L&P Hutheesing Visual Art Centre, one of Ahmedabad’s leading art galleries, went up in flames on Saturday the 7th of April at around 2:30 PM, reportedly due to an electrical short-circuit.
Three hours prior to the opening of a children’s exhibition on April 7, the L&P Hutheesing Visual Art Centre located in KL Campus, University Road, went up in flames. The recently revamped walls of the gallery turned entirely black before the situation was brought under control by the fire department of Ahmedabad.
According to the gallery Secretary Giriraj Kadia, “The day was going along at its routine pace, and everybody was busy in the arrangements of an upcoming children’s art exhibition, which was supposed to open at 5:30 PM. While I was sitting in my office, a person came to inform me that there had been a spark in the wires near the air-conditioner. I immediately reached the scene, but before I could realise what had occurred and respond to the situation with a fire extinguisher, the spark had already turned into flames, and the fumes of the fire had started to suffocate everyone inside. We were able to rush everyone outside before the accident took on drastic proportions.” Kadia further added, “Due to lack of ventilation in the gallery, the fumes had become unmanageable. But the firefighters were able to bring the situation under control by 6:30 pm.”
According to Chief fire officer of AFES, MF Dastoor, “The accident occurred due to an electric short-circuit and lack of ventilation worsened the damage. The estimate of damages is yet to be calculated.” Thankfully, the children of ‘Reshma Creations’ art classes, who were to present their work in the gallery that evening, weren’t there for any preparations at the time that the incident took place.
The fire may have burned down the gallery’s walls, but the spirit of the people involved in running it remains unscathed. Managing Trustee of the Gallery and fashion connoisseur Umang Hutheesing stated, “Accidents happen. We are glad that no one was hurt. We plan to rebuild the gallery soon to make it bigger and more efficient.” Kadia has decided to revamp the gallery and launch a new group exhibition in it by April 16.
Established in 1978, the gallery was recently renovated before the inauguration of artist Ram Kumar’s Solo Exhibition with the addition of an amphitheatre with seating capacity of a 100 people, which was undamaged by the fire. The Visual Art Centre has been host to some of the most reputed art shows in recent times in Ahmedabad, including Mahendra Kadia – A Retrospective – Lines to Strokes, The Natu Mistry Show, Voice of Silence by Hindol Brahmbhatt, Nabibakhsh Mansoori’s The Wonderland, and Dvaita.
Some of the information for this article is sourced from Ahmedabad Mirror article published April 9, 2018. Photos courtesy Hutheesing Centre.
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