Art lovers, take heart

Today marks the debut of the city's first exclusive art festival, and sees the celebration of the centennial year since the discovery of one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Soma Das provides you with a preview of both events: the India Art Festival and a rare photography exhibition

City's brush with ideas
The primary aim of the India Art Festival is to serve as a platform for upcoming talent in the city, claim organisers

"Mumbai might be the financial and movie capital of the country," says Rajendra Patil, festival director, India Art festival, "But it's a shame that there is not a single art festival being held in the city."

The Silencer (2005) is a fibreglass and iron sculpture by award-winning
Indian artist GR Iranna

Around 40 galleries are expected to participate in the four-day event, where the primary aim is to provide a platform for upcoming artists. "Only 10% of upcoming artists are able to get their works displayed in major galleries," says Rajendra.

To help ensure that upcoming talent receives due recognition, the festival committee has instituted an India Art Festival award, which will be given to a promising artist. "The award includes a one-lakh cash prize," says Rajendra.

What to expect
The contemporary art fair is being organised in association with art-NGO Kalavishkar, and is likely to see participation from 600 Indian artistes, as well as a select few from Singapore, London and Toronto.

The event will serve as a meeting ground for artists, gallery owners, critics, art historians and collectors where paintings, sculptures, drawings and installations. There will also be digital art by artists including Anita Narayan and Prakash Bhende will be exhibited in various stalls.

Paintings by famous artists like Salvadore Dali, Patrick Hughes and Lorenzo Quinn will also be displayed at the event that will be spread across two levels of the Nehru Centre. Seminars by art historians and critics on topics ranging from the Future of the Indian Art Market to How to Become an Art Collector, panel discussions, poetry readings, and a visit to the Tao Art Gallery are part of the festival line-up.

Till November 20
At Nehru Centre, Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli.
Call 65665111 entry Free

A lost civilisation, captured
See photographic evidence of the achievements of the ancient Incas, alleged to be the builders of Machu Picchu, one of the world's most historic sites located 7,970 feet above sea level

Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu has a history tied to magic and mysticism.
Revered as a sacred ceremonial site, it is alleged to have been built by the Incas, and dates back to the 15th century. However, it was only discovered as recently as 1911 by American historian and archaeologist Hiram Bingham. 

The Temple of the Three Windows is a three-walled shrine

To celebrate the centenary of its discovery by Bingham, the Honorary Consulate of Peru in Mumbai and the Embassy of Peru in India have organised an exhibition of images and antique maps of the city known as the Lost City of the Incas.

The exhibition will showcase the discovery of Machu Picchu through antique maps and 50 photographs, including some taken by Bingham during his excavation trips. 

"The visuals throw light on the extraordinary architectural and engineering feats of crafting such a site atop a mountain without the use of modern tools," says ABK Dubash, Honorary Consul (Mumbai), Consulate of Peru.
"The terraced farms, thriving flora and fauna and the breath-taking beauty of the site located 7,970 feet above sea level are awe-inspiring as well," adds Dubash.

He also hopes that the exhibition inspires Mumbaikars, especially students, travellers and lovers of history, sociology and anthropology to visit the enigmatic historical site. "Machu Picchu's scenic beauty, misty mountain tops, colourful flowers and the stories it tells of a lost civilisation promise a once-in-a-lifetime experience," he concludes.

Till November 23, 12 pm to 8 pm
At Piramal Gallery, NCPA, Nariman Point.
Call 22833838

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