Kasmira Mohanty has a secret. Despite the Huntington High School art teacher’s loud and unapologetic personality, she is very often timid to talk about her personal accomplishments as an exhibiting and commercial artist and writer.
“Miz Mo,” as she is widely known, feels much more comfortable discussing her students’ accomplishments, successes and artistic careers. And why not? Her students over the past 18 years have racked up enough awards, admiration and accolades to fill her art room at Huntington High School ten times over.
Huntington High School art teacher and practicing artist Kasmira Mohanty.
So what does the veteran educator do when she’s not helping her students reach their full creative potential? In 2018 alone, Ms. Mohanty exhibited in over nine highly regarded exhibitions. Some of the more noteworthy showings were held at the Decumanus Gallery in Croatia, where she was one of two Americans selected from among 800 international entries to be exhibited; the Heckscher Museum of Art, Provincetown Art Museum and the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art.
Ms. Mohanty’s work also graced the cover Dan’s Papers in connection with an article about her art. The proverbial “cherry on top” in 2018 was the installation of her artwork on not one, but two traffic signal boxes as part of the Huntington village signal box arts beautification project. She is particularly proud of that milestone since the installations are in a place she holds close to her heart. One of the boxes near Huntington High School seems most fitting, since it features former students, two of which she still communicates with.
The prized teacher is displaying no signs of slowing down in 2019. The month of March featured a whirlwind of activity for Ms. Mohanty. She started by being accepted to exhibit at the widely attended Clio International Art Fair in New York City.
“I started my artistic career in New York at the Fashion Institute of Technology some 28 years ago,” Ms. Mohanty said. “It was such a thrill to be among so many outstanding artists from around the world and to have even sold a piece to a new patron.”
She was recently in Boston to attend the National Art Educators Associations conference to help promote Davis Publication’s release of its first book, Media Arts. Ms. Mohanty’s expertise in the area is featured predominately throughout the book, including a portrait she created for editor-in-chief Nancy Walkup for the introduction. (It is also worth mentioning that former Huntington High School video arts teacher David Gran, who now teaches in China, is also included in the book.)
The publication of three articles written for separate editions of School Arts Magazine led to Ms. Mohanty’s involvement in the project. Her former student, Shaye O’Beirne’s artwork was selected for the cover of one such issue that was distributed to almost 6,000 attendees at the NAEA conference. She is now being considered as the author of her own solo book project as a result of the overwhelmingly positive feedback she received for her contribution to the collective Media Arts book.
Another of Ms. Mohanty’s permanent public art installations, along with work from three other artists, will go up soon along the Roe Walkway in Patchogue.
The Huntington Art Council held a reception last week at the Petite Gallery for its new exhibition titled Bright Colors Bold Strokes: Creations of Low Brow Art, in which Ms. Mohanty is participating. The show will run through May 4.
Late last week, Ms. Mohanty was one of a handful of artists who spoke about their artwork and their creative process at Haven Art Gallery in Northport.
So how does Ms. Mohanty feel about all this? “I am truly obsessed with making art and I’m dedicated to the service of my students,” she said. “I strongly recognize that what educators chose to do outside of the classroom, by choice, effects the overall inertia of their classroom. I support and acknowledge that educators have more to contribute within their classroom when they are willing engage and evolve as a multi-faceted individual. And with that I think I’ve earned a well-deserved nap, when I get a moment in about two or three months.”
To see Ms. Mohanty’s personal artwork you can visit her website at www.kasmiramohanty.com.