Art
Madras Art Guild is a month-long art program envisioned and executed by VR Lifestyle Centre, Chennai.

Madras Art Guild is a month-long art program envisioned and executed by VR Chennai. This interactive art program will see the participation of art students from some of the premier art institutes of the country like the Cholamandal Artists’ Village (Chennai), Government College of Fine Art (Chennai), Government College of Fine Art (Pondicherry) and Government College of Fine Art (Kumbakonam).

This art program was started in the year 2013 and has been organised at different VR lifestyle centres across the country. Speaking to TNM, Sumi Gupta, Curator of the Art program says, “We’ve been doing these art shows in our centres pan India. In Surat, it is in its 6th edition and is called the Dumas Art Project, in Bengaluru, where it is now in its 3rd edition, it is called the Whitefield Art Collective and in Punjab, now in its 2nd edition, it is called the Punjab Art Initiative.”

The month-long program that started on January 10 will conclude on February 11, 2019. Sumi explains that the idea behind it is to connect communities. “It is one of the pillars of our brand - connecting communities and art is the perfect way to connect. We work with students from art field and give them a platform they usually do not get. Their work will be exhibited along with prominent artists’ work. And the kind of audience they’ll get is something they might not receive at an art gallery. It is a very inclusive show and is for the community,” she says.

The program currently has 60 art installations in addition to 100 paintings, photographs and a mix of other fine arts. “We will also screen art films. There will be a children’s arts competition for school children to participate. Then there’s also going to be an art bazaar. It will be an immersive experience,” adds Sumi.

Having planned this art guild for over eight months, Sumi shares that the art scene in Chennai is quite unique. “While the idea remains the same, the art program takes different shapes in different places. And Chennai, being the Mecca of art, has its own distinct flavour.  Students here have done art that’s reminiscent of the ancient past of Chennai. Then there are also the contemporary pieces. We’ve got an interesting juxtaposition of the ancient with the contemporary creating quite a piece for the senses,” she shares. 

The inaugural ceremony was attended by Grammy-nominated Carnatic musician Mandolin Rajesh, Padma Shri awardee Thota Tharani and M Senathipathi, President of Cholamandal Artists’ Village. 

A curated discussion on “The Changing Landscape of Public Art” featuring photographer and founder of the Chennai Photo Biennale, Varun Gupta, senior artists Murali Cheeroth, Parvathi Nayar and Rahool Saksena, and fashion designer and founder of Brass Tacks, Anaka Narayanan and moderated by Sumi Gupta, was also organised on the day of the inauguration. 

The inauguration ended with renowned Bharatnatyam dancer Rukmini Vijayakumar’s performance followed by the unveiling of the VR Art Car. For more details on the event schedule, click here.