Berkeley based Salma Arastu, a native of India's Rajasthan, has been creating and exhibiting her paintings internationally since the 1970s where her art works, whether paintings, sculptures, and poetry speak of human universality. Her art form and techniques are greatly interwoven with Arabic calligraphy, miniature arts and folk patterns, and her major influences through her travels. Born into the Hindu tradition in native India and embracing Islam later on, she has enjoyed the beauty of these two distinctive traditions first hand. At birth, she was given the life-defining challenge of a left hand without fingers.
As a visual artist, she has almost 40 solo shows to her credit, won several awards including East Bay Community’s fund for artists in 2012 and 2014, City of Berkeley’s Individual Artist grant award in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Her three works are in public places and has published five books with her poems and paintings.