Neela Pushparaj is an 80-year-old grandmother who grew up in India and migrated to the U.S. after finishing medical school. She started painting watercolors at age 49 under the tutelage of Sarita Anne Cooke at the Summit Adult Education program. Following her advice, she attended W/C classes at du’ Cret in Plainfield, NJ for 2 semesters as a part time student. She then became passionately interested in painting watercolors and took multiple workshops. Her career as a hospital pathologist continued along with her painting and pursuit of art. She was able to help start an art gallery at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY and exhibited her work there. She also donated her art for fund raising. Her favorite style of painting is to add colors to wet or damp paper and allowing shapes to emerge from them by picking them out with negative painting
Many of her prints hang at the St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY and six of her semiabstract floral prints are in the radiology department of Atlantic City Medical Center, as a result of being chosen from a State-wide competition. Several of her paintings are on display at FCG Advisors, in Chatham, NJ.
Neela is a member of the NJCVA, NJWS, GSWCS and the Essex Watercolor Club. She exhibits with these organizations off and on, has received First place award for W/C as well as a certificate of honor from NJCVA in Summit. In the past, she has had a few solo shows at the Radiology Gallery at St Francis, and has exhibited at the Morristown Memorial Hospital, the Bouras office building in Summit as well as at the New Providence and Summit libraries. Neela has also participated in shows at The Temple in Livingston, NJ, New Century gallery in Chelsea, the Jadite gallery in NYC just to name a few. She has participated in multiple art residencies at the Scenic Hudson, Red Barn in Beacon, NY and in Poland.
For the past several years, she was the art director of Woman-Art, which was run by the Summit College Club for women artists of the NY-NJ-PA area at the New Providence library were artists can exhibit two-dimensional art in any medium.