Photo courtesy Piya Samant

Local artist, Piya Samant has been selected to have her work exhibited in the seventeenth ArtsWorcester Biennial art show. Over 400 artists submit to this juried art show, and 53 are chosen to have their work included.

The art show opened with a reception on Friday, May 5 at the ArtsWorcester Aurora Gallery, 660 Main St., Worcester. Regular hours are Thursday through Saturday from 12pm to 4pm, or by appointment.  The exhibit runs through June 2, 2017. Exhibits are free and open to the public.

Samant grew up in Ahmedabad, India where her parents were noted for rescuing injured and stray animals. This, in turn, led to Samant’s passion for painting. She began with painting the animals, and quickly moved to other forms at the young age of 16.

Samant was a computer engineer by trade, traveling to America to earn her Masters in IT, and eventually her MBA. She spent many years in IT management before deciding to become a full-time artist.

“A year after completing my MBA at age 33, I decided that a day spent not painting was a day wasted,” says Samant on her web site.

According to Samant, she paints daily from her studio here in Auburn, mostly commissioned portraits.

“Oil is my first love, but I also enjoy working with graphite, charcoal and ink. Most of my pieces are commissioned portraits of people and pets created using photo references of the subjects. Other commissions in my portfolio include athlete figurative drawings and paintings” she added.

On Monday, May 8, there will be a special Teen Night at the Aurora gallery from 5pm to 7pm. Students are invited to view the

Photo courtesy Piya Samant

exhibit and hear from the local artists. There will be music and refreshments. Teens are also encouraged to share their artwork by using #AWTeenNight on Twitter and Instagram.

Since 1985, the ArtsWorcester Biennial has exhibited the region’s best visual art, with an extraordinary range of works by leading and emerging artists. This year’s independent juror was Samantha Cataldo, of the Currier Museum of Art, who selected 56 works from a pool of 330 submissions. The 53 artists included in the exhibition are listed below.

In addition to a $1,000 cash prize, this year’s winner of the Sally R. Bishop Prize for Best In Show will have an installation in the galleries at the Worcester Art Museum in the 2017-18 season. All prizes will be announced at the opening reception.

The public events of this year’s Biennial are open and free to all.