MG Road boulevard returns anew as Rangoli Art Centre

MG Road boulevard returns anew as Rangoli Art Centre

 Having evolved as a de facto centre of the City, MG Road has had several expectations to meet, with the demand for a decent public space around the area becoming more vocal in recent years.

Losing its charmed boulevard to Namma Metro had not helped the central business district, which has MG Road at its heart.

But years later, the same space is being transformed into a creative urban hub with the capacity to host activities ranging from art exhibitions to live band performances, besides having a dedicated play area for children, cafeteria, et al.

Christened ‘Rangoli Art Centre’, the space will be thrown open to the public in the first week of May. If one were to visit the centre, which is getting the finishing touches, the life-size snake-and-ladder ‘board’ constructed on the ground, adjoining the children’s playing area, is the most attractive.

Surekha, curator of the centre, said: “Intially we had plans of installing more play park equipment like slides and swings, but then decided to include this. The game traces its origin to 2nd Century BC and has been part of our culture. Given that the centre aims at promoting the same, we thought it apt.”

The children’s play area will also have interactive fountains, and the walls
will have a variety of paintings.

“For the first two weeks, BMRCL already has over 300 paintings by children, which will adorn the walls, they will be changed periodically,” Surekha said.

U A Vasanth Rao, general manager (Finance), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), said: “A conscious decision was taken to construct an urban space for the City with the primary objective to provide cultural, recreational and aesthetic value.” The space is designed to be an interactive space and efforts have gone in to make it friendly, educative, informative and approachable to the visitors, besides creating a lush garden.
The centre is designed to have three art galleries, Vismaya, Chaya and Belaku. While Vismaya measures 2,400 sq ft, the other two are 600 sq ft each.

“This (Vismaya) is a very large gallery, perhaps the largest in terms of its length in Bangalore. All the three gallaries will be used to exhibit visual art such as paintings, photographs, sculptures, installations and artefacts,” Rao said.

The galleries will cost Rs 5,000 plus taxes for individuals and institutions, while
students from art institutions will get them at Rs 2,000 plus taxes.

At Nagara Pete, 14 dedicated spaces will offer opportunities for display and sale of curated urban arts and crafts. The space will be offered for one week per designer / craftsperson to avoid the space being  held by any one individual or institution. Costing Rs 10,000 per week, they will be rented out from Thursday morning to Wednesday.
“This will give artists and designers an opportunity to interact with customers directly,” Rao said. The centre also houses an auditorium with a capacity to hold 130 persons at a time, while Bayalu, the public area, can be used for open-air activities, including music, street plays and exhibitions.

Further, the demonstration area –– two large spaces for art demonstration like terracotta, wood carving, batik painting –– will also see the Regional Design Centre, Government of India, send their master craftsmen for demonstrations.
“They will conduct workshops and demonstrations of 24 crafts between May 6 and August 6,” Rao said.

While all this will be at the ground level, the upper walkway will have a restaurant and will eventually see special activities commence there.

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