Virtuous Retail South Asia’s regional flagship center, VR Punjab, today announced the inaugural edition of an annual festival that seeks to highlight the regions unique heritage, art & culture and catalyse civic pride.’
True to its core philosophy of ‘Connecting Communities’ ©, Virtuous Retail’s VR Punjab today launched a 45 day long annual art festival, “Punjab Art Initiative” (PAI). The festival is curated by Sumi Gupta, Director – International Marketing & Product Development, Virtuous Retail in association with artchutney.com and will be open to visitors from 1st November till 15th December. The PAI logo which was unveiled today, takes inspiration from the Shivalik mountains and the Chandigarh Capital region’s unique positioning as a Tri-city area.
PAI 2017 will host an immersive art experience, away from a typical gallery setting, where patrons can meet artists and interact with art and installations. This year’s inaugural edition features a unique collection of installations and fine art work created by established and emerging artists from across India, including Gigi Scaria, George Martin, Murali Cheeroth, Vikash Kalra, Nilesh Kinkale, and Yati Jaiswal among others. Importantly, students from The Government College of Art, Chandigarh, The College of Architecture, Chandigarh, Lalit Kala Akademi, College of Art, Delhi, MSU Baroda, and JJ School of Art, Mumbai will also share space with the independent artists over the duration of the festival.
Speaking on the occasion, Sumi Gupta said “Building on Virtuous Retail’s enduring relationships with premier art institutions, I’m particularly excited to see works from students of The Government College of Art, Chandigarh which have been specially curated for PAI 2017. This adds to the great range and diversity of work shown from across the country. An interesting installation to watch out for is the Bench Art Project from the College of Architecture, Chandigarh. The 130 installations and curated events contribute to the many elements that will make this an unmissable 45 days”.
PAI will also feature unique art related events throughout the duration including performance Art by Chandigarh based Manjot Kaur who recently showcased her work at the Swiss Biennale 2017. The basements at VR Punjab will undergo a metamorphosis, courtesy the Basement Art Project undertaken by the students of the Government College of Art, Chandigarh who will showcase their artistic interpretation of Connecting Communities© across a concrete canvas. The festival will conclude with a children’s art competition where over 300 budding young artists from schools across the Tricity area will get an opportunity to showcase their talent.
To mark the launch of PAI 2017 on Wednesday, 1st November, 2017, VR Punjab will unveil the VR Art Car Project that features a Mercedes Benz painted by renowned artist Gigi Scaria, followed by a performance art feature by senior contemporary artist Murali Cheeroth. The launch event will also host a music concert by The Local Train, a leading Indian Rock Band originally from Chandigarh.
The Punjab Art Initiative is modelled on Virtuous Retail’s award-winning art festivals at its other centers in India – the annual Dumas Art Project at VR Surat (since 2013) and the Whitefield Art Collective at VR Bengaluru (since 2016). The Whitefield Art Collective 2017 edition recently won international recognition securing the coveted Public Relations & Events Gold Award at the ICSC Asia Pacific Shopping Centre Awards held in Bangkok last month.