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Art For Self-Reliance is a not for profit founded in 2007. It was created with the vision to explore oneself through creating and playing with materiality in visual art; and study its influence on how we shape our thinking, experience our emotions, carve our belief systems, and how we show up in this world. 


Its Founder & Executive Director, Oona Shambhavi D’mello was 21 at the time of its establishment. She was a student of psychology, self-taught artist and worked in visual merchandize and décor in Bombay, India. 





ASR worked in partnership with the International Justice Mission, a foundation working to rescue girls and women from trafficking in Bombay. ASR worked with over 350 girls and women to teach, develop and co-create a line of hand painted home goods. The process was hands on and experiential, building self-confidence and trust into the process of painting, drawing and play.

Her desire to start this work was a union of the practice of art, experience of creating, telling one’s story and the positive contagion it brought to one’s life. The model developed by ASR is one which is committed to the completion of the artistic practice and cycle; exploration, expression, creative practice, “making” and self- efficacy leading to the path of financial sustenance.

The initiative received a platform to exhibit the finished projects, in partnership with Turqoise Handicrafts Pvt. Ltd. The grand opening of the work received incredible feedback, volunteer interest and a sold-out product line within the first two days. Each artist received a check in her name signifying the close of a relational and experiential cycle being a step closer to emotional and financial self-efficacy and reliance. 

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