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ananda Ananda Kesler’s grandmother was a respected Israeli artist. Ananda’s early childhood visits to her grandmother’s studio, “a mysterious, magical place,” fostered her fascination with painting. After her family moved to Fairfield, Ananda began to transcend cultural boundaries – traveling the world to study art, printmaking, textile/surface design, painting and drawing in Italy, Iowa, California and Thailand. In contrast, or perhaps deeply informed by her travels, Ananda’s work explores and reflects her rich inner world.

Ananda describes her work as “inspired by memories, dreams, and subtle feelings difficult to describe with words . . . by inner landscapes and inner worlds.” Ananda reveals herself as an artist who practices painting “as a kind of Karma Yoga, a meditation in action . . . a search of the one realm with which all things are connected.”

anandaAfter completing her BFA in 2002 at the University of Iowa, Ananda worked closely with her mentor and ICON Gallery owner Bill Teeple. Ananda describes her time with Bill as a turning point in her work. “Bill gave me permission to explore and not judge myself,” she explains.

In 2013, Ananda was invited to show in Paris as part of an International Juried Exhibit. Out of one hundred international exhibiting artists, Ananda’s work was chosen as one of the top ten artists by a people’s choice award. In this group of ten, several women artists bonded after “en désaccord” with the exhibition director.

After what Ananda describes as a slow phase of production, she has a collection that hasn’t been shown. I hope to see this new work soon. After our interview, I reviewed Ananda’s Artist’s Statement and understood more clearly the ’aha’ feeling I experience when I see her work. “As artists,” she writes, “perhaps as humans, we might be plagued by the fear of making mistakes. I let the painting process stand as proof that it is exactly these ‘mistakes,’ that when layered, and allowed to exist, create beauty and resolution itself.” Exactly. Art responds to life and life responds to art . . . beautifully.

All Work by Ananda Kesler.

Mo Ellis is inspired by art, issues, and progressive ideas. Mo Ellis’ online and print contributions as a writer, editor, website & mobile app project manager, PR and online media director 
have appeared at: "O" magazine, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Des Moines Register, Surface Design Journal, The Iowa Source, KRUU-FM, Iowa Public Radio, Dr. Mercola and Dr. Oz.