Across the world, public art initiatives have provided cities a way to connect culture and people. Chandigarh too is finally opening its heart and mind to public art initiatives.
After the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi (CLKA) and the UT Administration joined hands to give the city a 90 foot x 14 foot wall at the entrance of the Government Hospital, Sector 16, the CLKA is taking the effort forward.
It has zeroed in on another public area in Chandigarh for wall painting mural design — the subway/underpass of Sector 17 (ISBT) and Sector 22. The outer walls of both are in a shabby state at present. Both places also see a lot of footfall and public activity.
The Akademi has invited design entries for the project. The mural theme is Chandigarh and its many faces. The Chandigarh Administration has approved the project. “We specially chose these locations, for these are points of transit. People from different cities come to the ISBT here in 17, and the Sector 22 side is also abuzz with activity. We want the public, the common people to first look at something which is beautiful, vibrant and gives them a feel of the spirit of the city. Also, public art projects are essential for people to get close to art, and not be fazed by it,” said Bheem Malhotra, chairperson of the Akademi.
While the artists are free to play with various mediums for the project, enamel paint is best suited for areas exposed to the sun and rain. There are also prizes for two selected designs, with the CLKA sponsoring the entire expenditure for the project.
Malhotra says there are many areas in the city, which they hope to beautify in the near future, like walls in Sector 15, Sector 11 and Panjab University, and they hope to take this idea places, choosing walls which are not heritage walls. “We have photographed many areas for the project and are also placing sculptures on the Lake, the UT Guest House and later also some parks as part of our effort to take art to the people,” adds Malhotra.