaks: Take on Art Travel Grant for Young Critics in 2016. He is the Fellow for Curatorial Intensive South Asia (CISA) 2017 at Khoj International Artist’s Association.
Priyam Mehta is a young creative artist who joined Art1st in May 2015. She helps coordinate programmes, mentors teachers in Art1st Art Education Programme and conducts artworkshops. Prior to joining Art1st, she worked on two books on Indian artists: Blank Canvas on the famous Prabhakar Barwe and Sonata of Solitude on the legendary V.S. Gaitonde. She also managed the project Spaces in Transition for ArtO2 (Art Oxygen), an independent art organization.
Priyam completed her Master of Fine Art from Rachana Sansad Academy, Mumbai in 2008 and has five years of design experience. She enjoys travelling, experimenting with new art materials, and listening to music.
Kavita Shah is a visual artist, painter, printmaker, educationist, and a founder member of Chhaap Foundation for Printmaking Trust. For the past eighteen years, she has been coordinating projects and workshops at Chhaap studio to advocate limited edition original prints. She is also on the Board of ResArtis, Amsterdam, Netherlands and works as a consultant for Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur.
Kavita was artist-in-residence in Finland and Italy and worked in private print studios such as Lacouriere-Frelaut, Paris and Print Making Workshop with Robert Blackburn, New York, USA. She was ArThinkSouthAsia fellow for 2014-15 for which she did secondment in Berlin for a month in 2015.
She was an Associate Professor in College of Architecture, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Institute of Technology, Vasad, for nine years and taught in the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University, Baroda. She conducted workshops for:
-National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
-Arvindbhai Patel Institute of Environmental Design, Gujarat
-Engineering College, M. S. University, Baroda
-Fashion Technology, M. S. University, Baroda
Kavita has participated in important juried shows in India, such as National exhibition, XI-Triennial-India and Bharat Bhavan Print Biennial. She has received state level awards for shows by Lalit Kala Akademi, Gujarat and Karnataka and All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society.
She has compiled and exhibited international print portfolios exchanges including:
Footprints (on women print makers): This show was presented in several Indian cities and in Southern Graphic Council symposium, Kansas 2007
Ganjifa (on the deck of cards): This folio was shown at Impact 6, UWE, Bristol, UK
She has organised and participated in the following events on print making:
-A curated a show for the China Academy of Art, the first Print Biennial in Hangzhou in conjunction with Impact 9 conference on print making
-Prints from Rajasthan at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
-Talks on contemporary print making in India in Mohile Parekh Center for Visual Arts, Mumbai and Impact 5, Tallinn Estonia, Chicago School of Art, USA
-Panelist at the Print colloquium in National Gallery of Modern Art, presented by MPCVA
Saikat Surai is a cross-media practitioner from Kolkata, whose medium includes videos, installations, photography, printmaking, animation and painting. His oeuvre reflects the changing city, its gentrification and the much sought-after utopia inextricably linked with urban imagination. Surai has taught and conducted extensive workshops in various institutions including the Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata.
Surai’s curatorial venture, Existence (Gandhara Art Gallery, Kolkata, 2011) received much critical acclaim. He was invited by the Asian Culture Centre, Gwangju, South Korea to collaborate with the country’s contemporary artists’ circle, leading to a pan-Asian exhibition in 2012.
The artist has participated in the following exhibitions and artist residencies:
Minutes Per Image (TIFA, Pune, curated by Sharmila Samant and Rucha Kulkarni, 2016)
Tracing a Human Trail: Metaphors Of The Frontiers (Khoj International Artists’ Association, New Delhi, curated by Oindrilla Maity Surai, 2011)
Water: Curse or Blessing (AEDES, Germany, Curated by Ula Giesler, 2010)
Anxieties of the Periphery (Gallery OED, Kochin, curated by Oindrilla Maity Surai, 2010)
Boat Project (an initiative of Khoj Kolkata, 2010)
Indian Life- an Archaeology of Change (Lakeeren Art gallery, Mumbai, curated by Aarshiya Lokhandwala, 2010)
Art Against Terrorism (Aakriti Art Gallery, Kolkata, 2009)
Lokesh Khodke is an independent artist and illustrator based in New Delhi, India. He worked as Project Coordinator for Writing Art of Asia Art Archive (AAA) from June 2014-November 2016. His solo exhibition was held in 2009 at the Guild Art Gallery, Mumbai. He has participated in several group exhibitions, artists’ camps and artists’ residency programs in India and overseas. He completed his Masters of Visual Arts (Painting), from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda in 2004.
As part of his wider interests, Lokesh has worked for children’s books as an illustrator with publications such as:
Aam Ke Sir Pe(Hindi) written by Susheel Joshi, published by Eklavya Publications, Bhopal, 2015
Oont Ka Phool (Hindi) written by Prabhat, published by Eklavya Publications, Bhopal, 2015
Mother written by Kancha Ilaiah and co-illustrated with Shefalee Jain, as part of a project Different Tales: Stories from Marginal Cultures and Regional Languages, published by DC Books, Kottayam, 2008
Chakmak (Hindi) a children’s magazine, produced by Eklavya Publications
Images of his artworks have been published in Articulating Resistance- Art and Activism edited by Prof. Shivaji Panikkar & Prof. Deeptha Achar, Tulika Books, 2012. His works have been published in the South Asian magazine, Himal-a special issue on caste, April 2010. Lokesh has also conceptualized and conducted various art workshops for university and school students.
Gopa Trivedi is a Delhi-based interdisciplinary artist. She is inspired by the seemingly insignificant details of everyday spaces, and her works are attempts to address social and individual angst. Gopa has trained under traditional miniaturists in Jaipur and completed her Masters in Visual Arts (Painting) from M. S. University, Baroda, in 2012. Her works have been part of several group shows. She had her first solo exhibition, In Pursuit Of Silence at Art Konsult, New Delhi in 2015.
She has received the UMISSA Scholarship for residency at the Beacon House National University, Lahore (2014), the Nasreen Mohamedi Scholarship (2011) and Jairam Patel Award (2010). She has also been involved in the Children's University of Gujarat and has illustrated several picture books for children. Gopa assists Art1st regularly in holding workshops in schools and universities.