Skip to content

Bala Thiagarajan, Ph.D

Bala Thiagarajan, Artist
Bala Thiagarajan, Ph.D



I am an Immigrant Indian woman artist working from my studio in Arvada, Colorado. Born and brought up in Chennai, India, I came to the US from India to pursue a PhD in Biology at Kansas State University, earning my doctorate in 2006 and after working in academia for a few more years, switched my career to being a full-time artist in 2012.

I create one of a kind paintings and ceramics at the intersection of culture, science and math. As a self-taught artist, I attempt to channel my energy and passion for Indian culture in my artworks. I give permanence to some of the traditional and everyday ephemeral art forms I grew up with like henna body art, kolams and rangolis in the form of textured mandala paintings. I love to juxtapose paintings of organic flowers and animals with my mandalas to highlight the impermanence of life as well. My highly detailed paintings are based in geometry and the symmetry of the paintings comes from a meditative practice of organic repetition, with the finished piece full of rhythm and color. My palette filled with luminous bold iridescent colors reflects the stunning colors of silk and cotton saris worn by women in my home of South India.

I developed my distinctive style by applying the textures & patterns of free-hand henna through contemporary acrylics interplaying vibrant colors, rhythm, and form. I use piping bags & squeeze bottles to form dots & lines with acrylic paints on canvas. More recently, I have been doing the similar technique of slip-trailing by applying liquid clay to pottery to create one of a kind pieces.

More than 800 of my original artworks are in collections in the USA, India, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica.