Sant Khalsa (b. Sheila Roth, January 3, 1953, New York, NY) is an artist, educator, curator and activist living in Southern California since 1975. Her artworks and curatorial projects develop from her impassioned inquiry into the nature of place and the complex environmental and societal issues present and visible in the landscape of the American West.
Her artwork has been widely shown internationally in over 150 exhibitions and has been acquired by museum collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Nevada Museum of Art, UCR/California Museum of Photography, Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego and others in addition to private and corporate collections in the U.S. and Europe. Khalsa is a recipient of fellowships, awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, California Arts Council, California Council for the Humanities, Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, and others. Khalsa has bparticipated in two invitational artist-in-residencies. The first was at the Pilchuck Glass School in August 2012 and the second in 2016 from Pasadena City College. Both residencies provide studio facilities to prominent artists for the creation of new works and interaction with students, faculty and the broader community. In March 2012, she was honored as the first recipient of the SPE Insight Award from the Society for Photographic Education for her significant contributions to the field of photography as an artist, educator, and mentor. Additionally, she was recipient of the 2015 Society for Photographic Education West Region Honored Educator award.
Her artworks are published in numerous books and exhibition catalogues including Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment (Skira/Rizzoli, 2011), Art in Action: Nature, Creativity and Our Collective Future (Natural World Museum and Earth Aware Editions, 2007), Seismic Shift: Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal and California Landscape Photography, 1944 - 1984 (UCR California Museum of Photography, 2011), Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982 (Palm Springs Art Museum, 2012), The Altered Landscape (University of Nevada Press, 1999), Fotofest H2O 04: Celebrating Water (Fotofest, 2004), Post-Landscape: Between Nature and Culture (Pomona College Museum of Art, 2001), Water In The West: Eleven Photographers Examine the American Western Landscape (Humboldt State University, 2000), Sant Khalsa: Of A Personal Nature (RAFFMA Art Museum, 1998), Muses (Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, 1995) and The Country Between Us: Contemporary American Landscape Photographs (Huntington Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, 1992). Articles and critical reviews regarding her artwork can be found in Art in America, Artforum, Artillery, Art Ltd., Afterimage, American Photo, Exposure, European Photography, British Journal of Photography, Huffington Post, LA Weekly, New Art Examiner, Coagula Art Journal, ArtScene, Los Angeles Times, Artweek, Visions Art Quarterly, PDN/Photo District News, Boston Globe, High Performance, among others.
Sant Khalsa frequently lectures at professional conferences, art venues, and universities including The Getty Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Society for Photographic Education (SPE), Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Lancaster, CA, Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Western Historical Society, American Photography Institute at New York University, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Pomona College, San Francisco State University, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Claremont Graduate University, Arizona State University, San Jose State University, Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and others.
In 1982, she began developing curatorial projects to support and exhibit emerging and established artists. For her first project, she worked alongside curator, Scott Ward as associate curator and catalogue designer for New American Photographs for the University Art Gallery, California State University, San Bernardino and Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. The curation of exhibitions has remained an integral part of her practice for more than three decades. She also co-curated the exhibition A Collective Voice with Dr. Mary Goodwin at the University Art Gallery, California State University, San Bernardino (1994) and curated or co-curated five additional exhibitions, Mirror of the Invisible: Contemporary Artists Reflecting on Rumi and Islamic Mysticism (with Eva Kirsch in 2000), One Hour Drive (2004), Coming Home (2005), Lewis deSoto: Empire with accompanying book (Heyday Books, 2015) and Tim Portlock: C.ASH_4_GOLD (2015) for the RAFFMA Art Museum at California State University, San Bernardino. Other exhibitions curated by Sant Khalsa have included the critically acclaimed, Being Here and There at the Museum of Art and History (MOAH) in Lancaster, CA (2014), Sited Visions in the Gresham Art Gallery at Valley College, San Bernardino, CA (2014), Transduction: Eight As One at The National Orange Show Art Gallery in San Bernardino, CA (2013), Being Here at Andi Campognone Projects in Pomona, CA (2013), Current Works 88 (1988) at the Norman F. Feldheym Library Galleries in San Bernardino, CA, Direct Exposures: Perspectives on the Southern California Landscape, co-curated with Linda Kroff for the Ontario International Airport (2004), Earth+Art at the Division 9 Gallery in Riverside, CA (2006), and 29 by 92 at the Maloof Foundation Galleries in Alta Loma, CA (2008). Her most recent curatorial project was Desert Waters (Desert X parellel project) at the Marks Art Center in Palm Desert, CA.
She is a Professor of Art, Emerita at California State University, San Bernardino where she served on the art faculty since 1988, as Art Department Chair from 2003-2012, and is one of the founding faculty of the Water Resources Institute (WRI) reseach center and archive. Though formerly retired, she continues to teach and work closely with graduate art students at the University. Sant Khalsa resides Joshua Tree, California and is represented by Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles, CA.