Celebrating the expansion of India’s First Public Art District through an Immersive Urban Art Experience

Celebrating the expansion of India’s First Public Art District through an Immersive Urban Art Experience
01/02/2019 , by , in ALLIED

St+art India Foundation (St+art) is pleased to announce its Urban Art Festival – St+art Delhi 2019, supported by Asian Paints.  Since inception in 2014, the St+art has worked tirelessly towards its vision of making art accessible to everyone through transforming public spaces and creating open-air public art galleries, which not only ignite conversation but also increase community pride and interaction.

This year, St+art Delhi 2019, will include, an expansion of the flagship project – (i) The Lodhi Art District with an addition of more than 20 new murals, (ii) an immersive art exhibition – F(r)iction at KONA, that will represent the discourse on the changing nature of the relationship between Art, Nature and Technology at JorBagh and, (iii) a special focus on increasing community participation at Lodhi Colony and surrounding areas.  The festival will see participation from over 30 creators including artists, musicians, chefs and performers, and will run for 6 weeks until mid-march 2019. A true celebration of diversity, cultures and inclusivity, making art accessible to all.

Over the years, St+art has transformed the walls between Khanna market and Meherchand Market into a public art gallery, made possible with support from the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) &Swachh Bharat mission.  The aim is to re-invigorate the Lodhi Colony area of New Delhi and convert it into the first open-air art district in India. St+art’s projects have found immense support from the long term association with Asian Paints. Speaking of this shared vision, Mr. Amit Syngle, COO, Asian Paints Limited, said, “Delhi is known for its rich history and heritage. Through St+art festival, we are continuing to create the country’s first public art space, Lodhi Art District. Asian Paints feels elated to support St+art India Foundation and the national and international artists as they set out to paint the art district of Lodhi in unique colours and concepts. This year we are excited to take St+art Delhi 2019 to the next level by increasing community participation at Lodhi Colony and the surrounding areas”

The passionate team at St+art added that, “It has been our endeavour to increase awareness and initiate public discourse on the benefits of public art and encourage creative expression. This year we have built the festival with the Lodhi community at its core, The Lodhi Art District, as India’s first Public Art District,  provides an example of how art can be made democrative, accessible, inclusive, uplift communities and above all, celebrate diversity. We are encouraged by the continuing support of our partners and the Government, to not only expand the Lodhi Art District, but also manifest other public art disctricts across India.”

St+art provides a unique platform for cultural exchange, by inviting artists from all over the world, activating unique networks, creating engaging projects for public consumption.  This is made possible with the support from Institutes of culture, embassies and international organizations such as, European Union (EU), the Singapore Tourism Board, Australian High Commission, The Jaunt, The Japan Foundation, New Zealand High Commission, Institute Camoes, Instituto Cervantes, Pro Helvetia, Italian Embassy Culture Centre, Polish Institute and The Mexican Embassy amongst others.

‘Passion Meets Possibilities’ – Collaboration with Singapore Tourism Board: This year, a special project will be realized with artists from Singapore, featuring visual arts, AR projects, music and F&B experiences at two locations.  The Lodhi Art District will feature a special Singapore artist’s lane, and F(r )iction at KONA will feature art installations bringing to light the most cutting edge art expressions by Singapore artists. Speaking about the collaboration, Mr. GB Srithar, Regional Director (South Asia, Middle East and Africa) Singapore Tourism Board said, “We are happy to partner with St+art India Foundation and Impresario Group for the second time, after a successful collaboration in Mumbai in 2017. This time around, our partnership will showcase Singaporean art and culture in New Delhi. With young Indian travellers increasingly seeking different, immersive and authentic experiences, we seek innovative ways of connecting with them and presenting Singapore in a different light. The Singaporean artists at the Festival, driven by their passion for artistic expression and creativity, embody our brand Passion Made Possible. They will convey to the Festival visitors a sense of the dynamic spirit of Singapore by sharing their journeys in pursuing their passions.”

Amongst the most significant collaborations with foreign institutions, towards cultural exchanges and socially relevant projects, this year St+art is honoured to work with the European Union (EU). Polish artist, Nespoon is going to create a large mural and conduct a skill-learning workshop with a group of unprivileged women, which will be inaugurated on 8th March in the presence of the artist, the EU ambassador and 28 European ambassadors.

Some Highlights of St+art Delhi 2019

Lodhi Art District:  An additional 20 new murals have been planned this year. The artists will produce their interpretation of social causes such as, women empowerment, climate change, waste and upcycling and various other pertinent issues.  The festival will be made experiential through a focus on interactive media art pieces, which will explore the use of public space with emerging technologies.  Visitors are encouraged to participate in artist-led workshops and curated tours for children and adults, in order to champion accessibility, there will be specially curated tours for the differently-abled.

F(r)iction at KONA: An immersive walk-through multimedia artworks by national and international artists. The temporary exhibition will invite the public to dig into the complexities of our lives entangled in dichotomies and crosspollinations between technology, art and nature.

Technology is changing our interactions with what all surrounds us, with nature, with ourselves within it as well as the viewership and creation of art. Thanks to technology also our definition of what art is made us capable of thinking about it in a more dynamic, open-minded way. It has also increased accessibility to art, making it no longer a realm of the elite. But does the desire of a captivating instagram picture dilute the reason of art to be? Urban Contemporary Art, St+art’s domain, became popular majorly thanks to the social media power, F(r)iction is an occasion to present this movement and its dynamics while presenting different perspectives through the artists’ lenses.

Site-specific installations, videos, interactive multimedia pieces and murals transform the venue of Kona – in JorBagh Market – in a parallel universe of frictions and fictions, from 16th February until mid-march 2019.

Community Outreach and engagement: This year, there has been overarching community outreach effort that began with reaching out over 7500 households, using the extensive newspaper delivery networks, to get feedback on their interests, and the stories of the Lodhi community.  As a result of the outreach, free workshops, performances and curated tours, tailored to engage the communities have been scheduled, as a way of thanking them for their continued support. These efforts will culminate in a dedicated community wall – “saathsaath”, and a talent showcase from the residents, to activate a sense of ownership and community pride for the Lodhi Art District residential community.

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