The Making of Ascend with Shiva Ahmadi and Sharad Patel
Part of Artists Drawing Club, Thursday Nights at the Asian Art Museum Artist Shiva Ahmadi and animator/filmmaker Sharad Patel discuss their collaboration on Ahmadi's most recent video work, Ascend, a project sparked by the mounting crisis of Syrian refugees across the globe. Part conversation and part demonstration, this program aims to delve into the creative process, the importance of artistic collaboration and the inspiration behind this project. This program also serves as the book launch for Ahmadi's new monograph, Shiva Ahmadi (Skira), which will be available for purchase in the museum store at the event. About the Artists Shiva Ahmadi was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1975 and currently lives and works in California, where she is an assistant professor of art at UC Davis. She received her B.F.A. from Azad University, Tehran, in 1998, and her M.F.A. in painting and drawing from Cranbrook Academy of Arts, Michigan, in 2005. Recent exhibitions include: Home Land Security, organized by the For-Site Foundation and curated by Cheryl Haines, San Francisco, CA; Global/Local 1960-2015: Six Artists from Iran, curated by Lynn Gumpert, at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU; and Fireflies in the Night Take Wing, curated by Barbara London and Robert Storr, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation in Athens, Greece. In 2014 the Asia Society Museum in New York commissioned Ahmadi to create a new work as part of their ongoing In Focus series, where it was then exhibited in summer 2014. Ahmadi's work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Asia Society Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; Detroit Institute of Arts; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, and the TDIC Corporate Collection, Abu Dhabi, UAE. The artist has upcoming solo exhibitions in 2017 at Leila Heller Gallery in New York. Born in Texas, Sharad Patel has a background in illustration and narrative storytelling. He studied film at the University of Texas in Austin and is now the principal of UFOclub Creative, which helps artists with video and audio production. He first collaborated with painter Shiva Ahmadi on Lotus, an animated short that was exhibited at the Asia Society Museum in New York in 2014. Patel's short films have screened at SXSW (Austin) and Raindance (London); his first independent narrative feature film, Somebody's Darling, won best international feature at Feratum Festival in Mexico in 2016. Patel has taught film history, experimental film production and screenwriting at Eastern Michigan University, University of Houston and Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual arts.