Anila Quayyum Agha was born in Lahore, Pakistan. She has an M.F.A. from the University of North Texas. Agha’s work has been exhibited in multiple international art fairs as well as in over twenty-five solo shows and fifty group shows. Recent solo shows in 2015–16 include the Dallas Contemporary Art Museum, Rice Gallery at Rice University in Houston, The National Sculpture Museum, Valladolid, Spain, and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. In 2005, Agha was an Artist in Resident at the Center for Contemporary Craft, Houston. Agha relocated to Indianapolis in 2008 to teach at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and is currently the associate professor of drawing. In 2009 Agha was the recipient of the Efroymson Arts Fellowship. She has received two IAHI grants (2010/2015) and a New Frontiers Research Grant (2012) from Indiana University. In 2013 Agha received the Creative Renewal Fellowship awarded by the Indianapolis Arts Council. Agha won the two top prizes at ArtPrize 2014, in the international art competition held in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her entry, titled “Intersections,” earned the ArtPrize 2014 Public Vote Grand Prize and split the Juried Grand Prize in a tie. This year Agha was awarded the highest research award by Indiana University titled Glenn W. Irwin, Jr., M.D. Research Scholar Award—2016.
Agha works in a cross disciplinary fashion with mixed media; creating artwork that explores global politics, cultural multiplicity, mass media, and social and gender roles in our current cultural and global scenario. As a result her artwork is conceptually challenging, producing complicated weaves of thought, artistic action, and social experience.