Chandler artist earns Governor’s Arts Award - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Chandler artist earns Governor’s Arts Award

March 15th, 2019 development
Chandler artist earns Governor’s Arts Award

By Colleen Sparks, Managing Editor

A Chandler woman is thrilled her artwork celebrating Arizona’s landscape is being honored around the state.

Shachi Kale, 45, was recently chosen as the artist for the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards and her piece, “Desert Beauty,” was selected as cover art for the commemorative program.

Her work was featured on this year’s formal invitations, as well as signage for the recent Governor’s Awards Gala.

Kale, a married mother of two, said the classes, guidance and mentorship she had at Mesa Community College helped her achieve the distinction.

A longtime artist who draws and paints, she has a degree in graphic design from a university in her native India, and has taken many art classes at Mesa Community College.

“I’ve always been an artist since I can remember,” Kale said. “I studied as a graphic designer. I’ve come back to doing the drawing and painting again after spending many years as a graphic designer. It’s an excellent program. They have top-notch instructors.

“These instructors are like experts in their field. They are professional artists for the most part. I’ve been blown away by both the level of instruction. They really want you to do well. It’s been a remarkable journey for me at MCC.”

She said Ted Decker, one of her art professors at MCC, told her about the application to seek the 2019 Governor’s Arts Awards artist honor and he has “been very encouraging.”

Decker returned the compliment to Kale.

“Shachi is an exceptional, multifaceted person,” Decker said. “She is a lifelong learner and welcomes the opportunity to experiment in her artmaking as well as actively pursuing the establishment of her professional practice as a visual artist.

“Realizing the value of community in art practice, she organized a meet-up group for MCC students which meets monthly at her home. The group looks for opportunities to exhibit their art work and critique each other’s art.”

Another MCC art professor, Brent Bond, also praised Kale’s work.

“As an instructor I always try to be supportive of my students’ forays into the real world of art,” Bond said.

He said he saw Kale’s solo show at a “funky off the beaten path gallery in downtown Phoenix.”

“I had just met her as a student and she had only completed one assignment in my class so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Bond said. “What I found almost knocked me down as the works were clearly done by a professional artist with a cohesive maturity rarely found in a ‘student artist.’

“It was very shortly after seeing her show that I invited her to collaborate on a fine art print edition at my publishing company, Santo Press. Since that encounter, I have come to know that her work ethic and productivity reveal nothing but professionalism. She lives life with the enthusiasm of a child in a calm and humble manner – an artist to keep an eye on.”

Kale said her watercolor painting “Desert Beauty” shows the beauty of the state.

“I find that Arizona has so much beauty scattered around,” she said. “It’s so different from the palettes we are so used to seeing. When you think of desert you think of saguaro cactus, nothing really pops up in your mind.

“I’m blown away at the variety of nature that I see here and it’s so beautiful. I have my phone and I take photographs of the plants I see wherever I go. I just wanted to put them together. Over the years I’ve grown to love this landscape so much. I think this is my tribute to what I feel about Arizona and how beautiful it is, the beauty and variety of nature.”

Kale grew up in India and moved to the United States 18 years ago, first settling in California, where her husband, Vikram Thatte, had been working.

The couple has been in Arizona for 17 1/2 years and have two sons: Shatanu Thatte, 13; and Ishaan Thatte, 8. Kale said Shatanu loves drawing a comic strip and Ishaan is also creative but not into drawing. Shachi’s mother, Suniti Kale, recently visited, and is also an artist.

“I’m really excited and honored to be a part of it,” Shachi said of her award. “I’m blown away. This is the first time for me knowing about this and taking part. I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to be selected at all.”