Seven art galleries. Seven woman owners. Seven simultaneous shows. And many, many talented women artists from across India. ‘Paint and Perspectives', presented by The Hindu as part of its larger event ‘WOW', to mark the centenary of International Women's Day, is a unique offering of art. From March 7 to 13, seven art galleries in the city, all owned by women of substance — many artists in their own right — will simultaneously showcase the works of women artists, both well-known names and emerging talents, from various corners of the country. The works span different themes, styles and media, but what they have in common is the shared celebration of artistic expression and womanhood. Making it even more meaningful is the fact that a part of the proceeds from the show will go towards an NGO working for women's causes. Here's what each of the gallery owners have to say about this unique undertaking

Meena Dadha, Prakrit Arts

“Earlier, very few women got a chance to display their talent as artists. Things are changing today, and they are getting more opportunities. The more media and corporate houses support women's art, the greater the awareness will be, and more parents will recognise their daughter's talents.”

The show: “I've brought together women artists from all over India. Many of these artists are big names in Mumbai and Delhi, but very few know them in Chennai. This exhibition gave me the perfect opportunity to showcase their work here.”

Shalini Biswajit, Forum Art Gallery

“This concept isn't new to us; Forum presented a huge collection of women's artworks in 2006. I've always wanted to repeat that exhibition at some point, and the occasion of International Women's Days seemed the perfect opportunity.”

The show: “We're featuring artists from Delhi, Nagpur, Bangalore, and of course, Chennai. Each has her own take on art that is insightful and perceptive, unfolding from personal experience. Both paintings and sculpture are on display — it's very rare to see women engaging in sculpture, so we made sure to include them.”

Sharan Apparao, Apparao Galleries

“Doing a women's show like this one is important because it showcases a different sensibility. Women have different issues, and their attitudes, approach and responses are different from men's. There's definitely a feminine intuition, a heightened sensibility that sets them apart.”

The show: “I've put together small-format works of well-known artists from our gallery collection and private collections. Some deal with the situation of women, others with feminism — each artist has her own take.”

Lakshmi Venkatraman, Gallery Sri Parvati

“If you look at important, national-level art shows, there simply aren't as many women exhibiting as men. We talk about women's empowerment in general; I think it's essential to showcase what women are capable of in as artists, and International Women's day is the perfect time to do it.”

The show: “I'm displaying the works of 15 Indian artists from Mumbai, Kolkata, Kerala, Chennai and even a few European artists living in Pondicherry. The works are figurative as well as abstract, and very contemporary in expression.”

Premilla Baid, Gallery Sumukha

“Women artists do tend to get neglected, so bringing their art into focus helps people to know that, yes, there are good women artists out there. For future such exhibitions, it would be nice if we could get artists to do pieces especially for the show, making their work even more relevant.”

The show: “I've tried to incorporate the works of Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai-based artists, and one from New York. I've taken as much as I can from artists I already work with.”

Chitra Ragulan, Studio Palazzo an Art Gallery

“I'm the member of Zonta Club of Madras, an international club of professional women who try to improve the status of other women through service and advocacy. This exhibition fits in perfectly with those aims.”

The show: “I've chosen two artists — B. Kiran Kumari from Tirupati, who has worked for an NGO there on women-oriented subjects for 10 years, and Komal Parmar, who paints Rajasthani women. The theme in both their works is real women, with real problems who're still cheerful and resilient.

Viji Nagashwaran, Vinnyasa Premier Art Galery

“We at Vinnyasa have always believed in giving women artists a platform. This isn't our first such show — we did a show of 15 artists back in 2009 called ‘Feminine Potpourri'. We've even given sponsorship to up and coming young women artists in the city. So, we were very keen to be a part of this exhibition.”

The show: “We have put up a show with women artists who have been with us for years and have introduced a few new faces as well. We will be featuring 11 artists from all over India.”

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Arts, Entertainment & EventsMay 14, 2012