BENGALURU: Cancelled events and gallery shows, no customers or sales… the ongoing coronavirus situation has proved to be quite difficult for artists. Now, lending a helping hand to them is Art Mantram, a two-decade old city-based trust that aims to promote patronage and awareness of art. They are launching a new initiative – Art Souk online – to help provide a platform for buyers to connect with artists.
Art Mantram’s president Raji Narayan says, “There is no one buying art now and these are trying times. Artists also don’t want donations. They want to be able to work, perform and sell their artwork again.” And so, to strike a balance between the needs and concerns of both customers and artists, the trust has put a maximum cap of `6,000 on the artists’ works. “The proceeds, in full, will go to the artist. We don’t want any commission, we just wanted to provide the infrastructure for this,” adds Narayan.
Every month, Art Souk will showcase the works of 10 artists, which will include a mix of both established and up and coming names across India’s art scene. This month, the lineup includes Isha Phillips, Romicon Revola, Bharathi Senthilvelam, Rajesh K Baderia and N S Kumbar. Phillips, a city-based artist who has previously sold four paintings through Art Mantram, says, “Art Souk is a great way for artists to connect with the right customers. And it gives us immense exposure in these times as well.”
On sale are four of her paintings, priced between `4,500 and `5,000. Besides a boost to their career in these times, the initiative also helps artists expand their network. “I can build a rapport not just with my clients but with the other artists as well. And seeing customers being inclined to arts helps enhance our spirit,” adds Phillips. Art Souk online will be launched by artist Sujata Bajaj, in a virtual event that will take place on Zoom, on Oct. 7 at 4pm. For details, visit Art Mantram’s website.