Gallery Ark is a contemporary art gallery based out of Vadodara that started in May 2017. It was founded by Seema and Atul Dalmia, as a natural progression of their passion and patronage of the arts for over a decade now. Besides being art collectors, they have hosted several theatre, dance and music performances in the city, which continues now as a part of Gallery Ark’s programming. Ark was an organic outcome of their desire to deepen our involvement and commitment to the art community. Now at the helm of the gallery, I hope to create an institution that promotes contemporary art, nurtures young artists, operates with transparency and credibility, and eventually brings sensitivity and access to the arts for a wider audience.
The Baroda School has had a strong influence on our personal collection as well as the gallery’s programming, in that we are naturally drawn to more narrative and conceptual art practices as opposed to figurative. We have had solo shows of KG Subramanyan and Jyoti Bhatt, who are towering figures of the Baroda art story. Ark has always been representative of our personal aesthetic and narrative and these two artists have been instrumental in our journey with art. Similarly, our first show was called ‘Walter and Friends’ as a tribute to Walter’s immense contribution to the architecture of Ark. He worked closely with the architect right from the drawing board, and his large scale installations are as integral to the building as are the walls. The show featured six artists who are Walter’s close personal friends from college days at MSU, Baroda. Having said that, we have tried to create a good balance between commenting on the contemporary art scenario and promoting young and rising artists that we work with.
The gallery sits in a corporate office building which is important because I do not believe art should be separate from one’s daily life. It also reinforces the deep integration of art in Baroda’s society, as has been the case historically. In the marrying of art and the architecture of the building, or corporate professionalism with the abstract subjectivity of art in our work environment, we want to push the boundaries of how art is consumed and perceived. Our advisory vertical works with artists and developers to create large-scale public art installations. We have partnered with Reliable Copy to power quarterly learning modules for students and young artists, collaborate with the Maharaja Sayajirao University to organize annual talks by academicians, and host curated dance and theatre performances as well as monthly book reviews and art presentations for general audiences. These initiatives are geared towards creating a holistic program focused on contemporary visual arts. We are excited to see how we can grow and shape this vision in the coming years.
Director, Gallery Ark
11 AM - 7 PM
1, Krishna Industrial Estate
Opp. BIDC Gate, Gorwa
Phone: +91 9737474261