How Bengaluru’s #MAP is a true showcase of art for the People, by the people


Inviting visitors to connect their crafts to the museum

Inviting visitors to add their crafts to the museum. Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Located in the heart of the city on the busy Kasturba Road, Bengaluru's Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) has completed one year since it opened on February 18 last year. The ethos of the museum has always been to preserve the rich heritage of India's art by democratizing art and culture while ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for a diverse audience.

In line with this objective, MAP has launched a new initiative where they use their street facing screens to display artwork by new artists. “Engaging our community in the arts and culture scene is an important part of making MAP truly inclusive for all. Through our road-facing screen initiative, #AtMAP, we want to engage the Indian art community to contribute directly to the art at the museum,” says Shaina Jagtiani, head of communications and PR at MAP.

“Our goal is to celebrate emerging artists and give them a chance to claim their space as well as share their unique ideas and perspectives. As an institution, we recognize our role in fostering the community by providing a platform where talent can be showcased in front of a large audience,” she adds.

Unique topics and community-building initiatives

#AtMAP was launched in December 2023 with an inaugural theme, 'New Year'. Their second theme is 'Birthdays' for January and February 2024, in line with MAP's first anniversary. As part of this initiative, MAP seeks entries from artists who submit their artwork along with details along with their perspective, understanding and interpretation. Of the subject.

“This description allows us to gain a full appreciation for the work presented. After extensive deliberations, shortlisted works are selected for display. However, as we strongly believe that art is subjective, we are actively trying to come up with new ideas to showcase all the works we receive. This can be done through our social media platforms or our newsletter,” says Shaina.

She adds that another important aspect they consider is the audience who walk through the museum and look at the screens. Therefore, works are also selected that are interesting and will appeal to passers-by.

Thus, #AtMAP is an initiative created to build a community. Through such initiatives, individuals are brought together and encouraged to showcase their talents. “We believe we are a museum for the people and these activities allow individuals to see MAP as a place where they are not only welcome, but where their artifacts belong. #AtMAP invites our audiences and visitors to connect their art to the museum. We believe that providing these prompts also allows artists to push the boundaries of their practice to create something unique.

Miscellaneous Presentations

#AtMAP has certainly piqued the curiosity of people with diverse interests and expressions, and the museum is receiving diverse submissions in terms of age groups and geographic locations, resulting in a rich pool of community artwork. From professional illustrators to beginners trying their hand at art, their submission inbox has become a treasure trove of creative expression.

“One of the submissions we have received is the work of plastic upcycling through various media. In the artwork titled “Plastic Cityscape”, the artist has used plastic wrappers to present the connection between urban development and the plastic waste it generates. This can be seen as the rebirth of recycled plastic and hence, it fits in with the theme of our birthday. Another representation is a memoir, captured in a photo of a friend preparing for someone's birthday. Another, abstract wonder-exploring artwork by a nationally recognized painter,” explains Shaina.

looking ahead

The #AtMAP prompt is expected to be vintage postcards in March, which will focus on love, happiness and sending news. The museum, which was ranked one of the top 20 cultural destinations by National Geographic in its annual 'Best of the World 2024' list, will be collaborating with Smoor for its first anniversary. To celebrate MAP's anniversary, a curated dessert will be launched across three Smore outlets in the city – Lavelle Road, Indiranagar and Whitefield, which is expected to be literally art on a plate.

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