WITH AN aim to beautify the city, Rajkot Municipal Corporation held a meeting with the director general of the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) along with the principals of local architecture colleges, architects and builders on Sunday . To add aesthetic value to public places by installing artworks, Rajkot municipal commissioner Banchhanidhi Pani had recently met NGMA director general Adwaita Gadanayak and sought his help.
Gadanayak, a known sculptor, flew to Rajkot on Sunday morning and surveyed various traffic circles on BRTS Corridor, Kalavad Road, University Road, Race Course Ring Road and other areas. He also went to Khodaldham, a temple of goddess Khodiyar, built by Leuva Patel community, around 60 km from Rajkot, and inspected stock of sandstones laying there.
In the afternoon, Gadanayak held a meeting with RMC officers, architects, principals of architecture colleges and builders. The NGMA director sought to know the history of the city and material available for creating artworks. “If we all can come together, the project can be success,” Gadanayak said.
Paresh Gajera, president of Shree Khodaldham Trust (SKT), the religious organisation which has built the Khodaldham temple; Devang Parekh, principal of Indubhai Parekh School of Architecture; and representatives of architecture department of the Marwadi University were also present at the meeting. Gejara said SKT was ready to provide around 1,200 cubic feet of sandstone free of cost. “We also offer to order some blocks from our suppliers in Bhilwara, Rajasthan,” Gajera, also the president of Rajkot Builders’ Association, added. RMC city engineer Chirag Pandya said the civic body had stock of cobblestone, some concrete blocks and scrapped vehicles and that they could be used for creating artworks.
Municipal commissioner Pani proposed to form teams of architecture students and set up a workshop at Race Course. The student teams, led by their professors and architects, could create artworks, which could later be installed at public places. “The architecture colleges could take up the work as practicals or projects for their students. We also request the NGMA director general to send some architects. We would also like engineering colleges to join in. The RMC will duly acknowledge all those who contribute in the artworks,” said Pani. Gadanayak and colleges agreed to the proposal.
While the builders association offered to bring in finances required. At the end of the meeting, all parties agreed to meet again on June 19 where students will also be invited. “We proposed to allot installation sites to student team at that meeting. Details of these locations will be finalised before the meeting and circulated among colleges,” added Pani.
The municipal commissioner said that these artworks can be on the themes of Mahatma Gandhi’s early life in Rajkot, the city’s identity as the hub of micro, small and medium scale industries, its renowned oil engine industry, Aji dam and water conservation, climate change and festivals.