By Nalini S Malaviya
Recession and a slowdown in the art mart not withstanding, one hopes that as the year 2009 unfolds, it ushers in a new era filled with happiness and prosperity for all. In the art world too, one would like to see a few changes specific to our city. Some of the things that I would like to see are:
The one thing that Bangalore sorely lacks is museums and other institutions dedicated to showcasing art. Apart from the Venkatappa Art Gallery and the Chitrakala Parishath there are hardly any other public spaces that display permanent art exhibitions. The world over cultural centers such as museums and heritage sites are carefully preserved and promoted as tourist centers. Local citizens and school children are also actively encouraged to visit them and these form important learning centers. After being the IT and BT capital, why can’t Bangalore be the art capital of India?
Fine Art Institutes
Again, the number of colleges and institutes that provide higher education in fine arts is limited here. There is a huge demand and need to have world class institutes that can provide education in fine arts and affiliated courses. What is also required are professional or short term courses that can cater to a larger audience.
There are so many people that I come across who would like to know more about art. The gap between the art fraternity and the common man is huge, and there should be ways to address it. Short courses, lectures, workshops on various aspects of art such as history, major art movements, painting techniques and genres, and other elements should exist. All these can lead to a greater understanding of art.
More exhibitions by well known artists and contemporary artists who are known for their avant-garde and cutting edge experiments should be held here. Exposure to different forms of art brings in a wider understanding and keeps one updated with the latest trends, and even fads.
Art has an immense therapeutic potential and there are leading institutes in the world that provide courses in art therapy. Unfortunately, this is neither recognized not practiced here. Having courses that are tailored specifically towards therapy or workshops that provide key information can prove beneficial to a number of people. Art can be utilized as an effective tool to alleviate stress and in an urban environment such as ours, there are bound to be many takers.
(Published in Bangalore Mirror)