The Art Appreciation Society is here to demystify art 

Delhi-based The Art Appreciation Society initiates conversations around the subject, dispelling notions of it being an exclusive and intimidating practice

Published: 12th December 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2021 03:22 PM   |  A+A-

The Art Appreciation Society.

The Art Appreciation Society.

As with most fraternities, the Indian art world has its own cliques, welcoming into its fold only those that create art or those who understand its layered modalities. This long-held exclusivity is slowly changing through the work of The Art Appreciation Society (TAAS), founded by Tejshree Savara, an art, antiquities and cultural heritage legal advisor, and Arjun Guleria, co-founder of design and communication agency, Beam & Words.

Growing up with art collector parents, Savara was exposed to the art world from a young age. Holidays always revolved around culturally stimulating experiences in museums and galleries, and she credits these for her sustained interest over the years. “When surrounded by something with great ferocity and intensity, it is inevitable to fall in love with it,” she says. With a law degree in hand, she married her two skill sets by initiating an art law practice in a leading law firm. As an art, antiquities, and cultural heritage lawyer, she revels in the belief that even though she cannot create art, she can at least protect it.

Guleria, on the other hand, had no prior exposure to this area and was introduced to it by Savara, whom he accompanied to art exhibitions over the years. His inexperience sparked off conversations on the intimidating nature of fine art—one that inculcated a fear of judgment at asking the wrong questions, or not knowing who to ask. They soon realised there were many others like Guleria, across ages and genders, who had a desire to explore this world but no knowledge of how and where to begin. This realisation led to the birth of TAAS, to make art accessible and encourage inclusivity. By initiating conversations and questions, organising curated walkthroughs of art exhibits, hosting expert and artist-led workshops, along with technical and theoretical series, they attract an interested audience consisting of creatively-inclined individuals from all walks of life.

Arjun Guleria and Tejshree Savara

Bhavna Kakar, the founder of Gallery Latitude 28, appreciates the aware and interested audience they bring in—one that enjoys the experience, asks the right questions, and returns for more. Lifestyle brand writer and blogger Sumiran Annamaria Kashyap, a regular attendee of TAAS events, ascribes their appeal to the immersive experience they offer by encouraging steady organic dialogue among the audience. The lively conversations, facilitated by dynamic curators like Shaunak Mahbubani, are the main reason litigation counsel Arjun Narayan frequents these events.

Quick takeaway
✥ Tejshree Savara brings the knowledge of art, Arjun Guleria creates a conversation around the events
✥ They prefer to work with young and dynamic people who are known for creating engaging and meaningful conversations around art
✥ The events are free of cost
✥ The events and promotions are completely volunteer-run
✥ They plan to include intangible works of art in the future—music, dance, film among other mediums
✥ One can keep up with the latest news of their events through their Instagram page @theartappreciationsociety

Though Covid-19 played spoilsport by causing numerous last-minute cancellations of events, the number of attendees at TAAS events have grown significantly. Most importantly, the art frat is taking note of these young enthusiasts and future collectors. A recent collaboration was with, India’s first blockchain-powered global art ecosystem, who reached out to them after having heard of their work. In late September, an engaged group of about 20 attendees participated in a curator-led walk-through and artist interaction at the Bikaner House in Delhi, where over 100 artworks of 35 artists across the mediums of painting to AI were showcased.

Their first brush with digital art, Savara shares, “It is truly fascinating to explore and understand NFTs / Crypto art and since it’s a very recent art offering, it would be even more interesting to see which direction it takes over the next few years!”

Despite numerous challenges, TAAS has gained a firm foothold in the esoteric ecosystem, with exciting plans for expansion and growth. Guleria sums it up best when he says, “I don’t think you can ever claim to know enough about the art world. And that in my experience is true for almost anything that you are passionate about.” TAAS events are currently free of charge.


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