BENGALURU: Art is meant for everybody, they say. Why then should those with special needs be excluded from pursuing it? It’s this idea that got Shalini Gupta working to make art an inclusive space. The mother of Gayatri, a 19-year-old with special needs, aims to provide training in arts to them through her initiative called Art Sanctuary. Gupta’s conviction of photography being a democratic language proved right when she received 500 entries for a photography competition held by her recently. Last week, the top three winners in each category of The Anurag Gupta Memorial Photography Exposition, named after Gupta’s batchmate from IIM-A who was a passionate photographer, were announced during a live broadcast by Delhi-based photographer Samar Jodha, who had judged the entries.
“The goal of this photography exposition was to challenge both neurotypical as well as neuro diverse young photographers to capture architectural wonders. The 50 shortlisted entries will be on display in a 3D virtual art gallery,” says Gupta, who quit her job in a multi-national firm after her daughter was born.
Gayatri has been passionate about photography for a long time and it was quite natural that she would pursue it seriously. “The raison d’etre of the The Art Sanctuary is to promote financial independence in young adults with intellectual challenges. What we realised is that their artistic talent needs to be celebrated. And this requires multiple platforms to showcase their talents.
There is also a need for skill-building workshops to provide those with intellectual challenges with exclusive training in various art forms,” says Gupta, adding that the final goal is the inclusion of these youngsters in mainstream art, be it visual or performing arts. “We want to create a platform so as to open doors to new opportunities for them,” she adds.
This exhibition can be viewed on theartsanctuary.in till March 6