Art promoters from across India met on Friday to discuss taking art out of ‘restrictive’ gallery spaces and making it more accessible to the public.
Ways of Being: Alternative Ways of Art Promotion in India, the workshop for artists and art professionals, was organised by Mumbai-based studios, The Loft, and Mohile Parikh Centre.
“In Mumbai, we’re confined by factors such as high rent, cost of maintenance and lack of visibility,” said Anupa Mehta, director of The Loft in Lower Parel.
While creative efforts to show case art in other parts of India are ongoing, funding for the arts seemed the common, biggest hurdle.
For instance, in Guwahati, artists can sail on a residency aboard a ferry floating along the Brahmaputra river run by an artists’ collaborative, Perriferry.
In Bangalore, art professor Suresh Jayaram has dedicated his home, 1 Shanti Road, to an art gallery and residency.
“If we keep chasing funds and grants from Indian and western foundations, we won’t have time to promote art,” said Mehta.
“We need to form a collective and apply marketing and fund-raising principles to come up with a solution,” she added.
If a collective is formed, the organisations will start working together and share database, conduct artist exchanges and strategies to promote art.
But artist Suresh Kumar who started Samuha, a one-year collective model to promote Bangalore-based talent, said that formulating strategies wasn’t as important as taking art to the masses.
“Galleries are rated depending on the artist they showcase, and vice versa. We need to promote young artists based on their passion and share their work with the community,” he added.