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Good art doesn’t always have to be unaffordable

Contemporary art in the city exists in a hiatus. Except for the odd annual exhibition, most people would not be wrong in assuming that modern day art in Tiruchi is confined to signboard painting. However, the recently-inaugurated Ashvaa Art Gallery on 10th Cross, Thillai Nagar West Extension, in the city hopes to change that perception.

Sivakumar, the artist behind the gallery, is aiming to provide a platform for others to display and sell their work through Ashvaa. He’s also combining this with courses in painting and drawing for children and adults, plus a special offer for senior citizens. A summer art course package for school children is on the anvil.

A self-taught artist, Mr.Sivakumar feels art appreciation is growing in the city. “There are still accomplished artists from Tiruchi who prefer to exhibit their works in bigger cities rather than here. But I have always felt that we must reach out to the public and help them understand that owning a piece of original art is not beyond the common man,” Mr. Sivakumar told The Hindu .

Mr. Sivakumar spent a considerable part of his early career as a commercial artist with a display/shop space of just a wall in a city mall. “Working in a place with so many people moving around helped me to find out what influences a person’s choice of art. Gifting customised portraits rather than reprints of famous works, for example, has become a new way to express one’s affection. Good art doesn’t always have to be unaffordable. And nearly every youngster is interested in art these days.”

The culture of taking photographs of oneself has helped too. “We now have people who want selfies of their loved ones to be rendered as paintings. Earlier, we would have just a passport photograph to work from,” he said.

Mr.Sivakumar has created 60 new works of art in a variety of media that are on display and for sale at the gallery; he shares the space with artist and academic Eugene D’Vaz, who has made some paintings in dazzling acrylic hues.


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