[PhotoSparks] How art can enhance public space and connect communities: meet Sumi Gupta, Whitefield Art Collective


PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this photo essay, we showcase the outstanding installations of the Whitefield Art Collective at VR Bengaluru!

In the earlier 125 posts, we brought you a wide range of creative photographs from an art fair, world music festival, painting fair, telecom expo, art museum, mobile showcase, math museum, social hackathon, bookstore, co-working space, sensorium, international design week, flower show, outdoor ads, startup roadshow, computer museum, startup T-shirts, business cards, art therapy, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, Vesak, jazz festival, modern art gallery, ecopreneurs, painter-poets, health activists, eNGOs and digital innovators.

The Whitefield Art Collective was launched in 2016 to offer citizens a chance to experience art outside the confines of a gallery or studio (see my photo essay from last year’s edition here). “At VR Bengaluru, we also have a collection of permanent art installations by famous artists ranging from a bronze sculpture by the Whitefield based Dimpy Menon to a triptych by British artist Piers Bourke,” said festival curator Sumi Gupta in an interview with YourStory.

“Public art can not only enhance and transform a space but it can bring together communities,” says Sumi. The VR Group also hosts the Dumas Art Project in Surat, and has patnered with art institutions such as MSU Baroda, Srishti, Kala Bhavana Santiniketan and Cholamandal Artist’s Village.

This year’s lineup at VR Bengaluru (next to Phoenix Market City in Whitefield) includes a car installation painted by George Martin; a two-wheeler by Bengaluru artist Murali Cheeroth; Art-o-Mobile car sculpture by Yusuf Arakkal; steel dragonflies by Shraddha Rati; paintings by Nishant Dange; reused object art by Mayadhara Sahu; Barbie by Payel Sutradhar; ode to working classes by Prasanta Sahu; and other works by Shailesh B.O. and Satinder Singh. There are also some art installations from Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (see Part I and Part II of my photo essays, and my interview with festival director Brinda Miller).

Sumi Gupta (left) with artist George Martin

“I met Raj Bagaria from Art Chutney when VR Bengaluru was in its project phase and we wanted to commission some permanent art pieces done specifically by Bangalore based artists,” recalls Sumi. “The quote by Picasso – “Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life” – is something I completely believe in,” she affirms.

Sumi and her team welcome collaboration with local authorities and art schools to enhance bus stops, metro stations and more with public art. We look forward to the 2018 edition of the Whitefield Art Collective already!

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.



Updates from around the world