Hadia Nayab Shaikh is a Pakistani-American curator, writer, community organizer, and interdisciplinary artist residing in Chicago. Born overseas in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Hadia’s family migrated to Indianapolis where she was raised. Hadia has studied art and explored museums in Spain, Sweden, and France but it was through her aunt’s ceramic exhibitions in Pakistan and Indianapolis First Fridays where she first fell in love with art, community, and curation.
Hadia has a BA from Herron School of Art and Design and an MA with a graduate certificate in Museum Studies from Indiana University’s School of Liberal Arts at Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis. In addition to this, she attended Parsons Paris for their MA program, History of Design and Curatorial Studies. As a curator, she focuses on curating thematic and interactive exhibitions that support the work of under-recognized and emerging artists and providing an educational and innovative experience that actively engages audiences.
Her interests lie in exploring socio-political issues globally, religion and culture, and creating a sense of community through the exhibits she curates. Hadia has over five years of experience curating exhibitions, public programming, and community organizing. Her writing has been published and featured in “NUVO” and “Newcity Art.”
As a museum professional, Hadia has always been inquisitive. What are new trends for effective learning in museums? What kind of exhibits effect visitors the most? What kind of design makes for good learning? How can we curate exhibits that display art, storytelling, and interaction at the same time? How can we provoke social change through exhibits? What themes engage an audience? How can museums help today's artists?
In her free time, Hadia enjoys time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, drawing and painting, hiking, and attending fashion events. Her goals and dreams are endless. Hadia keeps a bucket list which includes visiting 100 museums, exploring the west coast, running marathons, traveling, hiking in national parks, getting married, living the city life with scenic views, opening up a cafe, and designing a clothing line.
Follow her art and museum adventures through Instagram: @khaishbyh.