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Amrita Chandra: Pushing Creative Boundaries

August 13th, 2009     by Desirée O     Comments

Every other Thursday I profile a new incredible woman, each from a different walk of life. Different professions, causes, backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, and anything/everything else!

So without further delay, let me introduce the wonderful Amrita Chandra…

If you already love contemporary art, you’ll adore tinku gallery. If it happens to be unfamiliar territory for you, Amrita Chandra will help you fall in love. A contemporary art gallery in Toronto, tinku gallery represents emerging and mid-career artists from across Canada and the US working in painting, photography and mixed media.

After spending 15 years in a marketing career spanning several countries and industries, travelling to over 30 countries on 6 continents, Amrita ended up among the rich arts culture of Bulgaria. Befriending a community of artists, Amrita’s love for visual art was sparked and she began to collect in the late 1990s, going on to sell art privately before discovering the space that is now tinku gallery.

What drives you to do what you do?

A desire to push my boundaries creatively & intellectually, have a little corner of the world that reflects my values, put the spotlight on artists that I love & help others fall in love with art. And of course, have lots of fun while I’m at it!

How does being a woman empower / challenge you?

I find it empowering to be nurturing, empathetic, a good listener and a good multitasker, qualities which are often associated with women but maybe also reflect my upbringing or personality traits. On the flip side, I find it challenging to work in mostly male-dominated environments which requires me to adapt to different ways of communicating.

What advice would you give to young women who want to follow in your footsteps?

Enjoy your life. Travel. Be curious. Treat every life experience as a lesson. Invest in your friendships and relationships alongside investing in your finances. Be discerning in how and with whom you spend your time. Cultivate your heart as well as your mind. Learn more than one language or a musical instrument or both - it can break down barriers. Use other people’s vulnerabilities as a lesson in compassion rather than an opportunity to exploit them. Most importantly, take good care of yourself.

Name one person, place, or thing every young woman should know about?

As an entrepreneur and intrepid traveler I found Anita Roddick incredibly inspiring. She embodied everything I valued in a person - creativity, social consciousness, femininity, curiosity, adventurousness, fearlessness, warmth and more… I could go on and on! I remember reading her book Body & Soul when I was living in London and it was like a light bulb went off my head in terms of seeing how she integrated her need to make a living with her desire to make a difference in the world. Soon after I met her, and did some work for her company, and was struck by the impact this one woman was able to make, starting with next to nothing. I think young women of today can learn a lot from her approach to life and work.

What is the most important thing we can do in order to change the world?

Gandhi famously said, “Be the change you wish to see in this world”. I think about that sentence every day. It starts off by being at peace with yourself and who you are, and then from there extends to how you treat others around you, whether it’s someone you have a personal relationship with or a person you are doing business with.

Find tinku gallery online at or if you’re in the Toronto area stop by the gallery at 437 Roncesvalles Ave.

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