Friday, February 12, 2010

The Lady Art Gallery Owners Of Karachi

The Lady Art Gallery Owners Of Karachi.

Karachi has it’s share of millions of art lovers, ranging from ordinary people like me to students, writers, intellectuals, journalists, and many more. The thriving , pulsating, blooming art scene in Karachi is kept alive by the artists themselves but amongst the major contributors to the showcasing and window dressing of this intense activity are the women gallery owners in Karachi, an enterpreuner lot in Karachi who have done much to introduce the artists and Pakistani art to the world.
Tallest amongst these is Mrs. Hussain of the Chawkandi Art Gallery, a pioneer art gallery situated in Supermarket area of Clifton, Karachi which has shown hundreds of artists and Pakistani art to the world. A visit to Karachi would be incomplete without the Chawkandi sojourn. The relaxed atmosphere, the quality of work and the genuineness of the artists being shown here are without doubt one of the best in Pakistan. A Chawkandi exhibition speaks for quality itself. Mrs Hussain has over the years ,some twenty or more, cultivated a large fan following for the gallery. We all love her exhibitions. Whether buying for ourselves or a reference to foreign visitors, a visit to Chawkandi will land you with genuine art treasure.

An enterprising art gallery owner is Sameera Raja of the Canvas Art Gallery situated near Nehre Khayyam, in Clifton. This gallery also boasts of interesting, good quality art shows ranging from painters like Faryal to innovative and diverse sculptor Amin Gulgee.I always wait for the exciting works to be displayed here for a real visual treat.
 Zenani Art gallery cannot be ignored when talking of art scene in Karachi. This gallery also owned and run by three enterprising ladies, has shown many a painter and sculptor to our visual and aesthetic pleasure. This is located near to Bed and Bath in the Tauheed commercial area of Defence, Karachi.
 One of the oldest venues and art school, run by a sculptor and artist par excellence of Pakistan is Rabia Zuberi’s Karachi School of Art. Here one can find a wide range of work from student artists to artists themselves.
A gallery that is now run by Mrs Ali Imam is in 1st Street ,Bath Island. Ali Imam was one of the first private art gallery owners in Karachi’s PECHS area. Ali Imam was a master artist ,painter of Pakistan.  He did much to introduce artists to the public and students alike. After his death his wife has been running this gallery which she shared much during his lifetime.I learnt much about art and painters like Gulgee, Bashir Mirza, Chughtai and others from him while walking back to school and stopping at his gallery for a visual treat every week with guided tour by the great painter himself. His gentle, genteel ways with young students I can never forget. Life was so beautifully leisurely in Karachi at those times, so un materialistic, so fine aesthetically, back in the sixties.
 A recent welcome addition to the Karachi art scene is Unicorn  art Gallery, again situated at Shahrahe Iran, Clifton, near the British consulate and Park Towerss Clifton. This also shows a wide and  precious array of authentic talented artists both older masters and new exciting artists. Their recent exhibitions of  Hussain and Tassaduq Sohail were a real feast for art lovers. Here you can also find silver jewellery designed by artists , now almost an art form  by women designers.
 A most recent but utterly charming art venue is Koel of Nurjehan Bilgrami at Clifton’s 26th street. This charming haunt has a café, a courtyard sit in coffee shop or “Chowk” if you like and a small sit in space attached to an art venue. A recent exhibition showing many artists and themed “Black on Black” marks Koel’s anniversary as an institution promoting traditional art techniques like indigo dying , block printing so well served and kept alive by pioneers in Pakistan like Nurjehan Bilgrami.

.Noor Jehan Bilgrami with Meher Afroze at Koel Art Gallery.(11-2-2010)
Canvas Art Gallery.
The Arts Councils’ Ahmed Pervez Art Gallery is also being run by a lady curator nowadays. Here also true to tradition old and new artists and graduates of art schools’ work is being displayed for the general public and art lovers.Here one can buy good art pieces at reasonable prices as this is a genuinely art promoting venue.

Sameer Raja (Canvas )

The owner of Unicorn art Gallery.

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