AF Weekender, India’s first pan-India art occasion, could have galleries staying open past working hours and particular studio visits for younger collectors  

AF Weekender, India’s first pan-India art occasion, could have galleries staying open past working hours and particular studio visits for younger collectors  

This weekend, art took to the streets in a giant means. With late night time gallery excursions, heritage walks, workshops and treasure hunts throughout 18 cities, Art Fervour’s AF Weekender turned the primary ever pan-India occasion on the art calendar, and marked a shift within the nation’s cultural panorama.

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“The art ecosystem in India is taken into account to be an elite area, monopolised by intellectuals and collectors,” says Art Fervour founder Nivedita Poddar, a Kolkata native who studied Art Market and Art World Practices at Christie’s in London. When she based Art Fervour in March 2019, Poddar hoped to create leisure experiences round art that didn’t demand prior experience within the area, and used emailers and Instagram to achieve younger audiences. The first edition of AF Weekender, held in February 2021, was completely digital, and included talks by eminent personalities resembling Debottam Bose, India’s first art lawyer, and Kiran Nader Museum of Art curator Akansha Rastogi. Nearly 1,700 folks attended.

Founder Nivedita Poddar

Founder Nivedita Poddar
| Photo Credit: Soumya

The finish purpose, nonetheless, was to carry folks into galleries, museums, and even the streets, to have interaction with art first-hand. When Poddar introduced this 12 months’s Weekender can be completely in-person, she obtained curiosity from cities as far-flung as Santiniketan and Surat, Coimbatore and Leh. “One of the issues I used to be not anticipating was for therefore many rising artists to get in contact with us themselves, to ask how they might take part,” she shares. “They need to present their work, they need to be on the market, they need to push their boundaries.”

With an eye fixed on the brand new

On the opening night time (September 23), galleries and museums will lengthen their hours for AF Lates, which gives guests the chance to drop by the gallery after work and, at choose venues, even socialise over a drink.


St+art India’s Mahim East Art District in Mumbai
| Photo Credit: Pragyesh Parmar

Another well-liked characteristic is AF Explore, which can have interaction with extra public cultural landmarks: the St+art India Foundation will host art walks by means of New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Coimbatore, whereas the India chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) will lead heritage excursions across the Old Fort of Delhi, the Nationalist Trail of Kolkata and the Nubra Valley in Ladakh. “The walks are a component of ICOMOS’ purpose to host 75 heritage walks throughout the nation to have fun 75 years of India’s independence,” explains Poddar, “This shall be an thrilling new method to have interaction with our heritage and expertise the histories our cities maintain.”

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Other highlights

AF Create’s artist-led workshops invite audiences to check artistic processes first-hand: Mumbai’s new artist-run immersive area, Fluxus Chapel, will host a printmaking workshop, whereas the Kolkata Centre for Creativity will introduce audiences to strategies of art restoration. There’s additionally AF Play, which supplies audiences an opportunity to have interaction with art in enjoyable methods: Chennai’s Apparao Galleries and New Delhi’s Project A Artspace can even host treasure hunts in tandem with their exhibition walkthroughs.  

Encouraging younger patrons and new collectors is a key goal. And AF Weekender is doing this by means of artist studio visits and a conscious curation by galleries to incorporate reasonably priced art by rising artists. “We’ve noticed that younger collectors appear to be exploring their tastes,” notes Poddar, “They’re experimenting with rising artists, who’re creating art work inside their budgets.”

While authorities sponsorship and public patronage remains to be wanting, Poddar believes that non-public residents should take possession of the cultural panorama. She can also be hopeful that the explosion of NFTs will awaken a brand new technology of art collectors. “At the very least, it has began a dialog,” she says. “We are nonetheless a nascent business, and there’s a lot area. I’d be so completely happy to see extra art and tradition entrepreneurs. If we don’t carry that vitality, who will?”

AF Weekender is on from September 23-25.

The freelance author and playwright is predicated in Mumbai.

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