Illuminating the Power and Beauty of Indian Textiles

Inspired by a passionate ROM volunteer, the new IARTS Textiles of India Fund will celebrate the splendour and influence of Indian textile arts in perpetuity. The Fund was created in honour of Arti Chandaria (1960–2015), whose first love was textiles—each one she wore had a story. Born in Bombay, Arti was first moved by her father’s textile export business. As a new Canadian, she galvanized the community to raise $3 million to establish the Curatorship of South Asian Visual Culture, the Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery, and to fund new acquisitions.

Awarded every other year, this grant will enable an emerging artist, a graduate student, an educator, a scholar, or simply a textiles enthusiast to further the preservation, documentation, understanding or revival of Indian textile arts. The grant incorporates a public engagement component, shaped by the recipient, such as a lecture, website, or performance, in order to share new insights with a wider audience.

“The IARTS Textiles of India Fund can be used anywhere in the world toward a project that enhances our knowledge of Indian textiles,” says Dr. Deepali Dewan, Dan Mishra Curator of South Asian Art & Culture. “We are so grateful to be able to foster cultural understanding and institutional collaboration while engaging the global community in the appreciation of this art form.”

Not only aesthetically pleasing, textiles offer new and surprising ways of understanding our world and its evolving cultures. “These vibrant and colourful fabrics hold memories, speak to future possibilities, and deserve to be shared,” says Dr. Sarah Fee, ROM Curator, Eastern Hemisphere Textiles & Fashion. “This award will be a great benefit not only to the Toronto arts community, but also to the larger South Asian art history field.”

We invite you to further enhance this fund by making a contribution. To support this grant, please contact Katie McMillan at or 416.586.5582.