Vijay Sharon Govender About
Vijay Sharon Govender is a South African born artist who lives in Centerville, Ohio.
Sharon holds a Bachelor of Education degree with majors in art, art history and English. She has a graduate degree in Indian arts of India and has recently completed her masters__™ degree in special education.
She currently works as a substitute teacher in the Centerville and Kettering schools districts. During the summer she teaches at the Rosewood art center in Kettering. Her art camps are based on the arts and culture of people from all over the world. ___I am fortunate that I can give the students first hand experience from my travels around the world,___ says Sharon. Students listen with awe as I describe my visit to the tomb of King Tut in Egypt in 1992. My ___Pyramids and Mummies___ camp is the favorite amongst campers. Students get an all round experience with paint, clay, music, dance, dress, theatre, and food.
Govender grew up in apartheid South Africa and was subject to the laws of separate development. ___There was no scope for non-white artists in those days, so my only option was to become a teacher and work with the students to express my creativity,___ says Govender. I taught at an all Indian school for 15 years but when South Africa became democratic in 1994, with President Nelson Mandela as leader, black students were slowly integrated into the schools. This was an exciting period for me as I had to work with students from a different culture. I made every effort to learn about the various tribal people and integrate that into my curriculum. The results were stunning as students explored the various mediums in arts and crafts. Students displayed their pride for their African and Indian cultures in their artworks.
As an artist growing up in apartheid South Africa, I had no opportunity to showcase my works in art galleries until 1999. The Global Organization for People of Origin, held an international exhibition at the Durban Art gallery, once the home to elite artists. For the very first time I was able to express myself in this public domain. It was a liberating moment that spurred me to develop the artist within.
Being in Dayton has enabled me to continue my quest in search of an identity and an answer to the age old question: Who am I?
At times I express my Indian heritage, at other times I go back to my African roots as far back as the prehistoric rock paintings on cave walls, at other times I am just a contemporary artist in America. Right now I am in the transitional stage between two countries, two identities. In this search for the self, I have used different mediums as a means of exploration: watercolor, mixed media and photography. My works are an explosion of color expressing my exuberant spirit and roots in Africa.
Govender has been an active artist in Dayton and has exhibited at ___Works on Paper___, ___The View,___ both juried exhibitions at Rosewood Art Gallery. At Cityfolk 2008, Govender exhibited her Indian art works and participated in the panel discussions and presentations. She received 3 blue ribbons at the Montgomery County Fair for her mixed media painting and ceramics. Her most recent exhibition was the photographic contest run by the Centerville Arts Commission. Govender will exhibit her mixed media paintings at the Centerville Performing Arts Center at the Centerville high school on the 20 January 2009.
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