Established in 1997, the Art Chamber, or Galeria de Belas Artes, was set up to promote the work of burgeoning, young Goan artists. Situated within the Castelo Vermelho, the very building that houses the art gallery reflects the diverse East-meets-West cultural history of Goa with an architectural structure that reflects the three main religions of the region, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. Whilst nurturing and promoting the talent of Goa-based artists, the gallery is now increasingly home to artists from around India and the rest of the world, making it a ‘frontrunner towards an exchange of national and international exchange of art’. Past exhibitions have included works by Yolanda de Sousa Kammermeir and a selection of traditional Kurdish and Indian masks.
Complex Housing the art installations and sculptures of Dr Sudobh Kerkar, the Kerkar Art Complex, which was founded in 1992, has been described as a soothing and immersive cultural experience. What sets his work apart from that of other Indian artists is his use of nature, which forms an integral part of his large-scale sculptures. Works are created using natural mediums such as shells, bamboo, stones and even plants. As well as having its own multicultural restaurant, Waves, on-site, every Tuesday evening there are open air dance recitals by local artists staged at the gallery. Kerkar’s work has been shown all over the world, including Germany, Geneva and Dubai.
Kerkar Art Complex, Holiday Street, Gaurawado, Calangute, Goa, India, +91 983 2227 6017
The Kala Academy was set up by the Government of Goa to encourage and help further nurture music, dance, drama, literature and, above all, fine art. As well as having a gallery dedicated to the work of contemporary Goan artists, both amateur and professional, the Academy takes an active part in discussing the future of Goan art by holding seminars, workshops and discussion groups to talk about the work of up-and-coming artists. They also run an ‘Artists’ Camp’ whereby art students and the public have the opportunity to see professionals in action and take part in master classes with a view to hopefully inspiring their own work.
Kala Academy Goa, Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, Campal Panjim, Goa, India, +91 832 242 0450
One of Goa’s best-kept secrets, Monsoon Heritage Studio is tucked away at the bottom of a narrow pathway, accessible only by walking through a tropical forest. This romantic setting provides the perfect backdrop to Yahel Chirinian’s dramatic and distinctive mosaic work. The mirrored mosaic sculptures of Hindu deities and abstract forms which range from 25 centimetres to 2 metres are all handcrafted using single pieces of locally sourced and natural raw materials that are gradually cut and shaped to form the final works. Whilst the studio will allow you to see the artist at work, the garden is a wonderfully peaceful space that allows the natural sculptures’ beauty to shine.
Monsoon Heritage Studio, 601 Fernand Wado, Porvorim, Bardez, Goa, +91 98 22122771
Part of the Panjim Inn Hotel, Gallery Gitanjali extends much further than its allotted area on the hotel complex. Indeed, the owners have made the gallery’s work as much a part of the guests’ experience of the hotel as possible with the carefully curated selection of abstract oil and mixed media pieces, including collages lining the walls of the private guest rooms. Some of the examples of local artists working with the gallery include Mohan Naik and Jayashree Patankar, both of whom have had national and international success. In addition to contemporary art, the gallery also houses a substantial collection of Scandinavian lithographs, lino prints and etchings from the 1950s and 1960s. Over the years the gallery has also evolved into a cultural space, hosting poetry readings, art discussion groups and courses on film appreciation.
Gallery Gitanjali, Janaury Road, Fontainhas, Panjim, Goa, India, 0832-2423331 / + 9823572035
A bright and spacious gallery located in the heart of Panjim, Gallery Attic champions contemporary Goan artists. Featuring paintings by Vasudev Shetye and Praveen Naik as well as still life photography, the gallery has a variety of work to suit all tastes. There are numerous Portuguese-inspired sculptures, which pay homage to Goa’s multi-cultural heritage; in addition, there is an annexe to the gallery known simply as ‘The Attic’ where period furniture, pottery and antique glassware are painstakingly restored to their original glory. Gallery Attic is a place where old sits alongside new and the cultures that make up Goa’s past are allowed to intermingle.
Gallery Attic, Near Don Bosco School, Panaji, Goa, India, +91 832 242 0929
Founded in 2005, Ruchika’s Art is a fairly young venture in comparison to some of the better-known contemporary art spaces in Goa. Since its opening, it has sought not only to promote Goan artists within India, but to further their ambitions abroad in new art hubs such as Dubai and more established platforms, including Los Angeles. As well as featuring art that showcases daily rural life in Goa, Ruchika’s has sought to exhibit abstract canvases too and have a much more digital presence, with almost the whole collection available to browse online. The aim of this initiative is, of course, to allow the public to have more access to lesser-known Goan artists such as Archana Yadav and Vijay Bhagodi, among others.
Although perhaps not what one would consider traditionally ‘contemporary’, the Big Foot Cross Museum can truly be described as reflecting Goan heritage. Part of ‘Ancestral Goa’ which aims to digitally preserve the heritage of the region, the collection at the Museum boasts over 1450 crosses from Goa and all over the world, which are emblematic of Goa’s rich Roman Catholic history. The crosses themselves allow visitors to understand and explore a Goa, which has, in recent years, been lost and forgotten.
Big Foot Cross Museum, Loutolim, Goa, India, +91 98 277 7034