Montclair, NJ – In honor of AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Heritage Month in May, AAPI Montclair is pleased to host a panel discussion – Passages Taken – and a reception at the Montclair Art Museum (MAM), to celebrate the work of artists Siona Benjamin, Caren King Choi, and Ela Shah. The event will take place at MAM between 6pm and 9pm on May 25, 2023.

Moderated by Mayuri Chandra of Arts Ed Newark, the panel will explore transcultural influences and the role of motherhood and community. The audience will get the opportunity to hear from the artists on various themes including their artistic journeys, the sense of home, and the portrayal of motherhood, a formidable passage in and of itself.

Sign up for the event at Tickets are $35 for general audiences and $30 for MAM members. Wine and South Asian small bites will be served.

About the Artists

Siona Benjamin
Siona Benjamin has an MFA in painting from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Ill., and an MFA in theater set design from the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 2011 to India, and a second Fulbright fellowship in 2016-17 to Israel. As not just a Jewish artist but also as one who crosses cultural boundaries, she has received praise in The New York Times, The Chicago
Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and other publications.

Caren King Choi
Caren King Choi is a Chinese-Taiwanese-American artist, illustrator, and writer born and raised in New Jersey. Her artwork, which discusses issues such as representation and family, has been included in exhibitions at venues including the Pollak Gallery, Newark Arts Festival, Express Newark, Akwaaba Gallery, Gallery Aferro, and the Newark Museum. She is author and illustrator of three self-published books: Every Day Something New: Doodles by a New Mom (2019); Momlife (a zine) (2019); and Let It Happen: Doodles From a Parent’s First Year (2021).

Ela Shah
Ela Shah received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Diploma in Fine Arts from India. She traveled around the world and subsequently moved to the United States and received her M.A. in sculpture at Montclair State University. Her work has been exhibited in various prestigious galleries and museums like Museum of Modern Arts in New Delhi, India, Queens Museum of Arts, New York, and Newark Museum in New Jersey. Her 2021 award-winning documentary “Ela: Breaking Boundaries” has been featured in film festivals around the world.

Passages Taken
May 25, 2023, 6pm – 9pm
Montclair Art Museum (MAM) Leir Hall
3 South Mountain Avenue, Montclair