Art Lovers Only

The desire to have a crowded,packed hall during art exhibitions makes Delhi galleries a hot favourite for shows but when curator Sushma Bahl set out to plan the ‘Art Mart’ at Epicentre...

Written by Vandana Kalra | Published:February 28, 2009 11:43 pm

A new cultural centre in Gurgaon aims at promoting art awareness

The desire to have a crowded,packed hall during art exhibitions makes Delhi galleries a hot favourite for shows but when curator Sushma Bahl set out to plan the ‘Art Mart’ at Epicentre,the culture centre in Gurgaon,she was convinced that its location will not be a deterrent. “There is an interesting programme schedule and with the mart we are targeting people who are genuinely interested in art,” stated Bahl,as she readied for the inaugural ceremony on Friday evening that featured a Bharatnatyam performance by Santnu Chakraborty,Santosh Nair and troupe. Occupying stalls at the venue,meanwhile,were representatives from 10 galleries and 30 artists from across the country,who have on display select artworks for sale. “The response has been good,” added Bahl.

On the discussion table for almost a year,the aim to raise art awareness also led to the chalking of a two-day art appreciation course,beginning today,that will be an integral part of the festival. “There are a range of topics that will discuss a variety of concerns,” stated Bahl. So if the opening lecture will have art historian Dr Parul Pandya Dhar talk on the ‘Introduction to Indian Art: Concepts and Forms’,the post-lunch session will have Siddhartha Tagore,editor,Art & Deal magazine,speak on ‘Tribal,Folk and Popular in Indian Art’. On the following day,Serra Pradhan,a New York based art dealer and adviser,will address the audience on the ‘Western Art Scene: Some Current Practices’. “There will be a lot of interaction with the audience,” said Bahl,as she noted that the presence of artists in an art camp organised at the same venue will also provide an opportunity to interact with them. In attendance will be several artists including Gopi Gajwani,Arunkumar HG and Satish Gupta.

Dressing up the culture centre,meanwhile,are also installations and works of public art. While Hemi Bawa’s 4ft x 2ft work ,The Flowering,in cast glass with copper figures in fibre glass,occupies one corner,some distance away is Karl Antao’s World of Words in stainless steel. Will the slowdown affect the sale at the mart? “People interested in understanding art should come,they may or may not buy. Also,there is a price range,from the masters to the really young artists,” she stated.

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