Shantiniketan, West Bengal – 2010:
The Santiniketan Society of Visual art and Design is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to development, innovation and research in the field of visual art and design. In 1989, a group of like-minded teachers including Janak Jhankar Narzary, Jogen Chowdhury and ex-students from Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan, came together with the idea of creating a centre for community living and art practice. Taking its acronym SSVAD, meaning ‘taste’ in Indian vernacular language, on the suggestion of Prof K G Subramanyan, the society was registered in 2003.
“One of the major ideas behind the formation of SSVAD is to build a meaningful space for creation, without the boundaries of an institution – and provide breathing space for free thoughts and experimentations.” writes Jogen Chowdhury in his description of the place. In 2008, SSVAD laid its foundations for an art centre after acquiring 13,600 soft. of land in Sonajhuripalli in Santiniketan. The centre was created by funds raised from generously donated works of artists from all over India. It includes a studio for print-making and residencies, an art gallery, a library, seminar room and guest house facilities. It was conceived as a collective idea of offering facilities and a working platform for young and upcoming artists.
SSVAD organises an array of art workshops, residencies for emerging artists and provides a space for performances and art exhibitions. The SSVAD International arts residency provides space and accommodation for artists to create work and immerse in the natural surroundings of Santiniketan. The tribal villages and the Bauls (mystic minstrels of Bengal) and the region’s rich association with the artists community of Viswa Bharati, the University set up by Nobel Laureate and philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore, compliment this creative space.
Text Courtesy : Space118
Image Courtesy : SSVAD Residency