Vasant worked with photography and media in India. He studied communications media in Mumbai, including film, television, and radio, after earning his B.A. in sociology / anthropology at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, India. Vasant came to the United States to earn his Master of Visual Arts Degree from Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana.
Before the years that his talents were given full time to the Murthy Law Firm, Vasant Nayak had a distinguished and promising career as a professor, digital artist, and photographer. He created and directed a master’s degree program in digital arts at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland; one of the first of its kind in the U.S. at the time. Vasant has participated internationally in many group and solo exhibitions of his work throughout his art career. He has shown works of digitally manipulated prints, large format color photographs, of websites and interactive animation, and of black-and-white photography. A committed teacher and professor, respected by both his students and his colleagues, Vasant attended many conferences nationally and globally, addressing educators on culture and its relationship to photography, among other topics.
Gradually, however, the elitism of the fine arts scene became too incongruous with Vasant’s ideals and his relationship to all he believed to be simple, pure, and honest. He turned away from art making and wholeheartedly supported his wife, Sheela Murthy, as she began her U.S. immigration law practice. He secured a domain and built a website. MurthyDotCom was born and, coupled with her skill and tenacity, catapulted her to stardom in her field.
Once the MurthyNAYAK Foundation was established, Vasant returned to working in communications media, making short films, websites, publications, and other media for NGOs in India and nonprofit organizations in the United States, who are working for social change. These projects are offered through grants from the MurthyNAYAK Foundation, to organizations whose goals are in line with its mission. It was through his return to his earlier field that Vasant found himself again drawn to photography as an art form.
Since coming to the United States as a young man, each trip home has been a mission to make pictures, collect objects, and be imprinted by India deeply enough to sustain his soul and his art making until his next sojourn. Vasant says, although his body resides in the United States, his soul dwells in India, and his mind traverses between the two.
Photograph © Rick Baker