SRINAGAR: Creative economy in Kashmir Valley is expected to get a shot in the arm with first ever Contemporary Arts and Research Centre being launched here on Monday at newly constructed Tourist Reception Centre.
The Centre is a joint effort of the state’s Tourism department and Kashmir Art Quest (KAQ), which is a group of artists from within and outside the Valley.
The purpose of establishing the Centre is to create a permanent space for artists to showcase their work. It will also provide them with an opportunity to conduct research on contemporary and traditional art forms.
“This centre will help the beginners as well as the established artists in the Valley to exhibit their work so as to contribute to the state’s economy while earning their livelihood,” Founder and Managing Director of KAQ, Syed Mujtaba Rizvi, told Kashmir Reader on Friday.
Rizvi, who has a Masters in Management of Innovation from the Goldsmiths University London, said the Creative Entrepreneurship has not shown any significant growth in the Valley over the years despite the fame Kashmiri artists have earned world around with their works of cultural and aesthetic value.
“The artists associated with contemporary art forms have been squeezed due to lack of space and opportunities. They need an environment to grow,” he said, adding that “the Centre will certainly revitalize the whole sector of art in the Valley.”
With a dedicated art gallery of about 5000 square feet, the Centre consists of five interdisciplinary wings including Gallerie One, which is the first ever public art gallery in J&K.
“Gallerie One will be showcasing, commissioning, collecting and auctioning the contemporary works of art produced by the leading artists from the Valley. Under one roof, it will provide cultural and creative experience to locals and tourists,” Rizvi said.
Besides the research wing, the Centre will also have an Archiving and Cataloging section responsible for digitizing the art works, manuscripts, historical images, books, and artifacts. It will also have a databank and a Digital Media Lab.
Rizvi said they intend to introduce an exchange programme at the Centre.
“We aim to connect artists and art from Kashmir with the growing creative and cultural industries around the world. We want to let the artists know the worth of their work,” he said.
“We have to explore areas where our art can meet the growing enterprise and technology. We will support such collaborations,” he added.