The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) open art gallery on a pedestrian-only street, to be held every Sunday at Kala Ghoda or K Dubash Marg, has failed to attract even a single artist this Sunday. However, BMC’s A ward officials said it could be because of demonetisation that artist are avoiding showcasing their work owing to the fear of fear of no takers due to cash crisis.
A brainchild of Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray, this art gallery, inaugurated on October 23, received low response within a month. Not just last Sunday, the BMC has not received enough response even in the past as hardly three artists had turned up for this open art gallery on Sunday, November 13, said civic sources.
Kiran Dighavkar, assistant municipal commissioner, said, “Initially we had received good response but owing to demonetisation, there was low response on last two Sundays. So, we are now approaching institutions like JJ School of Arts and others to promote this initiative.”
A senior civic officer said, “No response on Sunday could be because of demonetisation as artists also may be facing the brunt of low cash and they may not get the expected amount back as visitors may have no cash. We hope that things will not be the same next Sunday”
The civic body’s A ward places 21 box spaces on the side strips of the road for artists to showcase their talent at a fee of around Rs400 but they ahve to book the space with the ward office in advance. The civic body shuts the road for vehicular movement every Sunday from 9am to 7pm.
While this has been an initiative for which Yuva Sena chief has been pushing for, despite receiving low response, the civic body is not likely to shut this art gallery any time soon. Thackeray had met municipal commissioner Ajoy Mehta and mayor Snehal Ambekar in September to discuss about the pedestrian-only streets in the city. He had suggested four roads in South Mumbai for the project — K Dubash Marg and Perin Nariman at Kala Ghoda, Bora Bora Street and Nagin Das Master Road in Fort for a start.