In my February 10 column I introduced you to the non-profit Art Launch, managed by artist John Ross Palmer and husband Ryan Lindsay. A fabulous photo of the three of the four Escapist Mentorship Program’s 2018 artists ran with my column.
Today I get to introduce you to the fourth artist, Nabarupa Bhattacharjee, who recently joined the other “Escapists” from her home in India.
A little refresher about the program first. Since 2014, the Escapist Artists each receive use of a personal state-of-the-art studio and gallery space in the heart of the Historic Houston Heights known as the Chrysalis. The Escapist Mentorship Program has always been entirely free for the accepted Escapist Artists.
Art Launch doesn’t just “teach” artists business skills in a bubble. The Escapist Artists are provided the authentic artist environment to host events and meet with art collectors through gallery welcome, art discussion, potential sale and follow-up. Art Launch also doesn’t just give education to the Escapist Artists. Real, significant dollars are put into their pockets through the sale of their artwork in the Chrysalis.
Nabarupa Bhattacharjee goes by the name Lily.
Lily, where are you from?
I was born in Kolkata, and have lived in Mumbai and New Delhi and London. Currently, I live in Houston Heights at the residency of artist John Ross Palmer and his husband Ryan Lindsay (1218 Heights Blvd TX 77008).
How long are you staying in Houston? Have you been to the US before?
I am here for six months and this is my first visit to the United States.
What kind of artist are you?
I am a photographer. I went to Shari Academy Mumbai where I studied photography for a year before enrolling at University of the Arts London in Image Construction Photography. My photography practice generally covers human culture, history and tradition, photo-biographies and archives. I am here to do a photo-biography of Houston based artist John Ross Palmer through his renowned Escapist program, establishing his personality both as an artist and a human being through pictorial narration. The book is due on releasing on 21st of September 2018 by Artlaunch.
Has being an Escapist changed your art? How?
I am still on a voyage of self-discovery and Escapism is giving me a new perspective to look at life and its co-related disciplines. John Palmer and Ryan Lindsay continue to inspire me in every sphere of my life.
Why did you apply to be a part of this program?
I am inspired by humans, their relationships, and their growth. I have been following John Palmer’s career for some time now and I am fascinated by the complexities he upholds which made me long to observe him through my lens and hence I applied to his mentorship program from India. Living with and photographing artist John Palmer will give me a cross-cultural experience for my wisdom and artistic development.
What would you recommend to visitors coming to Houston?
*Side note: This question was originally about India but Lily misunderstood, I like her response about Houston though. She “gets” us!
Houston is a beautiful city with parks, coffee places and restaurants of various cuisines. It is also home to the famous Rothko Chapel which I always longed to visit. The city has embraced new cultures yet keeping its own roots. I never feel like a visitor here. Houston has welcomed me as one of its own.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the new Market at Sawyer Yards, find him at ArtValet.com.