Energy, innovation, commitment – creative tips for the pandemic era from Sangeeta Juneja, Founder, Gallery Artchill
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 505 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
The outstanding Gallery Artchill is located in the West Wing of the Amber Fort, one of Jaipur’s most popular tourist attractions (see our earlier coverage here). The gallery also has a branch in the city called Juneja Gallery; both galleries host a wide range of paintings, sculptures, and contemporary art.
The galleries were founded by Sangeeta Juneja in 1994, and have participated in festivals like the annual India Art Fair (see YourStory’s five-part coverage of the 2020 edition here). With permission from Gallery Artchill, PhotoSparks has reproduced images of some of its artworks in this photo essay.
Art and photography have an even more important role to play in this day and age as humanity battles the coronavirus pandemic. See our special compilation of 30 inspiring quotes on the power of art in the pandemic era.
“All art lovers are affected by this depressing state of affairs, all over the world,” Sangeeta Juneja explains, in a chat with YourStory (see Part I of the interview here).
“Photographic works on such a large struggling population can create awareness and contribute to helping the people. Artists depending on art for livelihood also get respite and can be providers,” she adds.
Despite setbacks to visitor traffic due to the lockdowns, the gallery is leveraging the online medium for national and international ecommerce sales. The gallery’s extensive collection is promoted online via its website and social media. Gallery Artchill’s virtual presence is designed by Crystaltech e-Solutions.
Sangeeta is proud of the audience and customer feedback she receives. “Replies to our marketing emails have been overwhelming. Many buyers have sent photographs of their homes with our art displayed proudly,” she says. The visitors and buyers fondly remember their trip to Jaipur and the art gallery.
Going through the lockdown was a tough patch. “There was sickness and death all over the world, and we were confined at home. We did not feel like cooking anything special, and we helped out others as soon as the lockdown lifted,” Sangeeta recalls.
“There was a lot to watch on Netflix,” she jokes. “Yes, I kept mentally fit – except for the phase when my husband passed away due to COVID-19 in October,” she adds.
The gallery is now open for the public, but with proper precautions for staff and visitors such as safe distancing. “We can maintain the space of a few metres between guests as we have huge exhibition halls. Some clients come to check an artwork physically, while others make selections on the basis of online images alone,” Sangeeta observes.
“We get good sales from the virtual medium. Marketing online from home is the way to go these days,” she explains. Most international buyers are from the US, Europe, and the UAE.
She also offers tips for artists in their long journey ahead. Many artists have started teaching online to sustain themselves, and can reach audiences around the world.
“When artists become teachers, they can succeed even more as they are energised through the constant teaching activity and innovative ideas,” Sangeeta signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new ways of strengthening your commitment to your creative side?
Edited by Kanishk Singh