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    A new gallery near Auroville supports local art and young talent.

    Art exhibitions are a year-round affair in Pondicherry.  Yet art appreciation doesn’t always translate to sale of paintings, particularly for young local artists, realised artist R Rajendran, who opened Assist Art Research Centre in June.
    The art centre aspires to be more than an exhibition space for artists, says Rajendran, founder of Assist World Records, a Puducherry-based organisation which identifies obscure talent and provides support in displaying them in public for better recognition. The art centre, working on the same principle as its parent foundation, will use the extensive network the records organisation has built to create sales opportunities for lesser-established artists.
    The maiden exhibition of the centre that concluded last Sunday, Light and Shade, featured 57 paintings, oils on canvas, metal sculptures and terracotta display by 20 local artists. The centre will be cataloguing its displays in a soon-to-be-launched website.
    “We plan to analyse local patterns when it comes to buying art and address the gaps —be it exhibition space, awareness, or the timing,” says Rajendran, who holds the Guinness World Record for the largest painting made using the mouth alone (30 x 20 feet), in 2007.  “We feel it is important to cultivate an attitude towards buying and displaying art in homes and offices, and also encourage gifting art.”
    The records office at Aurelec, Auroville, has made its initial attempt to engage children in art by creating a rotating display of paintings for 365 days on ‘Clean India and Climate Change’ by school children across India.

    New solo exhibition by Sirpi Jayaraman opens in July, at Palmyra, Auroville. Details: 8144252666

    Olympia Shilpa Gerald

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