This show bridges the gap between the art world and rural populations. On display are 70 artworks by upcoming artists and students, and children of Shwas Charitable Trust, being sold for charity.
Every time I visit a faultlessly designed air-conditioned art gallery for my reportage work, singer Phil Collins’ popular single Another Day In Paradise starts to automatically play in a loop in my head. The song talks about about the homeless and about class disparity in society, making me question, each time, that no matter how beautiful the artworks I’m seeing are, why is it that people from certain sections of the community cannot come and experience it firsthand?
My questions were answered in the evening hours of March 8 at Kanoria Centre for Arts, when gallerist Niharika Shah and USA-returned Management Consultant and Founder of the NGO KarmaKonnect Drumi Bhatt opened their one-of-a-kind Art4Charity Exhibition. The gallery exhibited 70 artworks by 40 upcoming artists and students from CEPT University and Kanoria Centre For Arts, which were sold to raise funds for Project Asmita, which aims to empower women of rural Gujarat by “addressing women’s health and hygiene, domestic abuse, civic/legal rights and gender inequality issues through awareness workshops, dialogue and self help groups.”
Bhatt, as co-organiser of this unique show, said, “The exhibition also displays drawings by children from Shwas Charitable Trust. Our motto is not just to generate money for charity but to make art reach the destitute classes of society.” Many contributing painters in the exhibition are formally untutored in the Fine Arts. Their fresh perspectives on painting challenge conventional art methods and push one to think anew about art.
I left the inauguration certain that it is us who have made art unreachable and unaffordable by elevating it to a state whereby it seems unreachable for the vast majority of people. An initiative like this is crucial in order to bridge this gap, by bringing creativity back to the predominant sections of society.
The show was truly a celebration of the spirit with which so many young artists and students are willing to bring firsthand change in society by contributing their creations towards charity.
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