Beauty is in the eye of the beholder- If those words be true then sure enough same applies to art. If one is to look up the meaning of art you are led to believe it is and expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. But art these days can mean almost anything. So, we took a trip around Goa to find out what the local galleries had to offer. Not only were we rather surprised but delighted by the depth and variety that was on offer. Goa really does have a rip-roaring art scene. Here are but a few that one must visit while here.
The Cube Gallery in situated in the sleepy north Goan village of Moira and very off the beaten track and but easy enough to find using google maps. It is eminently true to its namesake in its stunning structure and designed by Satinder “Sonny” Singh, case who also is the curator of the gallery. At night, with its recessed lighting, cube on top of a cube with its elegant landscaping comes alive and is rather extraordinary. They often host opening nights where one can meet and greet the artist themselves along with a glass of wine and snacks. Cube Gallery provides a nurturing environment for artists and designers, encouraging them to learn and test new techniques, or fine tune old ones, giving art a new form. It has evolved into something of a hub, attracting people from around the country.
“Carpe Diem” which popularly translates into “Seize the Day”, is exactly that. It is the place for those who need to discover, explore or exhibit their passion! Carpe Diem located in Majorda, Goa is a beautiful, cosy place with that perfect artsy touch! The place is filled with art displays and a little cafe to satisfy your hunger while one is immersed in the art! The gallery has a charm quite different from the modern air-conditioned galleries located in the cities today. While waiting for a coffee or a signature sandwich like the ‘The Meat Eater’s Club’ or a sweet/savoury waffle, one can browse through the lifestyle store with its wide range of offerings, from apparel and ceramic products to gifts and souvenirs. They often open their doors to dance, music, yoga, theatre or performances, or for that matter even book reading, film screening, workshops, classes or self-help and confidence building courses.
MUSEUM OF GOA (MOG)
The museum is spread over 1,500 square meters which displays and promotes local art and artists and centrally located in Pilerne Industrial Estate, Goa. We decided to explore the other side of Goa and the first thing that struck in our mind was the Museum of Goa which is popularly known as MOG. The 3-storey structure is designed by the well-known Goan architect Dean D’Cruz. Standing between industries on one side and forest on the other, it houses galleries, an Art Store, a café, an auditorium and studios for artists. It brings together artists, curators, collectors, art enthusiasts, students and audiences from all walks of life. They host exhibitions, workshops, residencies, lectures, talks and art courses. The Art Store incubates noteworthy works by emerging as well as established artists. The museum also provides internship programs that give interns an opportunity to work with renowned artist and director Dr. Subodh Kerkar and interact with many other artists, curators, collectors, art enthusiasts, students and academicians. Some highlights that one should not miss at MOG are Unexpected Blessings, Anna-Brahma, Parashurama, The Cotton Field, and Goa’s Ark.
This heritage structure is located in Fontainhas, Panjim, which used to be a high school. Since then the building has been restored to its former glory and is converted to a hotel cum art gallery. The ground floor section of this building houses the “Gitanjali” Art gallery opposite the Panjim Inn. A striking display area is the Chowk of the Pousada where paintings are hung across the white walls of the Verandah circling the Tulus. The brown terracotta double tiles of the Verandah Roof, the granite mosaic floor and a curious mix of artificial and natural light filtering through the open “Chowk” has a surreal effect on the Art on display. Painters on exhibit include Vamona Navelcar, Mohan Naik, Suhas Shilker, Praveen Naik, Sadguru and Veenita Chendvankar, Sonia Rodrigues Sabharwhal, Francis D’Souza, Jayashree Patankar, Dietrich Kerky, Shri Shail , Rafael Arya and known Gond & Bhil artists. They have won Acclaim Locally, and some are well known overseas, having had successful shows abroad as well. Work at the Gallery is Abstract and Realistic in colour and oil, including collages and landscapes.
Over the years the gallery has evolved into a central cultural space, offering an alternative art studio, a cafe and a conference / workshop venue. Gallery Gitanjali hosts several events and workshops throughout the year, including art history and film appreciation courses, book & poetry readings, book launches, art and theatre workshops, art performances, as well as talks on conservation and environmental concerns.
Conveniently located in the picturesque Altinho hills of Panjim, atop a hill in a quiet residential area is this beautiful extensive bungalow which has been aesthetically restored into an arts centre. The two halls or galleries usually have a display of art works which changes on a regular basis. In the inner courtyard is houses Cafe Bodega which serves an interesting range of dishes and a lovely assortment of home baked cakes. Sunapranta often hosts musical and art evening for visiting artist and exhibitions so it pays to be on their mailing list. When in Goa, you just can´t miss it! From the exhibitions to the food, everything makes you want to come back to this art gallery.