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    India's Coolest Street Art Company Is Coming To Kolkata

    Rajarshi posted on 24 January


    St+art is a Delhi-based non–profit organisation run by young adults that goes city to city creating incredible street art.

    Hit The Streets

    In collaboration with Bonjour India and Aravani Art Project, St+Art India is launching itself in Kolkata with a series of small-scale events and the theme for our city is “The Unseen”.

    From February 4, Kolkata will witness well-known French artist Chifumi {known for his bright pop art themes} teaming up with volunteers of Aravani Project to gift the city walls and its people with artworks that mainly reflect the lives of people living in the infamous red light districts of the city, gracefully telling us their story with depictions of mudras and other aesthetic elements; aimed towards being a voice for them while capturing the common audience’s attention and provoking thought and conversation on the subject.


    Tell Me More

    For this, they have chosen the streets of local red light districts such as Sonagachi and have been interacting with their potential subjects for a month now. There are a few unnamed surprise locations that are yet to be announced.

    And guess what? They’re looking for people to help with production, documentation and art. You can get information about these on their Facebook page here, so stay tuned for their live updates between February 4 to 17 to know where to show up. And fill out the form to volunteer here — all you need are some basic details and you need to upload youre resume or portfolio.

    So if you are up for transforming sterile public spaces to interactive structures, join in. The team comprises a bunch of creative, passionate, cool people, and they’re looking for you to join them. So if you’re going to be in the city in February and you want to paint the town red {literally!} you need to sign up.


    What Exactly Is St+Art All About?

    St+art {Street + Art} India Foundation is a non–profit organisation run by young adults who felt the need to give back to the community and took to the medium of urban street art to provoke creative thought and conversation among the common people by adding colour and creativity to the barren walls and districts of prominent cities in the country.

    In 2014, Akshat Nauriyal, Content Director & Co-Founder of St+Art India worked on a street painting project with artists Daku, Bond, Zion and such at Hauz Khas Village and was soon introduced to Arjun Bahl {Festival Director & Co-Founder} by Hanif Kureshi {Art Director & Co-Founder} who was sharing a studio with Nauriyal at the time. After joining forces with Giulia Ambrogi, the curator of the St+Art festivals, the four of them, along with Thanish Thomas, Project Director & Co-Founder, gave voice to an art form that still has massive unexplored potential in India.


    What Have They Done So Far?

    Well, their 2017 edition saw them sprucing up Mumbai city with paint, the core focus being the slums of Dharavi, a big installation project at Sasoon Docks turning the big transportation containers into canvases, and a gigantic Gandhi mural on the Churchgate station building, painted by renowned Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra and his team of 52 associates and technicians over 18 days, along with other special projects at Jindal Mansion and the Western Railways.

    In 2015, the famous New York-based crochet artist Olek was roped in to create a huge mural on the walls of the well-known night shelter in Sarai Kale Khan to attract the homeless and create awareness on the Rain Baseras project which provides night shelters made by the government, all around the city.

    In 2016, they collaborated with Shilo Shiv Suleman {Bangalore based artist}, and volunteers from Sewing New Futures, a government foundation that works for the amelioration of the conditions of victims of sex trafficking in Najafgarh to transform one of the Lodhi Art District walls into a work of art. St+Art has also collaborated with the Aravani Art Project in Bangalore which works with transgender people, to promote their participation in non-stereotypical labour, against ignorant social perception, and are quite frankly at the forefront of an art revolution in India by bringing it out into the open for public admiration, irrespective of social strata, dismissing the limiting and classist concept of galleries and closed exhibition spaces with reserved entry, on a scale that’s literally larger than life.

    Having nine big festivals in their bag already, with focus on larger than life street art and installations that merge aesthetic with social relevance, they’ve worked with over 20 cultural institutions across the board with 25-30 artists {Indian and international} per festival on an average.

    Depending on the artist that they’re working with, projects are designed based on the locations, with sensitivity towards the environment and its people.

    Because they are non-profit, most of their funding comes from sponsors and partners like Asian Paints and Bonjour India. They’ve also worked with government bodies such as the Delhi Police Headquarters and the BMRC in Bangalore and Mumbai.

    You can take a look at some of their work here and here. They have been in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderebad, Bangalore, Goa… and now they will be in Kolkata!


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