Artistes want it to be a fine art hub, seek customised infrastructure

A few youngsters playing underarm cricket and heaps of sand and building materials here and there welcome you to the open ground near PWD quarters, a few yards away from the Bondel bus stop — 4.2 km from the Basaveshwara Circle (KPT junction) on the way to Mangalore International Airport.

The open space meant for Rangamandira — which was originally planned near Kadri Park — is about 3.35 acres. In fact, foundation was laid near the Kadri Park earlier, but the building never came up because of inter-departmental dispute over the land.

The proposed building at Bondel is expected to provide office space for Dakshina Kannada district unit of Kannada Sahitya Parishat, various academies, a theatre for staging plays and an art gallery.

Opportunity

The plan already drawn is set to undergo a change with the new Mangalore City South representative J.R. Lobo expressing the need to review it. And those in the know of things seem to agree. They want it remodelled in order make it a hub of fine art activities with customised infrastructure required for each art.

President of the district unit of Sahitya Parishat Pradeep Kumar Kalkura said in addition to providing office-space for academies meant for the promotion of Tulu, Beary, Konkani, and Yakshagana it should have a well-equipped library, an open-air theatre, a mini-film theatre and a fairly big theatre and a hall where about 3,000 people can sit.

Artist Rajendra Kedige, who was till recently the convenor for the district for the Karnataka Lalithakala Academy, said the city-based group of artistes Karavali Kala Chavadi has been assured a 3,000-sqft art gallery. It should be equipped to provide lighting tailored for each painting so that the visitors get the real feel of the exhibits. It should be made available at a nominal price, he says.

Deputy Commissioner N. Prakash said there will be a rethink on Rangamandira project before calling for tender.

Size does matter

Many wrongly think that big is better as far as auditorium for plays is concerned, said noted theatre and film person Sadananda Suvarna.

He said ideally a Rangamandira should have two theatres – one regular and the other a mini theatre. The regular theatre should accommodate no more than 500 people so that even people on the last row can see the stage clearly.

The smaller theatre is where experimental plays could be allowed. Another pitfall to be avoided is to hire a regular building architect to plan the theatre.

Those in the field — professionals such as Prasanna — should be involved in the designing.

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