About the artist
Jan Salter is a British artist who has been living in Nepal for more than 40 years. She is widely celebrated for her portraits of the people of Nepal, as well as for her leadership in several social causes, including the anti-trafficking movement and animal welfare.
Jan was born in Southampton, England. During her formative years in the 1960s, she travelled to many far corners of the world, including a visit to Nepal in 1967-1968. Nepal captured her imagination and her heart and after several years traveling in other countries, she returned to Kathmandu in 1975. It has been her home ever since.
Jan trekked all over the country, drawing and painting portraits of the diverse ethnic groups who inhabit different regions of the country. This body of work became the material for a book: Faces of Nepal, a collaboration between Salter and Harka Gurung, one of Nepal’s most prominent geologists and anthropologists. The book is a unique ethnographic study of many of the more than 100 caste and ethnic groups of Nepal, published in 1996 to much critical acclaim.
Jan also worked closely with the organization Maiti Nepal which rescues and rehabilitates Nepali girls and women who have been trafficked and sold into prostitution. (Maiti Nepal’s founder, Anuradha Koirala, was nominated CNN Hero of the Year in 2010.) Salter produced a series of paintings entitled "All Our Daughters" of trafficking survivors, eloquently capturing both the suffering and the resilience of these women.
In 2004, Jan founded the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre), a charity organization that works to promote the health of street dogs in Kathmandu, through animal birth control, rabies vaccination, disease treatment and community education. KAT is the largest animal welfare organization in the country.
Jan has had a number of solo exhibitions, and received many awards in recognition of both her art and service to Nepal, including the “Gorkha Dakshin Bahu” presented by the then Nepali king, Birendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1997; the Human Society International’s “Extraordinary Commitment and Achievement Award in 2010; and an MBE, “Member of the British Empire” conferred by the Queen of England in 2012.
Photo: Narendra Shrestha