Pune is one city that’s always teeming with such enthusiasm — cultural and otherwise — that no amount of theatres, art galleries, and social clubs can be enough for the people here. In a bid to offer them some more, city-based artist Alka Rode came up with the idea of turning her residence into a small art gallery-cum-mini theatre.
“One thought behind this was the lack of such a space in the Kothrud-Karvenagar area, where the population is actually quite interested in art, culture and theatre,” says Rode, the woman behind Kalasseeum, the new art gallery.
A graphic designer by profession, Rode has donned many hats. From being a digital designer, to teaching new design softwares to youngsters and picking up the brush and painting herself, Rode has tried her hand at a number of things. A 1980s graduate of the Abhinav Kala Mahavidyalaya, Rode discussed the idea of the gallery with her classmates, who were more than encouraging. That’s when the group of around eight batchmates decided to come together to put up the first exhibition at Kalasseeum.
The group, all over 50 years of age, chose Guru Purnima for the inauguration and justifiably decided to dedicate it to their gurus. Prof Milind Phadke was invited for kickstarting the exhibition on Sunday, July 9.
“I want to make the space available to creative people — be it painters, performing artists, and anyone who has unique ideas and a passion for art,” says Rode. People who want to practise dance, theatre or other such activities can use the space, she explains, adding that there’s also a small green space outdoors. The architecture of the gallery, she says, is also inspired by a number of such spaces that she studied on her trips to Singapore, which she often visits to see her daughter.
The current exhibition has a mixed range of around 40 paintings and photographs by members of the group. Artist Gangadhar Hawaldar, who has his artwork on display at Kalasseeum, says that he ventured into painting recently. “Having been a creative person in the advertising industry, it wasn’t too surprising that I began painting for pleasure. I learnt over the internet to create art with coloured ball point pens and one of these is being displayed here currently,” he tells us.
Artist Roopa Deodhar too has a similar story. She has recently taken to photography, and now sees magic in everything. “Even a small pond of water across the road has a story. The leaf in it has probably created some ripples there and those can be beautifully captured in the lens. I am also very interested in old-style architecture and have clicked a number of pictures of the doors and windows of old wadas in Pune and Wai,” she says.
ST READER SERVICE
The art exhibition at Kalasseeum, 16/1, Karvenagar, Pune continues till
July 20, from 11 am to 9 pm