About 10 kilometres from Adyar on the East Coast Road, away from the hustle and bustle of the mundane city life; lies a mecca for artists from across the globe. Cholamandal Artists’ Village is the largest community of artists in Asia and has continued to charm art enthusiasts for over 5 decades now. It was founded by KCS Paniker, one of India’s finest contributors to modern art and former principal of Government School of Arts and Crafts, Chennai, along with his students and a few artists associated with the college.
Back in the 50s, the spot was part of an uninhabited stretch of sand with casuarina plantation. At that time, most of the artists who live and work here now were students of the Government school of Arts and crafts, Chennai.
The beautiful premise of the self-supporting Artists’ Village is now equipped with all that is needed for an arts village. As you walk around the lush green surroundings, you will find the air redolent with artistic imagination and creativity at its best. Artists live as a community and pool together their skills and resources.
The Cholamandalam Artists’ Village has a permanent art gallery to hold exhibitions and open spaces to host fairs. Sculptures made of granite; wood, copper and bronze are created within the premises. From pottery in terracotta to canvases portraying modern works of art- you can view all and purchase art works to adorn your home. There is an open-air theatre that is used for holding discussions and conferences.
The artistes also run the Artists Handicrafts Association, a cooperative which manages the village and the sale of works through the permanent exhibition at the complex, which includes paintings, sketches, terra-cotta/stone/metal sculptures, batiks and handicrafts etc., made by the artists living the village, making the village a self-supporting entity.