Based in Austin, TX, Meena Matai, is a visual artist who creates vibrant and playful art. Her creative journey is as much spontaneous and playful, as it is meditative and introspective.
Meena began to exhibit her work in art galleries and local businesses in 2008. In 2017, she expanded her work to include wearable art. Her most notable exhibitions have been at the People’s Gallery in Austin City Hall (press), East and West Austin Studio Tours, Herberger Theater Center and ASU Gammage. She has also been commissioned to create unique art for corporate offices, like CBRE, and personal homes.
When Meena finds people enjoying and appreciating her art and acquiring a piece she finds immense joy in being able to connect to them via her artwork.
About Meena’s work and life as an artist, engineer, educator and mother:
Meena’s abstracts and free form art are the outcome of an organic process inspired by nature and its elements, making them uniquely relatable for each individual. She creates artworks that are radiant and full of energy. With her choice of vibrant colors her goal is to evoke emotions of positivity and collaboration. She hopes to inspire people to honor nature, the planet and adopt sustainable methods of living. Just the way colors come together to form a beautiful artwork so do people to form a community supporting each other’s journeys. It takes a village, whether it’s to raise a child or to bring about monumental change. Meena works with alcohol inks, watercolors, organic pigments, acrylics, on a variety of different types of papers and canvas.
Warli is an ancient tribal art form from India, where Meena is originally from. The Warli tribal community uses simple forms, circles (to depict the sun, moon) and triangles (to depict mountains, trees), to produce intricate artworks telling stories. These are created as murals on cobwalls using a rice flour paste, which is why the foreground is always white. Meena celebrates the union of tradition and modern life. She maintains tradition by keeping the foreground white and adds backgrounds of varied colors and textures to indicate modern times. As her daughter grows up in the US, far away from the country where her mother grew up this is Meena’s effort to build respect and honor for her roots as she forms her own dynamic identity. Her goal on a broader scale is to bring attention to the roots, to raise awareness of ancient artforms and to honor and protect them.
Meena is an artist by passion and an engineer by education. She got a bachelors, masters and worked full time as an Electrical Engineer for over a decade. After balancing being a parent, an artist, working a full time job and running educational workshops she decided it was time to pursue art full time and make it her focus. Education has been an integral part of Meena’s work. She founded Camp Cyan and Creative Corner Arts, both educational organizations to help tie the arts with sciences. She has been an active STEAM teacher since 2008. She has worked as a visiting artist teacher with the Contemporary Austin. She has also spoken at STEM education events organized by GEN, GirlStart, 4H Capital via FabFems, City of Austin and ASU Prep Academy. Meena also serves on the board of Chula League, a local Austin non-profit that helps further art education for children.
Please send Meena a note, subscribe to her newsletter or follow her on social media. She is always looking for connection, conversation and community.