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Tuesday,  January 10 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

R Gallery & Wine Bar (2027 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302)

Join us for a fun night at R Gallery & Wine Bar as we learn from Bala Thiagarajan during her presentation on Indian folk art forms. She will give a demonstration of how she paints her free-hand textured acrylic paintings. She has been painting in the style of henna body art by piping acrylic paint using piping bags and squeeze bottles for more than 10 years. Her paintings are done with precise patterns that are repeated consistently to create signature motifs influenced by traditional Indian patterns, science & geometry. She will demonstrate how she brings her own distinctive style to create her paintings. Bala is a self-taught artist with a PhD in Biology. She started her art career after spending 10 years in academia and has sold more than 800 original artworks. She participates in juried art fairs in the US and has won awards for her work both at juried shows and local art guilds. See her works at


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.  After working in academia for a few more years, I switched my career to become 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 artwork. I give permanence to some of the traditional and everyday ephemeral art forms I grew up with like henna body art, kolams & 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 South India.

My own distinctive style was developed 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 original artworks are in collections in the USA, India, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica.

Bala Thiagarajan – Spring Beauty
Bala Thiagarajan – Harmony