Shakila Garugu is a self-taught artist and art instructor who believes in the importance of self-expression. Although she utilized her left-brain talents to receive her masters in mathematics, she later was inspired to focus on her right-brain talents by her mother’s art. She found a passion for painting and has since continued to create artwork for the last twenty-four years.

“I had amazing art teachers throughout high school and college,” said Witsken. “Angela Fritz is still a teacher at HSE and she is the reason that I went into professional art. I also had great people at Duke and Purdue University that helped me develop my painting, as well.”

After graduating high school, Witsken earned degrees in history and business, then worked in the corporate world for almost seven years. At the end of 2018, she moved back to Fishers to pursue her dream of becoming a full-time artist.

Shakila’s dynamic works capture both humans and animals. Each of her works is highly detailed and features areas of interest throughout the composition. Her intent in doing this she says is to “lead the viewer’s eyes to wander in different directions.” Her preferred media choices traverse oil, acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, and pencil. Shakila’s art these days is mostly realistic in nature consisting of portraits, landscapes, and figures.

Garugu currently teaches art to children and adults in both Fishers and Carmel. She has also inspired her two daughters, Shruthi and Neha, to carry on her passion of art. She originally started her art career in India, but has worked in or displayed her paintings in Arizona, California, Connecticut, and Indiana as well. Shakila says that no matter where she is, “whenever I can, I immerse myself into my passion of art. It gives me a reason to live as it makes life more colorful!”

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