Sikh art exhibit celebrates 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birth

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The first museum exhibit of contemporary Sikh fine art in the US, “Expressions of Divinity,” opens at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara, California, on Aug. 31, the Sikh Foundation International announced this week.

Poet, historian, artist, and philosopher Guru Nanak, widely recognized as the founder of the Sikh faith, has been the inspiration for many of the artists in the upcoming exhibit, the foundation said in a news media release.

“The wisdom of his writings and the courage of his life have inspired the artists featured in this exhibition, who continue to speak to the issues Guru Nanak raised over five centuries ago,: the release read. “Many of the paintings in the show explore his teachings and how they hold meaning for artists today.”

The exhibit will feature works representing several collections from the Greater Bay Area, most notably the prestigious Kapany Collection of Sikh art, according to the foundation.  Paintings from India artists Sobha Singh, Arpana Caur and Devender Singh featured in the show express their devotion to the Guru, depicting aspects of his travels, visions, and poetry.

“Caur’s paintings present the Guru as a visionary and reformist whose teachings are at the core of spiritual beliefs within Sikh culture.” show curator Maria Esther Fernandez said in the release. “Singh’s work focuses on the visual interpretation of Guru Nanak’s Baramaha verses as enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs.”

In addition, new works by emerging artists Rupy C. Tut, Keerat Kaur, Rupy Kaloti, Tanya Momi, Sarabjit Singh, and Sumeet Singh that explore how heritage, contemporary themes of divinity, and historical events have helped shape identity in the diasporic Sikh community will be featured in the show, Fernandez said.

The opening event on Sat., Aug. 31 from 12 noon-4 p.m. will include musical entertainment by Ishmeet Narula’s Mein Sufi Hun group & Keerat Kaur, storytelling by Parveen K. Dhillon, and poetry by Dr. Sunny Anand, according to the release. Art-making and turban tying will part of the vent for attendees and participants, and collaborative art with the Peace Tree installation by Tanya Momi. Artist will present their works at an Art Fair organized by Hazur Art, offering the opportunity to purchase original art.

On Sept.13, an Artists Reception will feature many of the artists in the show who’ll meet with attendees.

The Expressions of Divinity show runs from Aug. 31- Nov. 3 at The Triton Museum, 1505 Warburton Ave., Santa Clara, California. The museum’s hours are Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free.

More on the museum is available at

For more information on The Sikh Foundation International visit



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