It will mark three years of its presence in Bangalore tomorrow

This Saturday, a birthday bash like no other will be held as the gates of the majestic Manikyavelu Mansion on Palace Road will welcome one and all.

In a first, the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Bangalore, is celebrating the completion of three years of ‘service' with the general public. After two years of muted celebrations within the inner circles, this year, the Gallery's stakeholders want to involve art lovers in the city in the revelry. For this, an active line-up of activities has been planned.

Beginning 3 p.m., three hours will be dedicated to inculcating creative spirit in the participants. Here are some of the events that have been organised for the anniversary.

Mobile art trail

A technologically superior form of treasure hunt will be the first event. Apparently the first museum in the city to organise it, participants who register will be given codes that they have to activate on their mobile phones. Through SMS, they will be given a hint for every right answer, which will lead them to one exhibit within the museum.

Clay workshop

Without limiting the joyous experience of getting hands dirty in clay, a clay modelling workshop is also being organised. “The idea is to bring in a practical touch as it is important to appreciate art, rather than just let someone talk about it,” said Tejaswini Jain, assistant curator, NGMA.

Art quiz

An art quiz is the last event in the list, which is being organised to let participants have fun and be informed. A second set of the ‘Art detective cards' (formulated keeping the seven intelligences and types of learning in mind) will also be launched.

Apart from these programmes on Saturday, the gallery has set some immediate goals for the near future, the main feature of which is to make the NGMA experience more participatory. When asked if the Gallery has managed to capture a fair share of loyalists since its establishment three years ago, Ms. Jain did not hesitate to say that there was still scope to garner mass appeal.

“The art lovers are aware of NGMA, so now we have to attract the non-art lovers. The competitors are malls and movies. Museums are considered boring places, especially exhibiting conceptually inclined ones like modern art,” she said.

This is where the fresh set of interactive measures step in. Aids such as magnifying glasses in the miniature section will be installed for the benefit of visitors. Online presence will be enhanced, an example of which is to provide visual aids to teachers for the theory lessons.

To do away with the demarcation of art, alongside the existing dance and music programmes, the library will take centrestage as reading sessions will be held to rekindle the creative streak of participants. Another interesting activity is the one involving the green treasure of the gallery. “Apart from the art, our treasure is also our trees. Following a volunteer's suggestion, we will hold story-telling sessions, workshops and walks to get to know the trees,” she said.