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The colors and culture of India

By Bryan Richardson

A piece of Indian life can be found a lot closer than you think. A reception for “India Unveiled,” a new exhibit at Manhattan Arts Center, opened Saturday.

The exhibit is from the collection of Vibhavari Jani, K-State interior architecture and product design associate professor. The display, which will be at the MAC through Oct. 6, includes photographs of Indian architecture, people and culture as well as Indian furniture, paintings, artifacts and textiles.

Jani’s collection has been displayed around the world, including a recent exhibition of her photographs of Indian architecture in Italy and another of her textiles in Saudi Arabia.

Before entering the gallery, a display of a traditional Indian living can be seen complete with furniture and clothing.

The main display is where viewers can learn about the four stages of life in Indian culture: 0-25 years old, 25-50 years old, 50-75 years old and 75-100 years old. It also shows the six religions in India: Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Sikhism and Jainism.

“This is where you really learn about Indian culture,” Jani said.

She said the goal of the exhibit is to show the diverse cultures, architecture and arts of India.

“I do this for the educational part of it,” Jani said. “This time, I worked with the students to get them experience because they will work in a global market.”

Fourteen K-State interior architecture and product design graduate students spent their first weeks of school designing and installing the exhibition.Katherine Ankerson, head of interior architecture and product design, said the work in putting together the exhibit is a part of the Jani’s capstone course.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to really get into exhibit design and display artifacts appropriately,” she said.

Graduate student Josh Burkhart and his team helped get vendors for an Indian market at the exhibit’s opening reception, which included food, apparel and information to give attendees a feel for India as they entered.

Burkhart also helped set up the religion display in the main area.

“It was really interesting to see the six different religions that make up India and how they coexist together in a peaceful manner,” he said.

Graduate student Alexis Kiel said she learned a lot about the diversity of India, which is difficult to display in one exhibit.

“From north to south, they have very different cultures and ideals,” she said.

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