Life, everywhere, has literally come to a standstill due to the coronavirus outbreak. And the pandemic has affected everyone across the fields. While the entertainment industry has responded by calling off shootings and observing social distancing, most of the art galleries in Hyderabad too have decided to remain shut to the general public till March 31, except by appointment or for special requirements.
Upcoming shows have been postponed or cancelled and the ongoing ones are temporarily put on hold. People are urged to use official websites to find out their procedures for access or for alternative ways to conduct any necessary business.
Moolagundam, Kalakriti, Goethe-Zentrum and other venues in the city have cancelled their shows. Shrishti Art Gallery has just postponed its event due to COVID-19. “We had planned it very big and were supposed to celebrate Shrishti’s 18th anniversary on March 14. But, due to government instruction, we have postponed the event. We had a talk show on ‘Art and Consciousness’ and people from other cities as well as abroad were expected for the show. However, we cancelled all these engagements till March 31,” says Lakshmi Nambiar who runs the gallery.
Art galleries like The Children’s Fine Art Gallery, by Daira Art Gallery, is keeping the kids engaged — albeit from a distance. The gallery has conducted a competition wherein children can take part from home. The initiative was aimed to “meaningfully engage” kids during the unscheduled vacation.
“The participants of the art competition will submit one drawing or painting through WhatsApp daily until the vacation is called off. The topic for the competition is ‘How Will I Spend the Day Today’ and they can mail the art to the Daira Art Gallery. This would make them busy and also creative,” says Atika Amjad, the brain behind the initiative.
Anitha Hari, who runs VSL Visual Art Gallery, says “We have postponed all events as of now, but the gallery will be opened for visitors who book an appointment. The ongoing show will continue but due to COVID-19, the footfall is quite bad. We would be following the instructions of government and start working actively once the things become normal.”
State Art Gallery, Salar Jung Museum Art Gallery and many other venues in the city have been closed till March 31 and the artists have also been strictly instructed not to come to galleries until March 31.