Tania Qurashi


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Artist's Biography

Tania Qurashi (b. New Jersey) is a painter who lives and works in Philadelphia, PA. Qurashi attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and received a BFA in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts in 2016 and an MFA at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2021. She has attended an academic residency at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and completed the Tyler School of Art Summer Painting & Sculpture Intensive in Philadelphia, PA, and an academic residency at Goldsmiths College in London, UK. Qurashi has exhibited her work in group exhibitions including Asian Arts Initiative, Stella Elkins Gallery at Tyler School of Art, Anne Bryan Gallery, and Walter & Leonore Annenberg Gallery at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Artist's Statement

My work is rooted in feelings that cannot be simply expressed, one that is impacted by my identity as the daughter of immigrants from Pakistan and Guatemala. Through paintings, drawings, and objects, I explore the cultural, racial, and ethnic melancholy and isolation of living in an American suburb. The exploration of gardens, windows, fences, and objects respond to the many facets of my identity as a child of immigrants, a multiracial and multiethnic woman, subjected to American history and idealism.

These very multiple and fragmented identities contribute to the shifts in imagery to convey an exploration of the immigrant experience of settling into a suburb for safety and security but often finding other forms of tensions and conflicts. An attempt at reconciliation with the self through windows and fences affirms our identities as outsiders looking in and looking out. Objects become vessels of exchange between cultures and generations, as well as channels to explore the romantic, religious, personal, and the political. The experiences, possessions, and possibilities that we collect allow us to reflect upon ourselves and come to an understanding of our authentic selves.

Fences form barriers to explore ideas of comfort and confinement. Due to the inability to belong, we retreat into these in-between spaces and cultivate a space that is entirely our own. The garden becomes the location for the search of self and as a place where intersections between cultures, histories, and identities can exist and grow. It is a place where flowers are portraits of homelands that are both rooted, uprooted, and reproduced. The garden represents the aftermath and afterlife of our histories and legacies that often begin in our own backyards.

Selected Exhibitions

Reflection(s), Anne Bryan Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

The Imploring Surface, Stella Elkins Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

National Prize Show, Kathryn Schultz Gallery, Cambridge, MA

A More Perfect Union, Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia, PA

Where Your Garden Grows, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Relic Futura, Circle of Hope, Philadelphia, pa

Offspring, Gallery One, Philadelphia, PA

Artist's Bibliography

"Portraiture Engaging Ideas Of Fiction And Romance Tania Qurashi", Create! Magazine, Issue XVII, October 28, 2019

Wunderkind Magazine

Lin, Alie, "Act I and II," Asian Arts Initiative, August 2, 2017

TOURMALINE, "Interview – Tania Qurashi," fēlan zine, January 19, 2017

Professional Experience

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Form and Structure Drawing and Painting with Jill Rupinski (Undergraduate)

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Artists Writing with Kaitlin Pomerantz (Low-residency MFA)

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Figure Painting with Bruce Samuelson (Undergraduate)

Awards & Scholarships

InLiquid, Philadelphia, PA
Wind Young Fellowship, Honorable Mention

Roberta Treatman Eisenberg Memorial Scholarship

Viola Foulke Scholarship

Ernest W. Greenfield Annual Memorial Award in Painting

Artistic Excellence Award MFA Scholarship


The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
MFA Candidate

Goldsmiths College, London, England
Summer Residency

Tyler School of Art & Architecture, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Painting and Sculpture Summer Intensive

The School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
Summer Residency

The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
BFA, Interdisciplinary Fine Arts, Concentration in Painting and Drawing