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Anjali Deshmukh & Purvi Shah

Artist Statement & Bio

In 2020, the magnolias bloomed in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden but I did not see them. I also missed mehndi on my hands, a celebration that couldn't be. I marked time in new ways in a year that felt like no year and everything all at once. And the time marked me, marked us.
—Purvi Shah

In 2020, I teetered at the edge of a precipice so high, the wind would knock me any minute.
—Anjali Deshmukh

What new rituals did you create this last year? How did you mark time? How did the past year mark you? What fortunes do you wish for now? In March 2021, the one-year anniversary of New York City’s lockdown, people shared their stories with us. We documented experiences, celebrations, and rituals over the last year to create poetry and visual art, connection, and a community archive for healing. Drawing on our shared traditions of mehndi, Missed Fortunes widens our circle of ongoing collaboration in a time of missed community.

To share your story, go to tiny.one/fortune. Your story will become part of the Missed Fortunes community archive. You’ll also find further engagement at @PurviPoets & @anja1i and https://circlefor.com.


Anjali Deshmukh is an artist, game designer, and writer dedicated to building equitable economies and understanding how the evolution of self, society, and our built environment interconnects. Anjali holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and is a Fulbright Scholar in Fine Arts. She was named an Award Finalist for SXSW Eco’s 2016 Place by Design Competition. She has received two grants for public art from the Queens Council on the Arts and built games about the universe, creativity, time, and memory at Brooklyn Grange, Sunnyside Public Plaza, Brooklyn Museum, Dumbo Arts Festival, Propelify Innovation Festival, and more.

Purvi Shah’s favorite art practices are her sparkly eyeshadow, raucous laughter, and seeking justice. She won the inaugural SONY South Asian Social Service Excellence Award for her leadership fighting gender violence. Through SAWCC, she co-led a creative workshop, Movement to Power, to confront intimate violence and enable healing. During the 10th anniversary of 9/11, with Kundiman, she directed Together We Are New York, a community-based poetry project highlighting Asian American voices. Her new book, Miracle Marks, explores women, the sacred, and gender and racial equity. Terrain Tracks, her debut collection on migration and belonging, won the Many Voices Project prize.

Artwork Details

"Homework, Beloved, Circulation, Delight, Breathing, Applause," 2021. Digital prints on paper, 16 x 20 inches.

"Missed Fortunes," 2021. Book, paper; 8 x 11 inches.

(718) 658-7400

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161-04 Jamaica Ave,
Jamaica, NY 11432, USA

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©2018 by Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL)