5 Art Villages Across Maharashtra
Traditional and new-age art is thriving in art hubs in Maharashtra and its surrounding regions. From tribal arts such as warli and bamboo weaving to street art's contemporary, edgy creations. Here are five art villages you can visit on your next trip to the state of the mighty Shivaji Maharaj.
Marol Art Village
Street art enthusiasts, which incidentally is the whole of Mumbai, head to the Marol Art Village when they want to indulge in community art. The Village is supported by Military Road Residents Welfare Association, or MRRWA, and Wicked Broz, a graffiti and street art collective. About two decades ago, MRRWA converted an abandoned quarry into a public park and named it Bharat Van. It is now a locus of street art like you have never seen before. Included are jam sessions at the park, workshops, garden clean-up, etc. This is community building at an altogether different level, as it involves young people, who often find themselves alienated by the rigid rules of regular society.
How to get there From Bandra, it is 15 km, approximately, on the Western Express Highway.
Ganjad Village, Palghar
Warli art has become a synonym for Ganjad village, as the village walls are host to warli murals running a merry riot across them, and the artists are busy finishing orders from India and abroad. Warli, which is thriving in Ganjad, comes from warla or tilled land, and the warli tribe has been using the art to narrate tales and histories since the 10th century. At Ganjad village, you will meet with the family of Jivya Soma Mashe, who was conferred with the Padma Shri for his work with warli art. Visit Ganjad now because the rest of the world is certainly there.
How to get there It is about 126 km north of Mumbai, on NH 48, in Dahanu subdivision.
Art Village, Karjat
Created by artist Ganga Kadakia and her partner Kunal Kadakia in 2011, in the Art Village, you will be among artists, performers, and educators, who throng there. You can learn, create and share their work and philosophy. These members of the Village come from different backgrounds and professions and are well-travelled across the globe. You can be a part of their workshops, talks, residencies, performances, festivals, and, even educational programmes.
How to get there Karjat is about 53 km on prominent highways and expressways.
Devarai Art Village, Panchgani
Started by Mandakini Mathur, Devrai Art Village is a non-profit initiative that began with a core group of artisans from the Gadchiroli region and later welcomed artists from Chhattisgarh. They create stunning pieces using dhokra techniques, which they have made. Their Rock Dhokra items are a fusion of metal with stone, while Organic Dhokra has natural materials such as leaves, bark, and fruit cast directly into the metal.
How to get there It is 18 km from Mahabaleshwar.
Gandharvapur Artist Village, Saputara
Very close to the border of Maharashtra, about five kilometres, lies the Gandharvapur Artist Village in the beautiful hill station of Saputara. Run by Chandrakant Parmar and Surya Goswami, at the Village, you can observe artists at work. Enrol in workshops to learn how to make things out of bamboo or acquire pottery skills. Peopled by the Dang tribe, who are born with the talent to paint and craft, you will come away richer in ability from your stint spent there. The best time to visit Saputara is winter, and accommodation is easily available in the Village and the hotels around it.
How to get there Saputara is 256 km from Mumbai.