For nine days beginning March 10, art buffs in Chennaiare in for a big treat. Teams of artists are likely to take people in public spaces such as shopping malls and railway stations by surprise.

‘Art Chennai', the second edition of the annual festival aims to make art more inclusive and take it closer to the masses who may not otherwise visit galleries. People will get to see over 2,000 displays of contemporary art to be featured in 35 shows, interact with artists, watch them at work, participate in events and even purchase art to be auctioned on the final day.

Supported by the Confederation of Indian Industry and Department of Tourism, Tamil Nadu, the festival will include three interactive elements. Installations such as ‘Construct' of Natraj Sharma depicting the urban construction activity and ‘Ghosts: Transmemoir' of Bose Krishnamachari portraying life in Mumbai would greet visitors at Ascendas, Express Avenue, Hotel Taj Coromandel and Lalit Kala Akademi.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Sanjay Tulsyan, Convenor of Art Chennai, said: “This year, we are also organising a beach art project on the Marina where artists would execute four projects.” An art conference featuring a 90-minute film about the works of the participating artists in the exhibition and presentations by art historians, curators and gallery owners would also be organised as part of the festival.

Art Chennai will also incorporate music and cultural performances in this edition apart from engaging students with creative talent in an internship programme, he added.

For a week ending February 26, over 300 shutterbugs will capture Chennai's multi-cultural life though their lenses. Varun Gupta founder of Travelling Lens said commuters would have a visual feast of the best shots at five MRTS stations. The photographs would be unveiled at Thiruvanmiyur station on March 11.

While CII-SR chairman T.T. Ashok described art as creative economy, Art Chennai's advisory committee member and actor Gouthami said it added value to people's lives and that such festivals would provide a trickling effect, enabling wider appreciation.

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