Art Galleries Need Thinking

Art Galleries Need Thinking
Rep. Pic

In the name of development and growth, ‘smart cities’ are being made across India. This is rising India witnessing a makeover. But considering the cultural diversity of India, these changing cities can tell rich tales and bring more coordinated results if the steps are taken to develop ‘art galleries’ which have an essential role in protecting art, culture, and languages.

As a passionate advocate for the protection, preservation, and conservation of art, culture, and heritage, it always strikes my mind that Jammu can benefit a lot from such galleries to display art where even an appreciation for silent art forms as well can be done.

In the past, we heard many stories when artists fetched lakhs of rupees for their work. Such remarkable feats in the world of art could have become a reality for our local artists if an exhibition space was developed with absolute commitment and maturity. The most fascinating results of such places are that they always build a relationship between ‘artists’ and ‘art lovers’.

An art gallery nurtures talent that can even help a lot in ‘discovering new talent’. What would have taken up to set up a just 1000 sq feet world-class art gallery away from regional politics? Several forms of artworks depicting the culture, history, and art of the region could have been displayed by conducting regular exhibitions and art camps. Such a place within the city could have thrown up interesting stories which illustrated and protected artwork. Further, such results could have made our social system more efficient.

In fact, this never became a reality. Jammu’s painters, sculptors, writers, craft artists etc. got chances to display their work at art galleries worldwide. Still, no one ever took it as a motto to establish something which becomes a place to draw crowds for these all-local artists here. Considering the performance of the local artists and despite having Dogra Art Museum, Jammu Kala Kendra located at Bikram Chowk, JKAACL Art Gallery at Abhinav Theatre, Amar Mahal Museum, and Lotsava Rinchen Bzangpo Art Gallery at the University of Jammu, no one was able to do justice with the local artwork and it should not be ignored. In Jammu’s context, a feeling comes that somewhere something was wrong, and these above-named non-functional places also support this feeling.

In the present day, art galleries need thinking to correct the imperfect past. We must develop and revive places that have scope to become an ‘art lovers point’ to make growth inclusive in the era of ‘smart cities’. Jammu-Kashmir makes it to the news for many wrong reasons and such a place could have left a nice warm feeling and become a huge hit among tourists visiting Jammu. Although art always represents the times that we live in and amid prevailing social chaotic situations, it shows the depths of every society. So, for a place like Jammu-Kashmir torn by uncertainty, a place to represent art could become part of a brighter J&K and work into the hearts and minds.

I have no doubt about the gains Jammu is expected to make by passionately committing to develop an art gallery by overcoming prevailing faulty administrative policies. An art gallery if developed will become a place that would offer culture-heritage for the youth to connect to their roots. And it will also be a turning point to further enrich upcoming generations with local values. At the earliest, corrective measures should be taken in the right direction to carry the true message for a meaningful society.


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About the author

Dr. Satwant Singh Rissam


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