Sushmita Mazumdar is an Arlington-based artist, writer, and educator, and founder of Studio Pause, her art studio where she invites the community to make time to explore creativity and celebrate the art and stories in the community.
After a 15-year career in the advertising industry in India and the US, Sushmita started writing stories about her childhood in India to show her American-born son how different yet wonderful lives can be. She taught herself how to make each story into a unique book by hand. In 2007 she launched Handmade Storybooks and since then her work has been about encouraging children, families, and seniors to share their stories of home, heritage, and migration through the fun and exciting book arts.
In 2010 Sushmita participated in the Smithsonian Folklife Festival's Asian Pacific American Local Lives Global Ties program. In Oct 2012 she had her first solo show at Glen Echo Park's Popcorn Gallery. She opened Studio Pause in Sept 2013. She has designed and taught projects for the Smithsonian Institution and its museums, Arlington Arts, Alexandria City Public Schools, DC Public Libraries, National Building Museum, and Alexandria Black History Museum. She has also been a docent at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art since 2000.
"I work across stories, book arts, and visual art, often mixing into it the community who collaborate, discuss, and respond to inform my creations. I believe that everybody is creative, and everyone has stories to share—we just don't explore them because we don't have the time, don't think we are very good at it, and we don't think anyone cares."
In 2018 Sushmita was awarded Arlington County's Woman of Vision award for her work at Studio Pause. And in 2019 she was appointed one of 13 Arts Commissioners for Virginia.