For the first time in its history, Navi Mumbai will play host to an art festival, which will make it possibly one of the biggest events of the year. To be held at Belapur’s Urban Haat, it will showcase several art forms and also encourage people to learn about them through workshops. Works by renowned artists and a few upcoming artists too will be on display. This apart, it will have a temporary sculptor park, several live installations and a potter market, where one can try their hand at pottery.
“Every year, an arts festival takes place in south Mumbai. Here, those with no prior knowledge of the arts, interview participants including artists. People stand in queues with their works but nobody seem to care for the problems faced by the participants,” says artist Gautam Patole, who is part of the Team Navi Mumbai Art Festival. “Artists should be given respect. This will be a congregation of artists who can showcase their works at a reasonable cost. At the same time, the difficulties and needs of the participants should be cared for,” he adds. Though the idea for the event emerged a year ago, lack of support stalled efforts. “For four months, we struggled. Artists turned their backs at the mention of Navi Mumbai. It took a while to generate an interest; thankfully, several noted artists from across India will make it,” shares Patole.
Nearly 200 artists from different cities will showcase metal art, metal wire art, caricatures, paper art, welding, terracotta, block printing, paper mache and other media. Workshops and live demonstrations will include stone carvings, bangle art, pottery making, woodcarving, wheel pottery and architectural models. A section dedicated to mouth and foot painting artists will focus on their talents. “I will teach and demonstrate miniature paper sculptures,” says artist Rajendra Gole. Another interesting exhibit is an 8-foot high installation by 16-year-old Nikhil Sunkhe. “It is a Natraj sculpture made of metal scrap and spare parts of cars and bikes,” he reveals. The festival hopes to engage a large audience in the rich culture of these art forms. “The main aim is to educate, empower, entertain and give people a different direction to their creativity in the company of various artists from India. It is an opportunity to come closer to the world of art and ensure all can enjoy every moment in their city,” Patole adds.