First it was weekenders, then plush weekend getaways. Now, a Mumbai art gallery has shifted to Alibaug, choosing the leisurely pace of the beach town and the sprawling open spaces on offer over the bustle and rising rents of Colaba.
Well-known Mumbai art gallery The Guild has opened a 3,500-sq-ft exhibition space in Alibaug, six months after it shut its 1,800-sq-ft space in Colaba.
After six months of looking for space in the city, The Guild founder and director Shalini Sawhney finally found it more economical to buy a plot and build a gallery from scratch in Alibaug.
The new space is a two-storey structure with verandahs and high ceilings, and will give art the time and space it needs, hosting exhibitions that will go on for 45 to 60 days, as opposed to the one-month shows in Colaba.
In the three months of the monsoon, when boats do not ply between Mumbai and Mandwa, Swahney plans to organise experimental art projects by inviting artists over for a residency.
“A space like this offers several opportunities to do something different. We will also be engaging with the local community and organise art projects with them,” Swahney says.
With Alibaug just an hour away, and the swish set of south Mumbai spending more time there, at the growing number of luxury bungalows and weekend getaways in the beach town, it seemed the perfect fit, Sawhney adds.
“Many of my clients own houses in Alibaug, and the alternate lifestyle of the town, where people come to chill and rewind, will be good for my business,” she says.
The gallery has opened with an exhibition titled Outremer, curated by Ranjit Hoskote and featuring works by Sudhir Patwardhan, Gieve Patel, TV Santhosh and Vivan Sundaram. All works are from the gallery’s collection and are not for sale.