While parking lots bring images of a dark, dull and shady place, residents of a Vasundhara highrise have turned their lot into an art gallery. Pillars of the basement in Olive County apartments have been used as canvasses and over 80 children have painted on the walls.
The initiative, called Art Gali, was started by a 44-year-old resident of the society, Hemant Passi, in June 2016. Today, over 100 pillars are marked with brilliant paintings by children aged from four-and-a-half years to eighteen years.
“It (the initiative) was during the children’s summer vacation. The idea was not to produce beautiful artwork but to get the children out of their homes and to harness their creativity,” KV Tyagi, the president of Olive County apartment owners’ association (AOA), said.
With an area of more than 80,000 sq ft and almost 2,000 pillars, the children had a lot of space to bring life to their imagination.
“We first plaster the pillars and then use acrylic paints and water colours to paint. Residents, who earlier used to exit the basement as soon as possible, now stop by and admire the artwork. I have also made few paintings on the pillars,” Passi, who is an international tour operator but pursues art as a hobby, said.
For 16-year-old Vidhi Bindal, the initiative has brought out her passion for art. “I have always been interested in art but never got an opportunity to showcase it. Projects and artwork submitted in school usually end up in the storerooms. However, after displaying my paintings on the pillars in the parking, I have gained confidence as many people have appreciated it,” Vidhi, a student of class 11, said.
Her father, Rajeev Bindal said that he has supported his daughter’s decision to choose arts as her main stream in school, though she received a perfect 10 CGPA in class 10. He said that he dreams of seeing his daughters’ own art gallery in the future.
Residents plan to take forward the initiative and also involve adults in it. “It is commendable that all residents have shown unity and not one person has come forward saying that AOA funds should not be used for the art gallery. We have invited adults also to take out time in the weekend and get in touch with their artistic side,” Tyagi said.
The society has over 800 flats and more than 3,000 residents.
“People come and take selfies with the artwork. The concept was initially hard to understand but, once they saw the results, more people came forward to participate. We aim to bring to life all 2,000 pillars in the lot,” said Passi.