Art Mandai, held annually on 26th January, at the Mahatma Phule Mandai, Shukrawar Peth, Pune, aims to bring authentic and affordable art to the people in a space that is very public. The idea is to help people connect with original artwork and excite them to own it and place in their personal surroundings.
Since 2016, Art Mandai has claimed a new space for art in the city and has successfully prompted fresh conversations about one of Pune’s most admired heritage structures. Art Mandai also creates a new audience for the Mahatma Phule Mandai by restoring it to popular consciousness.
The Mandai is a melting pot for different strata of society. It is used for political activities, religious festivals, theatre performances, and heritage walks. On weekends, photographers throng to it to record nuances of the place and its people.
Selling and exhibiting art, including interactive and performing arts – alongside vegetable and fruit vendors is an earnest attempt to dissolve hierarchies, make art commonplace and take these dialogues beyond the confines of art gallery spaces.
Art Mandai chooses a new theme every year. Artists and performers are required to work around only this theme; and interpret and respond to it with their own unique artistic sensibilities.
35% of the proceeds from the art sales goes towards funding an important social cause. Hence in 2018, Art Mandai plans to install a filtered and pure drinking water station in the premises of the Mahatma Phule Mandai for the public and especially for the stall owners and vegetable vendors from the Mandai.
Interview on Art Mandai by Sujata Dharap (Audio Only)