Uma Rani Iyli

Uma Rani Iyli's picture
Neighborhood: Dogpatch
Group Affiliation: Dogpatch Collective


While time-based meditative processes such as wrapping and repetitive mark making inform my paintings, fiber work, installations and photographs, conceptually it is the idea of connective threads that ties them all together. Merging up-cycled daily objects with ancient practices, each resulting series acts as an avenue for dialogue between culture and time. My meditative process employs practices tied to my female identity of my Indian background and childhood memories. Through various media, I intentionally integrate the vibrant colors inspired by traditional Saris into my artwork considering notions of women’s work and its link to the hand. Each line that crosses another echoes the tradition of weaving and storytelling from my heritage. It is my hope that my work contributes a positive and hopeful energy to our contemporary art landscape instilling a sense of playfulness and curiosity through color, material and thoughtful constructions.

Born in Bangalore, India in 1974, Uma Rani Iyli’s studio practice has been based in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1996. She received her foundation art education at the College of Fine Arts, Bangalore. At the age of twenty-one, she moved to the United States and continued her studies at California College of Arts graduating in 2003 with a BFA in Sculpture. 

This past year, Uma’s work has been collected by the De Young Museum/Leigion of Honor and further recognized with the Juror’s Choice Exhibition Award by ICA SF’s Renee Cyla Villasenor through her participation at a juried show at the Sanchez Art Center, and the ArtSpan Amplify Juror's Choice Award, by San Francisco State Professor Micheal Arcega.

In 2021, Uma completed her largest corporate permanent installation commissioned by the Meta Open Arts Program for their Fremont, California location. Her fiber work was also recognized with Juror's Choice Awards by Kelsey Marie Issel, Arts Program Consultant & Co-founder of She Bends and the Executive Director of Chinese Historical Society of America Justin Hoover via ArtSpan's 2021 Open Studios Exhibition at SOMArts in San Francisco.

Over the many years of Uma’s art career, she has been part of various nationwide exhibitions including the New York Chelsea based JanKossens Gallery, Miami Scope Art, The de Young Museum, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Zellerbach Foundation and Marin Museum of Contemporary Art Fair. Her work has also been highlighted with an interview in Under The Radar contemporary artists by ArtSlant and recognized with a nomination for the TOSA Award by Minnesota Street Project and the SECA award nomination by the SFMOMA. 

Uma maintains two studios, one in San Francisco at Dogpatch Collective and another in Los Angeles.