Sarita Zaleha has exhibited her work extensively across the United States as well as in Iceland, Canada, and Germany. Her work on environmental loss and global warming has been featured in solo exhibitions in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, and she has led numerous community-based events in Iowa City and Minneapolis. She has had work in numerous internationally juried exhibitions. Included among these are exhibitions at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in Minneapolis, Minnesota; DeVos Art Museum; Whitdel Arts in Detroit, Michigan, South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend, Indiana; McDonough Museum of Art in Youngstown, Ohio; and Artlink in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Zaleha recently received her Master of Fine Arts in printmaking with a minor in Intermedia at the University of Iowa. She has bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and religion from Case Western Reserve University and master’s degrees in art history and religion from University of Minnesota and Harvard University, respectively. She co-founded the Iowa Print Group, a student organization to support and expand the printmaking community in Iowa City. She is also the co-founder of The Printed Gif, a website to collect and share animations created with the use of print media.
Our perception of the environment affects how we understand climate change. My creative research explores environmental agency and our emotional engagement with the environment. I am concerned with creating networks and patterns of connection related to climate change awareness and action. I often use the form of the net to explore these interconnections and relationships between elements. How do we see the history embedded in the landscape while remaining present? How do we envision a radical interconnectedness that prompts a new understanding of the world?
While trained in print media my work combines printmaking with digital technologies (photography and video) and fiber arts to allow for alternative contexts and scales for my projects as well as a range of conceptual references. As textiles are often intimate objects laden with personal and cultural histories, I use textiles in my work to explore our personal relationship to things that can be difficult to see and understand, in particular, aspects of climate change. My use of video installation allows for an immersive experience that emphasizes environmental temporality. My work allows space for viewer-participants to recognize unexpected emotions related to the environment, and to create connections and take action with these emotions.