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Mumbai’s art agents

Two city girls scout for talent with a venture that brings artists closer to their marketplace.

entertainment Updated: Jan 24, 2011 15:11 IST
Sneha Mahale

Mumbai is home to so many artists and their artworks that at times it is easy for some of them to get lost in the crowd and never be ‘discovered’. Not anymore.

Two city girls have started a venture called Art Umbrella that hopes to give artists a voice as well as platform to showcase their talent. They can also use the platform to reach out to the market and sell their works.

Young at art
“We decided to start this venture because we realised that though there was a lot of art and craft on offer, there was no one thing holding it all together,” says 24-year-old Ornella D’Souza, who co-founded the venture along with her friend Anusha Pinto.

Art Umbrella went online in mid-December and had a soft Christmas launch to test the market waters. They featured three artists from their database that had come up with unique Christmas-themed gift ideas such as reindeer and Christmas tree ties, bags with snowflake designs and cards made of brocade, bindis, cloth and embellishments. The section got a great response.

What’s new?
Art Umbrella’s attempt is to feature unusual and indigenous art and artists. Among their database of artists are those who paint on clothes and bags, artists good at traditional art like Warli and Madhubani paintings as well as green artists who are good at recycling clothes and creating something new out of them.

The idea is to give such artists a platform to reach a large audience and showcase their talent.

D’Souza and Pinto are looking to feature art trend stories, give their perspective on artists and their works as a means to provide information and share updates about competitions and events that would be useful to both artists and their audience. The duo will also help out artists by giving expert ideas on what may or may not work depending on the market conditions as well as a consumer feedback. For a wider reach, D’Souza and Pinto have put both their groups and initiative on Facebook.

“Right now, we are working on an idea called Denim Theory and will ask people to send in old denims. Then in turn, we’ll send the denim out to designers who will create funky stuff out of it,” explains D’Souza.

Art Umbrella’s shopping cart that will help market these products will be online in February.