Five artist residencies in Rajasthan you should visit to kindle your creativity

Though the concept of artist residencies has recently sprung up in Rajasthan, they are providing providing accommodation and providing a platform for people to experience art and craft. So, let’s get to know about some of the prominent artist residencies presently operating in the state.

 

Artnet defines artist residencies as an opportunity for artists to live and work outside of their comfort zone, giving them the time to reflect, research and produce work. Considering that Rajasthan is one of the major tourist destinations in India, a slew of artist residencies have sprung up in the region.


They not only enable artists to explore new locations and get a glimpse of the Rajasthani culture but also offer an opportunity to experiment with traditional and local materials. Much like the study-abroad programs for students, artist residencies aim to have a deep impact on the lives and careers of young artists.


So, let’s dive in and explore some of the most renowned artist residencies functioning in Rajasthan.


1 - Farm Studio, Andore

Located at Andore (25km from Sirohi and 185km from Jodhpur), Farm Studio is a non-profit organization and artist residency that was established for collaborations and exchanges between rural Indian artists and international contemporaries. The organisation promotes and celebrates art, culture and community-based activities.


The annual gatherings at Farm Studio are seen as a platform to discuss, network and create partnerships with other artist residency hosts and co-ordinators working in rural communities around the world. A lot of emerging artists, researchers, curators and critics from across the globe take part in their multi-disciplinary conference.


Artists interact with the local community at the Farm Studio, Andore (Image credit: Farm Studio Facebook)


2 - Art Inn, Jaipur

Situated in the heart of Jaipur, Art Inn is a quaint cottage that offers food and accommodation for artists with a range of other attractions. Alongside the basic amenities, it has a provision for guided visits and excursions to nearby historic sites and local artist villages.


Artists are also given the opportunity to learn multiple crafts like blue pottery, woodcraft (toys, puppets and furniture), traditional jewellery designing, block printing and miniature paintings from local experts in these villages. Those interested can also pick up conventional art forms such as Mandna and Pichwai from the artists. All in all, Art Inn provides an immersive experience for art enthusiasts and artists throughout the year.


Art Inn provides artists the opportunity to learn miniature painting from master painter Ajay Sharma (Image credit: Blogspot)


3 - Cocoa and Jasmine, Jaipur

Cocoa and Jasmine, an independent cultural magazine and digital publication, working in the field of arts, crafts, design and travel, is also organizing creative residency programs with local partners for the global design community.


One of their residency programs, which was held over a span of three days at Jaipur in January 2021, had activities for designers, artists, photographers and creative enthusiasts of all kinds, with facilitators for each of them. Panel discussions during these programs included interactions between the artists and the local designers, both of whom got to understand and explore each other's works. The itinerary also included visits to textile museums and studios to witness live craft demonstrations, gemstones and jewellery. So, in short, Cocoa and Jasmine offered the community a peek into the contemporary design setup in the city of Jaipur.


4 (A) - Art Junction, Udaipur (Urban)

Art Junction in Udaipur offers a unique opportunity for a short to medium term artist residency. It hands over an open platform for artists from diverse backgrounds to come together to share knowledge and collaborate. And, at the end of the residency, artists usually get the opportunity to exhibit their work, conduct public lectures, readings and talk shows at local institutions in Udaipur.


Painting workshop for the artists at Art Junction Udaipur (Image credit: Art Junction Udaipur Wordpress)


4 (B) - Art Junction, Udaipur (Rural)

While most of the other art residencies cater to the urbanized art communities, Art Junction also has a rural setup in the Badanga tribal village on the outskirts of Udaipur. This village residency engages experimental artists and creative practitioners, who work on the themes of sustainability, organic food harvesting, ecological issues, agriculture, land, water and climate.


It works towards building networks amongst a vibrant league of social, cultural and aesthetic perspectives, fostering collaboration and enabling open dialogue for senior, practicing and emerging artists. Besides this, the village residency delves into the region’s tribal context through interactive projects and engagement drives.


The living areas for the international artists at the Art Junction residency in the Bandanga tribal village (Image credit: Art Junction Udaipur Wordpress)


5 - RETH, Jaisalmer

Westwards in Jaisalmer, RETH is a curated artistic workshop that is organised at the Nachana Haveli and Narayan Niwas Palace. In an era of online learning and Youtube videos, RETH is intending to offer urban audiences a chance to take a few days off, learn new art forms directly from experienced artists and be inspired by India’s rich cultural heritage. RETH is one of the few ‘open to all’ workshops that promotes complete inclusivity.


Narain Niwas Palace in Udaipur, was one of the two venues for the latest edition of RETH (Image credit: Hotel Narain Niwas Palace)


The bigger picture

The objective of every artist residency is to create an unique atmosphere, where international and Indian artists, who are established or emerging, come together and collaborate in an entirely new environment. Hence, this is a win-win situation for both artists, locals and of course for the tourism sector as a whole.

 

Edited by Roshni Shroff

 

Some resources and links to help you learn more about artist residencies -

The Dos and Don’ts of Artist Residencies