Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh- 2006:
Kriti’s Artist in Residence program was started in 2006 by Navneet Raman, who had been running a gallery and foundation in Benaras under the name Kriti as well.
Benaras being a badge for the spiritual and cultural milieu of India (specifically north India), has always attracted many artists, and cultural practitioners. Kriti’s residency program facilitates and creates a platform for these practitioners to access and understand Benaras , and all its rasas.
Being from Benaras, and being very actively involved in the culture, conservation, and archiving of most artforms (painting, music, literature, crafts, textile, et al), Raman is very well located to facilitate search and research for all kinds of ideas. This is a paid residency, awarded by application. The artists are provided private studios, lodging, and meals; and a lot of interactions, inquisitions, and activities are encouraged and furthered. The artists do not have to leave a work, and are often engaged with the gallery, or aided with the exhibitions of their works hence.
They encourage residents from all creative fields of practice, including journalism, social sciences, environmental concerns, heritage/ conservation, etc. With the funds from the residency, the Robyn Beeche Grant was started in 2019, for young artists who have just completed their Masters program, to get funding, and guidance by a mentor for a month. The grant is looking to streamline, and work with 1 artist, and 1 mentor henceforth.
In the current environment, they are waiting for the government to allow having residents, as the space is constructed in a naturally socially distanced way, with independent units of living and working. Applications for residents from September are already at the banks (of the Ganges.)
Text Courtesy : Space118
Image Courtesy : World Wide Web