Junction Art Café Gallery is a place where one can sip coffee and study paintings by various artists

Removing my shoes, I step into the brightly lit Junction Art Café Gallery. Cane furniture dot the place as vibrant paintings with various themes decorate the walls. I feel as if I am in one of those much heard about Parisian cafés where one can sip coffee and study paintings by renowned artistes. I almost expect a group of artists complete with French beards, berets and pipes to walk in for a discussion on art or for artists with canvases in hand ready to paint their objects of inspiration.

Platform for artists

“That is the whole idea of Junction Art Café Gallery. It is a place where you can chill, enjoy a drink or a bite and view artworks by both up-and-coming and renowned artists. You can also buy a painting if you are interested,” says Sunil G., proprietor of Junction Art Café Gallery. He adds: “It is a place where lovers of art can converge. We have a tiny studio where artists can set up their canvas to work.”

Currently on the walls are a collection of contemporary paintings by artists such as N.N. Rimzon, E.H. Pushkin, Shibhu Natesan and Alex Mathew.

“We are setting up a website shortly, which will have links to the websites of these artists. As we can only display a limited number of art works, those interested can visit these links to get more works by these artists. In this way, we hope to encourage more artists to showcase their art in the city. Thiruvananthapuram is yet to see art as an investment. We hope to change this shortly.”

But it is not all paintings that are on display. The gallery also has a sizable collection of CDs and DVDs. While the music CDs are a mixture of Indian and Western classical music, the DVDs are a mishmash of world cinema. “Customers can come in pick a movie or music CD of their choice, sit back and listen to it whilst enjoying a cup of tea,” says Sunil.

A week old, the café is still in its fledgling stage. The beverage menu boasts of cappuccino (Rs. 50), ginger tea (Rs. 30), fresh juice (depends on what the fruit of the day is) and press coffee (Rs. 40) to name a few but the short-eats menu is limited. One has to ask the bearer what the ‘sweet treats' for the day is. I was served a slice of chocolate cake and a tall glass of tender coconut shake (tender coconut kernels with tender coconut milk).

“The menu is being worked on. We are adding more snacks and drinks to the menu shortly,” says Sunil.

Located at Canara Bank Building, Beach Road, Kovalam Junction, the café is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For details contact: 0471-2480868.