BENGALURU: Karnataka Lalita Kala Academy will soon inaugurate a gallery at Ravindra Kalakshetra, where practising artists and students of art can display their works for `100 a day.
Called Padasale, after the open space in villages where people gather to chat, the gallery with grills instead of walls and doors represents the same openness of spirit, according to academy Chairperson M S Murthy.
There is to be no entry fee either. "It has mainly natural lighting and can be used for five to 10 days between 11 am and 5 pm," he says.
This is an attempt to free art from the sophistication associated with air-conditioned galleries and cocktail parties. "We have an AC gallery at the academy here, but it comes at `500 a day. But artists from the rural areas cannot afford that."
The space can even be used by filmmakers for screenings, and even for poetry readings and sugama sangeeta. "People have already approached us for that, but they are communities that have open gatherings all the time, unlike us (artists) who have become sophisticated," he says, taking a dig at the artist community.
But he is hopeful Padasale will catch on. "In the years to come, people, if they want portraits made, they can bring their children and get them sketched for Rs 100 each. That way, the artists also contribute to the community," he adds.
The artist has to sit in the gallery through the day when the paintings are on display. "We purposely have no one else manning it. We want to create a space where artists can interact better with the community. They can practise and do spot drawings as they wait," he explains.
And so, the space also has a platform and can seat up to 50 people. "We can have presentations, discussions and seminars here as well," he says.
Part of the existing structure at Ravindra Kalakshetra, with the exception of the roof, has been renovated to create Padasale. "We've used stainless steel for the grills so that they don't rust with rains. There are chains in place of doors for maintenance and security."
Currently, paintings from the academy feature in the space until the inauguration on November 25. But applications from artists have started trickling in already, he says.
"I hope our people (artistes) make good use of it. Often spaces dedicated to art are used more by others. Let us wait and see," he signs off.