Artist Bio

Many of Salma Arastu’s paintings, drawings and sculptures are center around the concept of lines—following an inner rhythm, forming figural compositions and at other times abstract formations. Her paintings are visually flowing, spiraling  through space in hushed and deep tones in a synthesis of contour, color and space.

Arastu’s work is created through an ongoing process of introspection that involves action and reaction to a variety of materials.  Her method is physical and meditative in a process that fills each canvas with moving lines and multi-layered textures.


Selected Recent Solo Show (2005-2015)

  • Multicultural Center, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
  • September 30 to December 11 2015
  • Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO September 13–December 6 2015
  • Levantine Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA, March, 2015
  • Artfully Elegant Gallery, Bethlehem, PA- A Retrospective-October 2014
  • Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA, September-November 2014
  • Robert Graves Gallery, Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, WA, Feb-March 2014
  • Art @ the Y, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, March-April, 2013
  • Expressions Gallery, Berkeley, CA , January, 2013
  • Dominican University Gallery, San Rafael, CA 2012
  • King Gallery, Unitarian Universalist at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 2012
  • A temporary exhibition, Art in Embassies, US Department of State, US Embassy Rangoon, Burma.2011-2013
  • Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA 2011
  • CIIS-California Institute of Integral Studies Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2009
  • Chandler Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2007
  • ArtJaz Gallery, Philadelphia, PA 2006
  • The Hope Horn Gallery, Scranton University, Scranton, PA 2005
  • Monsoon Galleries, Bethlehem, PA 2005
  • Fayberger Gallery, Penn State University, Reading, PA 2005
  • Radford University Art Museum, Radford University, Radford, VA 2005

Selected Recent Solo Show (2005-2015)

  • Emeryville 29th Annual art show, Emeryville, CA October 3rd to 24th 2015
  • Juanita Salazar Lowe Art Gallery, Imperial Valley College, Imperial. CA April 2015
  • Intersections: Asian American Narratives, Lindsay Dirkx Brown Art Gallery, San Ramon, CA, February 3 – 27, 2015
  •  ‘Serenity’ at UCSF Women’s Health Center, San Francisco, CA  April 15 – July 14, 2015
  • Living with Endangered Languages: Root Division, San Francisco, CA January,2015
  • Sacred Voices: Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH December 2013- April 2014
  • Under Currents: SomArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA May,2013
  • Echo of Islam: Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA February,2013
  • Honoring Women Rights: The National Steinb3ck Center, Salinas Valley, CA 2012
  • Invoking Peace: Euphart Art Museum, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA 2012
  • Muslim Eye: Marin Community Foundation, Novato, CA 2012
  • Offerings: Town of Danville Art Gallery, Danville, CA 2011
  • Visions of Paradise: Art & The Power of Faith at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma, CA 2010
  • Picturing the word: The Visuality of Text at Doug Adams Gallery, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA 2010
  • The Art Gallery at Cleveland University, Cleveland OH 2010
  • Exaltation of the Insignificants: Terra Galleria, Santa Monica, CA 2009
  • Beaux & Eros: Peninsula Museum of Art, Belmont, CA 2008
  • Expanding Circles: Delaware Contemporary Center for Arts, Wilmington, 2007
  • Stanford Art Spaces, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 2007
  • Four shows sponsored by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts in State College, Harrisburg, Pittsburg and Philadelphia, PA 2006
  • Spring show, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 2005

Public Art

  • Public sculpture- Eight feet tall and four feet wide water-jet-cut Steel and Copper “Dancing With the Stars” installed at Port of San Diego in October-2010
  • Public sculpture – Ten feet tall and 6 feet wide laser-cut Aluminum sculpture “ The Celebration of Arts” installed at Steel Stacks. in Bethlehem PA in April 2011
  • Finalist for public art proposal Wellness and Recreation Center at San Angelo university, San Angelo, Texas, November 2011
  • Dancing with the stars- exhibition at Geyserville, CA November 2011-October 2012.
  • Dancing with the Stars- exhibition at San Rafael City Hall, CA ,October 2012-May 2013.
  • Five large painting murals for Beirut Restaurant, Allentown PA. Each mural 8’ X 14’ -1991


  • City of Berkeley Individual artist grant, Berkeley, 2014
  • East Bay Community Foundation’s “ Fund for Artists”, Oakland, CA 2014
  • East Bay Community Foundation’s “ Fund for Artists”, Oakland, CA 2012
  • First Place, Northeastern Regional Art Show, Marywood University, Scranton, PA in 2004.
  • First Place, Lehigh Art Alliance Annual Show, Bethlehem, PA in 2004
  • Honorable Mention-Berks Art Alliance Show, Reading Art Museum, Reading, PA, 2001
  • Honorable Mention-Harrisburg Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA in 2001
  • Vermont Studio Center: won residency fellowship for two weeks in October 2002
  • In the summer of 2000 Salma won a (6) week Artist-in-Residence Award. She lived and worked and held exhibition of her works in Swabisch Gumund, southern Germany.
  • Second Prize in Works on Paper, Soho, New York, NY in 1995

Talks and Presentations

  • July 31st 2015, Commonwealth Club of San Francisco “Unity of Sacred Symbols and Words”
  • In April 2013. Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezyous (LASER) she presented a talk on Celebration of Calligraphy and Journeys of Love.
  • In October 2012, Stanford University International Club Invited her to present her talk and slide show about her works “ My Journey Towards My God”
  • On 20th January 2013, Mythos Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA invited her to present her paintings and recite Rumi Poems from her series” Turning Rumi: Singing Verses of Love, Unity and Freedom”.
  • In June of 2011, Westphalian Wilhelms-University in Münster Germany invited Salma Arastu to read her paper “ Art informed by Spirituality” in their International Symposium: God Loves Beauty: Post Modern Views on Religion and Art.
  • In August of 2011, Commonwealth Club of San Francisco invited her to present her paper on “Sacred Heritage: A blending of Hindu and Islamic Traditions.

Public and Private Collections

  • Al Mayya LLC, Fujairah -UAE
  • 9/11 Memorial Museum, New York, NY
  • Islamic Museum of Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    St. Lukes Hospital, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Counseling and Wellness Center at University of Florida, Gainsville, Florida
  • Alameda County Arts Commission, Oakland, California
  • State Museum of the Arts, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • Museum of Modern Art, Hyderabad, India
  • Salarjung Museum, Hyderabad, India
  • National Gallery of Art, New Delhi, India
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital, Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania Power & Light, Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Spring Health Clinic, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • In the US and Canada, more than 200 paintings in private collections.


  • Masters degree in Fine Arts from Maharaja Sayaji Rao University in Baroda, India, 1974
  • Associate degree in Graphic Arts from Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA 2088
  • Certification in Public Art from Public Art Academy in East Bay in January 2010.

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