Art Art

New spaces that help artists meet, paint and empower

Keerti K of Skills Art Studio

Keerti K of Skills Art Studio   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

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Emerging artists have new spaces to learn and explore in the city

Vibrant initiative

Galleries hosting artist residency programmes to provide space and accommodation for a stipulated time is not new. Often serving as an exchange platform, these programmes have participation of artists from other states and countries. Such initiatives by an individual are rare and worth applauding. We meet artist K Keerthi at her unique Skills Art Studio in Madhapur, a co-working space-cum-gallery for emerging artists who cannot afford a studio or resources.

Artists at work at Skills Art Studio

Artists at work at Skills Art Studio   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

“Keerthi is speech impaired and passionate about art,” says P Udaybhaskar Rao, her classmate in MFA at JNAFAU. Housed in a spacious three-bedroom apartment, it is a workplace for young artists to shape their ideas on canvas. The studio shifted from Jubilee Hills to this location in November 2018 and has been a active since February 2019. “Space is a big constraint for most BFA and MFA students. Locating a quiet place to paint is as tough as finding galleries which are forthcoming to display their works,” he says. Keerthi’s father K Radhakrishna (chairman, Nagarjuna Constructions) came forward to help his daughter and converted this apartment into a studio.

Four artists are selected for a term of 20 days and exhibit their works at the end. Udaybhaskar mentions: “One can apply online for the programme; The only criteria is they should be serious about art and not treat it like a hobby. When their term ends, they donate one small work (1X1 size) to the studio,” he says adding the material — canvas, sheets, pencils, acrylic and oil colours (except brush) are provided. There are many advantages of working in such an environment. “The artists interact and learn from each other. The mood is apt for art.” With nature as her inspiration, Keerthi loves vibrant canvases. “I like to paint flowers,” she smiles.

Keerthi has plans to create one such space in Vijayawada also.

Unique art community

Ramam Art ghar members during a session

Ramam Art ghar members during a session   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Till a few months ago, Ramam Art Ghar (RaAGa) in Mahendra Hills reverberated with visual and performing arts. The ‘ghar’ belongs to Rajeswari Vadapalli, who renovated her parents’ house to make it a creative adda,” shares self-taught artist Usha Nagasri Annamraju. The ghar soon became a hub for music and dance sessions, art interactions and a studio and gallery for young artists. “It was a pleasant getaway as we could have open air sessions sitting under a guava, mango or neem tree. The experience was amazing,” she recollects addingthat it became a co-working space for artists and art lovers to paint.

Things changed when Rajeswari moved to US and the ghar had to be given away for rent. Although there is no physical space now, the members have taken it forward with a unique art community. Their art meets are held every month at a new venue. “Since we enjoyed the 12 art meets held at RaAGa, we decided to continue. Sharing our expertise in art and craft, we hold small competitions to keep the kid in us alive.”

Ramam Art ghar members during a session

Ramam Art ghar members during a session   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

So far these members have met at galleries (Daira and Eshwariah), institutes (Alliance Francaise) and at members’ homes. Feeling fresh and being away from home, they paint, sketch and discuss new subjects. On Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday on October 2, the meet focussed on Lal Bahadur Shastri. She adds, “Everyone knows about Gandhiji but not much is known about Shastriji. We shared and enlightened ourselves on this great personality.”

The info on art meets, topic for discussion, venue and judges are shared through WhatsApp. “We learn something new and apply it in our lives. We also share this knowledge in our neighbourhood to make a difference. We also have lunch to end our sessions on a happy note,” smiles Usha.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 11:59:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/skills-art-studio-is-a-vibrant-art-initiative/article30459673.ece

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