The artist community in the city is an ever-growing tribe. They are working round the clock, producing artworks, holding workshops, participating in some of them, putting up exhibitions, staging dramas, attending sangeet baithaks, literary sessions etc. All of this bodes well for the art scenario, but with a catch.
There are not enough spaces or studios for the artists to showcase their work and interact with fellow artists. However, a few enterprising individuals with artistic inclinations have opened the doors of their studios to the creative people of all hues.
Plumage — Koregaon Park
Plumage, an apparel and home decor brand, celebrates diversity, collective heritage and promotes sustainability. But that is not all that happens at Plumage.
Vivek Gupta, co-founder of Plumage, points out that the store also doubles up as a creative space for artists. “I realised that the artist community in Pune was rapidly growing but a space or a platform for them was not available. Since we had the space, we decided to also run it as a centre for the community,” Gupta says. He says there are different workshops held at the studio right from painting to craft. Gupta feels that since he is into a space that supports artisans, it is his duty to support the artist community also.
Raah — A literary and cultural centre, Lulla Nagar
Raah encourages new ideas and fresh thinking across all disciplines. Founded by Aiman Mehta, Raah is an art space for artistic, intellectual, recreational, cultural and charitable expression. “This part of the city never had a creative space available for artists. Hence, they went to the other side of the town to showcase their works,” says Mehta, explaining the reason for starting the cultural centre at Lulla Nagar.
She believes that it is important for artists to have a platform. “In search of a place, musicians started playing at various cafes in Pune. But the music stayed in the background. I wanted the artists to be in the forefront,” adds Mehta, who is a painter and gave up her corporate job to pursue it.
The increase in the number of creative spaces will only help the upcoming and established names in art world to come together as a community. Mehta points out that this will result in different people wanting to try and experience different types of art forms. This, in turn, will encourage people to take up a creative skill and benefit those who are teaching it.
Rainbow Bubble — an artists community, Koregaon Park
Ramessh Lall says that his studio has been set up for artists who would want to share their creative expertise with those who want to explore that facet of their personalities. “We have slots for creative learning — art, music, dance, craft, singing and more. The aim is to infuse creativity into the community and society at large,” he adds.
Elaborating on the concept, Lall says that people have lost touch with their creativity and with that the joy and happiness which results from learning a new skill has been lost. With no art in their lives, people are turning to unhealthy activities that cause harm to them as well as others.
“Rainbow Bubble is a platform for all those artists who are in search of a space to express themselves freely. You can be as creative as you want,” says Lall, adding that the studio also helps artists monetise their work through various ideas.