Rajasthan will soon house one of the worlds largest open modern art galleries, the Mandawa Art Village, which will bespeak the stories of desert, beautiful 'havelis', colourful dresses, camels, sands and much more.
"The idea is to offer an alternative choice to the people who live in the village through creative economy," said Amita D'Alessandro, the French co-founder of Mandawa Art Village, along with Virendra Singh Shekhawat, the director and founder of DPC, a Delhi-based photography club.
"Through art, art workshops, art experience, creation of open-air gallery, we are developing a new form of artistic tourism which will generate jobs in the village, offering a better life to the villagers," D'Alessandro added.
The Mandawa Art Village project aims to promote local art and culture and stop migration from the village.
"We want to transform it into an international art village to offer another attraction to the tourists who visit Mandawa. Restoring, preserving and promoting local old art forms is also one of our aims," Shekhawat said, adding that foreign tourists coming to the art village will be taught pottery making, photography and many more forms of art and craft.
One of the major attractions of the art village is the walls painted by international street artists, which will immediately strike a chord with the tourists.
New street art in the art village and heritage frescos of Mandawa are perfect combinations for Indian and foreign tourists, Shekhawat said.
Rocio Del Perez Solar, an artist from Peru, visited the village in the end of 2019 and painted four walls.
Eva Potacka is another artist from Morocco who painted the walls here and her style of painting is using colourful pastels and extensive use of stencils to give a Moroccan feel to the art works.
One of her artworks is inspired by the cows in India, said Shekhawat.
Artists from across the globe will be invited for collaboration and they can even adopt the village and showcase their country in the village, he added.
The village, situated 4 km from Mandawa, is well known for its painted havelis and the project will ensure that the rural economy gets a boost, Shekhawat told IANS, adding that "reverse migration is the need of the hour and we are working in that direction".
The Mandawa Art Village will offer a lot to the tourists: Art in public spaces depicting India's rich culture and art forms created by renowned foreign artists, photography exhibitions, art installations and sculpture, photo and heritage walks, photography and art workshops, folk music concerts, folk dance etc.
"As tourism opens up in India post th Covid pandemic, we shall invite global artists from countries like Morocco, Peru and Portugal who will add stroke of colours to the walls of Mandawa, Shekhawat said.
The idea is to create sustainable art villages in the spokes of the tourism hubs so that the villages also get a fair share of the tourists and are able to earn livelihoods by the additional opportunities created, said Shekhawat, adding that the villagers have already started donating their rooms to run photography classes, pottery classes, etc.
"Covid-19 has slowed the pace of the project, but we are sure to get back to its speed soon. Our project started in 2019 and we had plans to wind it up in 2021. However, now it will be delayed by two years.
"Rajasthan Tourism has partnered with us and it will publicise and market the project in the international platform. This is a first of its kind private project in India," Shekhawat told IANS.
The Embassies of Peru, Ecuador and Mexico are partners of the ongoing project, and they will send their artists to India to make it a global art village, he added.
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