Sharmila Sagara

Associate Professor, Centre for Visual Arts
MFA, Maharaja Sayajirao University Baroda

Sharmila Sagara is an Associate Professor at Anant. She plays a crucial role as the head of the Bachelor of Visual Arts programme within the Centre for Visual Arts while being actively involved in teaching various subjects, including Philosophy of Art, History of Art and Visual Arts studio. She has a keen interest in contemporary visual art practices, delving into transforming ideas from the metaphysical to the material state. She is also unravelling the transcendental phenomena, exploring its essence through religious and non-religious artistic expressions.


At Anant National University, Sharmila’s expertise and passion for Visual Arts enrich students’ learning experiences, inspiring them to explore the depths of artistic expression. In addition to her ongoing contributions to the Bachelor’s programme, Sharmila is also involved in developing a Master’s in Visual Arts programme. 


Sharmila’s academic journey is anchored in the field of sculpture. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. These qualifications serve as a testament to her dedication and expertise in sculptural arts.


With more than 30 years of teaching and programme and curriculum development experience, Sharmila has contributed to a number of institutes and organisations. She headed the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad before joining CEPT University as an Associate professor and Founding Faculty of the Master’s programme in Art, Design and Communication at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, CEPT University. 


Later, she joined Ahmedabad University to develop a liberal arts programme. She has taught studio programmes, art history and art theory titles, including modernism and postmodernism, art and architectural traditions of India and ideas on metaphysics, manifestation and materiality. At Anant, she developed the Foundation Year – Design curriculum for Visualisation and Representation and World of Art and Design courses from 2018 to 2023. She also founded the Bachelor of Visual Arts programme under the umbrella of the Centre for Visual Arts. ANUSHILP – A collaborative project with USIN and Anant concluded in April 2024  that worked with the artisans of the Narmada District of Gujarat was led by Prof Sharmila.


Sharmila has contributed her critical reviews to art columns in art magazines, and vernacular periodicals. She has conducted talks on her research Travel of an Idea: Metaphysical State to Material State and her edited publication Ahmedabad 600: Portraits of a City in various institutes. Sharmila has curated exhibitions, mentored art festivals, organised art camps and hosted international exhibitions in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. She was invited to give a lecture on ‘Water: Symbols, Rituals and Other Stories’ at the GSAPP workshop, Columbia University, US in July 2023; Private and Public Patronage – The Case of Ahmedabad City at Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA) in collaboration with ARCAthens underwritten by Lynda Benglis Foundation, January 2023, Athens, Greece. She also conducted workshops and held Students Crit Sessions with the Students of Lab 12, Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), January 2023, Athens, Greece. She has given Talks on ‘An Awakening: Modern Art in Ahmedabad’ at the Department of Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University, May 2021, presented a paper on Culturation through Paintings: Raja Ravi Varma at a National Seminar on Indian Knowledge Systems, Department of Philosophy, Gujrat University in collaboration with ICPR, March 2021, presented a talk on ‘Wellness and Wisdom in Post Pandemic World’ organised by Grand Academic Portal, Lakulish Yoga University, Nalanda Nritaya Kala Mahavidyalaya and B M Institute of Mental Health, January 2021, presented a slide talk on ‘Emotions: A Multi-Disciplinary Inquiry’ in an International conference organised by St Andrews Educational Trust, Grand Academic Portal & Indonesian Hindu University, December 2020.  


Sharmila presented a Slide Talk on ‘Somaesthetics’ at an International Conference organised by Grand Academic Portal, Nalanda Nritya Kala Mahavidyalaya and Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Mauritius, October 2020,  presented a talk and walk-through for Piraji Sagara Exhibition at Akara Art Gallery, November 2017, Mumbai ‘Image as text’ a lecture on understanding text in the image through art of India at Central University of Gujarat, April 2016, ‘India Through Arts’ – a lecture on Visual arts at Bharat ki Khoj, IIT- Gandhinagar, December 2015, presented a talk on ‘Ahmedabad 600: Portraits of a City’ at Siena Art Institute, Siena, Italy, 2012, three contemporary sculptors- a talk presentation at University of Connecticut, Department of Art and Art History, U S A, 2006, The Elephant God: Mythology and Contemporary Indian art – a talk presentation at Centre for Indian Studies, Frankfurt, Germany, 2004.