CHENNAI: A rt lovers across Chennai have a new hub to converge to with the inauguration of The Art Bistro, a unique venture from Grand by GRT Hotels to bring a local flavour to the burgeoning art scene in the city. The bistro was inaugurated by celebrated Carnatic vocalist Sudha Raghunathan, and the inaugural exhibition featured artwork by prominent artists, Viswam and Veera Santhanam.
A graduate of the Kumbakonam Arts College and part of the Madras Art Movement, Veera Santhanam’s works draw their influence from the murals, major icons, and everyday life from the temple town.
The veteran artist has also won the President of India Medal in 1990 for his work, which also has addressed serious subjects such as the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. Also exhibiting is artist Viswam, who is the founder of the Pallava Artists Village
“I believe in painting without pre-planning. I draw inspiration from nature and the elements,” he says. “I try to express unseen landscapes through my media; I can’t say I’ve succeeded, but it’s an ongoing process. Whatever I paint, it reflects through my experiences. I merely take the paint, dab them on and paint whatever I feel like.”
Viswam has won many accolades for his work including the National Award from Lalit Kala Academy in 1992.
The artworks are curated by Sujatha Narayanan and Devasena. “This bistro is modelled on the European model of art cafes where in one corner artists can be sketching. At the same time you can walk into the cafe, order what you want, sit and appreciate the art all around,” adds Sujatha. “We’ll be getting more artists every two or three months so that they can get the required exposure.”
They had wanted a very boutique-like feel to the venture, and identified prolific local artists to do exclusive pieces based on a different theme, which are today adorning the walls of the hotel. “The venture will be a continuous affair with local artists getting a space to showcase their art to connoisseurs and art lovers in the city,” says Vikram Cotah, COO, GRT Hotels and Resorts.
Drop into The Art Bistro at Grand by GRT Hotels to witness the ongoing series by Viswam and Veera Santhanam.