If you’ve lived in Chennai long enough, chances are you’ve visited the iconic Hindustan Trading Company (HTC), the city’s landmark art store frequented not only by students and hobby artists, but instructors and world-renowned professionals. The loyal clientele has included the late MF Husain, and Thota Tharani, Yusuf Arakkal, and SG Vasudev. Considering the 1974-founded store is showing no signs of wear and tear and continues to be the automatic choice for all artists, it may now be time to turn the spotlight on its offspring, Madras Art Store (MAS) in Alwarpet.
The young proprietor, Amritha Venketakrishnan, in an attempt to straddle the taking forward of her family legacy with the challenging task of having a business identity of her own, admits to wanting to start a smaller concept store more accessible to people outside the parent store’s clientele. Hence MAS was born in 2016. With its stylish, minimal black-and-white board, this store beckons to you from the Alwarpet flyover.
Targetting a different audience from HTC, the Madras Art Store is geared more towards beginners and hobbyists rather than professionals. This is ensured by the careful curation of supplies that are on offer. This helps beginners make choices more easily instead of intimidating them with an impressive array of supplies. Whether you want paints of different types, brushes, canvas or wood sheets, easels or modelling paste, or even a students’ art book, you won’t be disappointed. We are especially tripping over their Paper & pads section which comprises art paper rolls, sketchbooks, art pads, and colourful craft paper. This place also hosts a range of workshops almost every week. A total art and craft haven!