“One of the many elements that I like in your work is that there IS a deliberate decorative component (which you acknowledge in your writing/speaking), but it functions very subtly as another example of the word ‘drawing’, in that it draws the viewer further into your work, where they may discover what lies beneath or rather interwoven with the seemingly decorative elements. This was apparent in your series of small screen prints years ago, and is still amazingly apparent in your huge murals. That is not easy to accomplish; that thread (again, a reference to fabric) is what you’ve been following, and other threads have been introduced as you weave your many narratives into what I also refer to as ‘one’s life’s work as a self-portrait.’ Very elegantly done, conceptually and physically."

Gordon Trick, printmaker and former instructor

CBC Exhibitionists Video
Sandeep Johal memorializes victims of femicide as powerful goddess figures
Video credit: Milena Salazar with assistance from Joelle Cabalu


Sandeep Johal is a Canadian visual artist whose colourful geometric forms and intricate black and white line work is aesthetically and conceptually inspired by her South Asian heritage.

Sandeep believes in the power of art to create awareness around issues related to cultural identity, gender equality, and human rights. Her art practice is an expression of her social and cultural concerns, particularly gender justice. Her most recent series, She Left Only To Come Back (2019) is an exploration of femininity, motherhood, inter-generational trauma and loss set against a backdrop of familial obligation and self-sacrifice.

Sandeep is the 2019 recipient of Darpan Magazine’s Artistic Visionary Award. She was also recently invited to make a site-specific work using projection mapping technology for Facade Festival created by Burrard Arts Foundation in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery, commissioned to paint four murals inside the Vancouver Art Gallery in conjunction with Moving Still: Performative Photography In India, and collaborated with Vancouver Mural Festival on a special community mural project about the Komagatamaru which involved the denaming of a federal building.

Sandeep’s work has been featured in CBC Arts, CBC Exhibitionists, The Vancouver Sun, CTV Morning Live, The Georgia Straight, Gray Magazine, This Magazine, SAD Mag, and numerous other print and online publications. She holds a Fine Arts Diploma (honours) from Langara College (2007), as well as a B.Ed (2002) and B.Sc (1998) from the University of British Columbia.

Sandeep lives and works in Vancouver with her husband and son.

b. 1975

2007   Fine Arts Diploma (honours), Langara College, Vancouver

Solo Exhibitions
2019 She Left Only To Come Back, Art Rentals + Sales Program operated by the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
2017    Rest In Power, The Gam Gallery, Vancouver

Select Group Exhibitions
2019 The Return of 100 Amigos, El Kartel x Drew Young, Vancouver (upcoming)
2019 Vancouver Mural Festival Year 4 Gallery Show, Vancouver
2019    In/Visible: Body as Reflective Site, The McClure Gallery and the Visual Arts Centre in partnership with the IMPACTS Project (McGill University), Montreal
2018    Graphically Speaking in conjunction with Capture Photo Festival, MNSTR Gallery, Vancouver
2018    Start With Art, Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver
2017    Challenging Social Norms, Maury Young Arts Center, Whistler
2017    Vancouver Mural Festival Year 2 Gallery Show, Burrard Arts Foundation, Vancouver
2017    Reflections of Canada, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey
2017    Start With Art, Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver
2016    Pantone Presents, The Gam Gallery, Vancouver
2016    Maplewish in conjunction with Nuit Blanche, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg

Select Public Projects
2019 Facade Festival, Burrard Arts Foundation in partnership with Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
2019 Red Geometric 1 Vinyl Wrap, Eihu Lane, Canvas Corridor, Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association
2019 Uptown Rutland Mural Festival, Kelowna
2019 Taike-Sye'yə, Vancouver Mural Festival Special Community Project, Vancouver
2019 Bard on the Beach 30th Anniversary Mural, Vancouver
2019 Altars, four murals in conjunction with Moving Still: Performative Photography from India, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
2018    Wall to Wall Mural Festival, Winnipeg
2018    Starweaver Installation in collaboration with Debra Sparrow, Indian Summer Festival, Vancouver
2018    Museum Bhavan, Indian Summer Festival x Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver
2018    Art Smash, Granville Island x Vancouver Mural Festival, Vancouver
2017    Vancouver Mural Festival, Vancouver
2017    Mural Design, Front Street Mews Barrier, New Westminster
2017    Canada 150 Street Banner, Public Art Program, Surrey
2016    Concrete Planter, Public Art Program, Vancouver

Select Teaching & Community Events
2019 Drink and Draw, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond
2018    Wisdom Stones Workshop, Pause Pavilion, Indian Summer Festival, Vancouver
2017    Mandala Workshop, Arts & Heath Elder Dance Program, Moberly Arts & Cultural Center, Vancouver
2017    Mandala Workshop, Seaforth Elementary School, Burnaby
2017    Mandala Workshop, Mount Pleasant Family Center, Vancouver
2017    Mandala Workshop, Anvil Centre, New Westminster
2017    Mandala Workshop, Global Stewardship Conference, St. George's High School, Vancouver
2016    Community Art Activity, National Children’s Day, Centennial Community Center, New Westminster
2016    Community Art Activity, Diwali Fest, Queensborough Community Center, New Westminster
2016    Community Mandala, Vancouver Mural Festival, Vancouver
2016    Mandala Workshop, Robert McMath Secondary School, Steveston

Indian Summer Festival, Vancouver
Earls Ambleside, West Vancouver
Private collections in North America, Europe, Australia, and India

Art Donation
2019 Drawing, Art For Life, Dr. Peter Aids Foundation
2018 Hand-painted lengha, Maple Batalia Memorial Scholarship for the Arts, South Asian Fashion Week
2017 Drawing, Fall Gala for Out in Schools, Out On Screen Society

Grants & Awards
2019 Artistic Visionary Award, Darpan Magazine
2017    Creative Spark Vancouver Grant, ArtStarts
2007   Langara College Advancement Fine Arts Scholarship Fund: Design Studio Award

Select Talks
2019 Panelist, Facade Festival, Vancouver Art Gallery
2019 Alumni Artist Talk Series, Langara College, Vancouver
2019 Artist Talk, She Left Only To come Back, Art Rentals + Sales Program operated by the Vancouver Art Gallery
2018     Arts and Culture Roundtable, Forward, Backwards, Sideways: Critical Turns in South Asian Canadian Art
and Culture, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford 
2018     Panelist, Adjacentlands: Conversation on Contemporary Art, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey
2017     Panelist, Driving with Selvi Documentary Screening, Anvil Center, New Westminster
2017     Speaker, Pecha Kucha New West Volume 17, New Westminster
2017     Artist Talk, Rest In Power, The Gam Gallery
2017     Artist Talk, Thrive Art Studio x Van Mural Fest, Vancouver
2017     Art for Social Justice, Global Stewardship Conference, St. George's High School, Vancouver
2017     Speaker, Pecha What, Thrive Art Studio x Carfac BC, Vancouver

2018    Indian Summer Festival, Vancouver
2017     Artist in Residence Program, Anvil Centre, New Westminster

Art Rental + Sales Program operated by the Vancouver Art Gallery