Dave started his career in the field of fine arts as a signboard and banner painter in Ahmedabad. In 1950, Dave joined the Faculty of Fine Arts of the MS University in Baroda, where he obtained both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in painting.
Today, Dave is know as much for his paintings as he is for his large murals which adorn the walls of art institutions and public spaces all over the world. He was commissioned and flown by Air India to decorate its offices in Frankfurt and Sydney, but the fondest memory he has of a mural he painted is of the one in the VIP lounge of an airport in New York. Painted in 1963, this mural reflects Daveâ€™s village upbringing and the tough times his family faced when he was a young child in Badpura. Shanti Dave has held several one-man exhibitions in India and abroad since his first in 1957, and has participated in group exhibitions including prestigious shows like the South East Asia Art Exhibition in the Philippines, 1957, the International Graphic Exhibition in Switzerland, 1960, the Commonwealth Exhibition in London, 1962 and other international events in Japan, France, East Europe and the Middle East. This artist has been the proud recipient of a Padma Shree and the National Art Academy Award on three occasions in 1956, 1957 and 1958. Dave is a member of the Executive Board of the Lalit Kala Academy, and a member of the Sahitya Kala Parishad, both in New Delhi.