Art for art’s sake: Delhi gallery aims to mentor and support young artists

Art for art’s sake: Delhi gallery aims to mentor and support young artists

By BHUMIKA POPLI | | 19 March, 2016
(Clockwise from right) Artworks by Hojat Amani and Ritu Kamath.
A new art gallery that’s set to open next month in the national capital promises to nurture budding artists and collectors while sticking to its prime objective of promoting art through comprehensive mentorship programmes, writes BHUMIKA POPLI .

All art needs space to develop, mature and grow. Similarly, artists need space to develop too. A soon-to-be-launched art gallery in Delhi aims to do just that — provide the space that new artists need to flourish. The Egg Art Studio, as the facility is called, is not in the business of handing out brief artist residency programmes. Instead, it is concerned with providing holistic and long-term support to aspiring artists.

“The Egg Art Studio is a gallery, for want of another word,” says Amrita Varma, co-founder of the project. “But it is not just a traditional gallery, and we look at it as a space where we grow future artists and collectors alike. We help people delve into an authentic experience of art, whether it is the general viewer, student, artist, collector, children, the media or anyone else.”

At the Egg Art Studio, artists will receive mentorship from Varma, who is an independent art advisor, curator and writer herself. Helping Varma in her initiative is the artist Tavleen Akoi Gill. Talking about the facilities this studio will provide to artists, Amrita says, “We are facilitating a space where an artist’s work gets the respect it merits. That in itself is the reward. What sets us apart here is careful curation and evaluation of each work, mentoring the artist and guiding and empowering them to their highest potential.”

It’s true that at some point of time, every artist seeks guidance and inspiration from the more experienced practitioners in this field. And with the Egg Art Studio, such mentorship and guidance becomes more accessible to young artists.

Amrita says, “Artists here will get a nurturing environment to grow their work. They will also have professional guidance and advisory at hand to improve their work and and address all the blind spots. Basically, artists will be given the best they could hope for in terms of advice and mentorship in this country.”

On the careful process of short-listing the artists who will be a part of her studio, Amrita adds, “It is a process which has been on for a period of time. We have been looking at artists’ work, following it, visiting studios, seeing the environment he or she lives in, and gauging the authenticity and integrity of their work with who they are. There is then a process of aesthetic evaluation after which we look at the commercial validity and evaluation of their work. One is also seeing whether the artist has resilience to work through a phase of struggle, whether they believe in their work and have the capability to be empowered and guided to their full potential.”

At the Egg Art Studio, artists will receive mentorship from Varma, who is an independent art advisor, curator and writer herself. Helping Varma in her initiative is the artist Tavleen Akoi Gill. Talking about the facilities this studio will provide to artists, Amrita says, “We are facilitating a space where an artist’s work gets the respect it merits. That in itself is the reward. What sets us apart here is careful curation and evaluation of each work, mentoring artists,  guiding and empowering them to their highest potential.”

The studio has chosen artists both from India and abroad. Hojat Amani is an Iranian artist, who will be a part of the studio’s inaugural phase. On being asked what made him choose the Egg Art Studio to nurture his art, he says, “India was the gateway of the Eastern civilization in the ancient period and now we can see art coming from this land that is rooted in its old culture. So, Indian artists that I meet in international events have a special standing in contemporary art. Thus I think it’s so important for me to bring works in this land that has more common threads between the Middle East and India than most others in correlation and relationship to creed and religion. So it was natural for me to want to showcase and bind my art to a nation like India and the Egg Art Studio was my choice for such work which involves a degree of sensitivity and depth of understanding opening my work to South Asia.”

Another Delhi-based artist, Ritu Kamath, was approached by the founders themselves. She says, “Amrita had been watching my work develop since a long time. I never knew about the gallery till much later. That I would be a part of the gallery’s maiden show came as a heartwarming surprise.”

Ritu is quite convinced that the Egg Art Studio has a unique vision and in the capable hands of Amrita it will only grow multifold. She adds, “Their [the founders’] vision will not only help them but all those attached to them to grow further. My work that will be shown here is something I have not showcased ever before. It was received by them with tremendous positivity, which made me really positive too. I am looking forward to the platform I am receiving from this studio.

The studio will open its doors to the general public with its inaugural exhibition, entitled Genesis — The Veil, on 9 April 2016.

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