Street Smart

The Pune Street Art Project is working towards making art a part of the day-to-day lives of people

The walls of the Sanas grounds bore a bright look on Sunday afternoon. The walls were lit with colours and sported funky designs, murals and artwork. A three-headed figure trying to destroy modern buildings, a face of a monkey wearing sunglasses and a large purple eye, were only few of the examples of the artwork that will become a part of the city's landscape. In a sense, art had arrived on the streets of Pune. The "Pune Street Art Project" is an initiative by Harshvardhan Kadam, a Pune-based illustrator and artist, and is a part of the first Pune Biennale to be held in January.

"Art for the common people is the central idea behind the initiative," informed Kadam. "Instead of art shows that are aimed at the cream of society, we wanted to adorn the city streets with creativity," he added. Kadam agreed that the street art scene in Pune is yet to take off. Four sites in the city the Katraj Snake Park (which has the largest mural), the Sanas Grounds, and the walls near Saras Baug and Nehru Stadium form the canvas for these works. "I asked the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) for permission and they were quick to agree," he says.

The artwork, painted with acrylic exterior paints are designed to last long. "The walls of this city already have their stories, their words but these aren't audible. This project will give them a new voice, which will stay with time, and can be heard from a distance. We wish to paint over the walls of the designated locations, bring out the energy in them, and make heads turn," says Kadam sitting in his creative studio on Prabhat Road.

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