Urusvati Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA) has been serving the cause of Art & Culture carrying out different art activities since it was set up in August 1995 at its earlier establishment at Vasant Vihar , New Delhi. (Darpan ID: DL/2018/0203639)
The word “Urusvati” means “The light of the morning star”. This draws inspiration from the Himalayan Institute called “Urusvati”, established by the famous Russian painter, the late Nicholas Roerich who came to India in 1923 and spent rest of his life at Naggar, in District Kullu in Himachal Pradesh.
Thereafter UCCA setup the “Urusvati Art Centre” and its “ Urusvati Museum” located in Sector-78, Gurgaon since 2003. The Art Centre and the Museum are run by the Urusvati Centre for Contemporary Art Trust whose aims and objectives include encouraging the understanding and appreciation of Art and Culture among the public, especially children through its varied activities.
UCCA has been expanded since 2013 in the expansive Urusvati Art Habitat Centre, Sector 78 , Gurugram. The Urusvati Art & Habitat Centre houses Art Galleries of over 7000 Sqft and an unique Museum of Folk Lore in its new building in Sector-78, Gurgaon. The Art Centre and the Museum is located in a Campus of about 1.6 acres in the backdrop of the Aravalli Hills.
The Museum displays the Folklore of North India through dioramas and paintings by eminent artists. The Urusvati Museum of Folklore sponsored by the Urusvati Centre for Contemporary Art, New Delhi received, funding from the Ford Foundation for establishing the Museum. The aim of the Museum is to preserve document & increase public access to the tangible & intangible culture of the country. The Museum has widely covered seven Northern and Central States – Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. The permanent display in the museum gallery forms a nucleus exhibition displaying folklore in narrative form. Arts and crafts of various states are also on display through interesting story forms The Museum of Folklore and Folk Arts forms a centre of interest for children and local people who visit the Museum frequently.
The Urusvati Centre for Contemporary Art (UCCA) has taken many steps towards creating awareness for art. There are Art Galleries displaying works of established and emerging artists. The Centre has facilities for demonstrating and teaching school children the different traditional Indian crafts like Tie & Dye, pottery, painting, clay modelling, etc. The Art Centre and the Museum is an educative experience for young and senior students when they visit the campus. It also provides them an opportunity that is “hands on”, under the supervision of Masters in various Art forms.
UCCA also organizes activities like folk dances and classical music and dance evenings every month. These activities enable visitors to appreciate and reaffirm the brilliance and glory of the Indian cultural traditions. The Specific activities of the UCCA are :
- To create awareness amongst the youth of the aesthetics and beauty in the traditional craft.
- To hold workshops with school children & teachers on a regular basis to familiarize them with the rich cultural fabric of the country. To date the Museum has held thirty workshops with school children. The activities which are taken up during the workshops encompass familiarization with the rich culture of the country vis-à-vis its folk art and folk music and dance, painting, and most importantly the rich folklore of various states.
- Interactive sessions with the students are arranged by the curators who also conduct quizzes, skits and play by the children. Space has been provided to young visitors to see and touch and use materials to create their own versions of stories thus engaging them in activities that help discover their inner potential, creative genius and also awareness of traditional culture. Special session with school children on Indian Archeological Monuments especially the World Heritage Sites with a special historical perspective have been conducted. These activities will be continued during the current year as part of the regular Programme.
- The Museum has, with the help of research scholars, set up a nucleus of information and researched material on Folklores of seven state of India.
UCCA has arranged many performances , exhibitions and Artists camp in the last two decades and apart from Visual Arts has also been holding Music and Dance Concerts regularly each year to connect with the local community as well as fulfill a growing need amongst the young to know more about Indian Culture.
In December 2013, Urusvati held an Odissi Dance Concert directed by Padmashiri Ranjana Gauhar. On 16th February, 2014, a classical Music Concert was held and Smt.Anshu Thapliyal Uawani who sang Thumris and songs of Basant.
On 23rd March 2015, three days Artists Camp was arranged, where 15 Artists participated and painted in the lap of nature.
On 14th November 2014, Children’s Day was celebrated, and Fifty Artists from Haryana Lok Kala Parishad made a grand presentation of their best folk dances and folk music.On 30th November 2014, a Classical Music Festival was held, featuring Shri Abhay Sopori, a young brilliant Santoor Player and a classical Vocal rendition by Ms.Ragini Rainu.
On 15th March, 2015 a classical dance performance was held featuring Guru Shashidhar Acharya students in a Seraikella Chhau Dance performance.
From 23rd to 25 March, Urusvati Trust held an Artist camp where 23 upcoming Artists participated and painted eclectic canvases.
On the 13th & 14th of November, 2015, Urusvati held Doll Making workshops for school children conducted by renowned instructors recommended by Haryana Kala Parishad.
From the 15th till the 25th of November 2015 , Urusvati organised a 10 day Sculptors Camp of several renowned sculptors in collaboration with the Lalit Kala Academy. On the 5th of December 2015 , a Sufi Musical evening by the Famous Nizami Bandhu was held with major sponsorship from the Dept of Cultural Affairs , Govt of Haryana and the NHPC at the Urusvati Art Centre ,Sector 78 , Gurgaon.
On the 19th of December 2015 , a Rajasthani Folk & Sufi Musical evening by the eminent Anwar Khan Manginyar was held at the Urusvati Art Centre , Sector 78 , Gurgaon. 17th March 2016 an annual art camp was held sponsored by Power Grid Cooperation of India with participation by 15 young upcoming artists. The Annual Art Camp was held and at the closing ceremony Sattariya Dances were performed by artistes of Sangeet Natak academy.
Tata Consultancy Services sponsored a “Traditional School of Bengal” in November 2016. On 18th March 2017, Spring Artist workshop/camp was held in Urusvati sponsored by ONGC and Power Grid and the Ragini Rainu Sufi music Concert was organized to celebrate Spring. In October 2017 the Art Camp for young contemporary artists was held in Kullu and the exhibition held in Gurugram in November 2017.
On 3rd March 2018 , the Singhi Champ ( Lion Dance) troupe was sent by Sikkim Government to perform in Gurugram . On 5th March 3018 an artist camp was held on the dying art of west Bengal of the style of Wash , Tempra and Gauche. On the 29th of March an annual spring art camp and exhibition was held with the participation of 15 artists drawn from all over India.
In July 2018 , a renowned sculptor from Mauritius Mr Dhaneshwar Dausoa stayed in Urusvati on Residency for 15 days and made varied wooden sculpture and an exhibition was held for the works made. On 4th November 2018, Sangeet Natak Academy sponsored Bodo Folk Dancers in which 16 dancers participated. In March 2019 Sangeet Natak Academy sponsored renowned vocal artist Mithali De for a classical Musical concert.
On 27th February 2020, ITPO sponsored a National Level Art Camp at UCCA. In beginning of March 2020. Kathak Kendra repertory gave a grand performance at UCCA with 12 young dancers
Future Activities :
The Urusvati Art Habitat Centre inspires to be an art school and a cultural hub, providing a facility for dissemination of folk traditions, traditional arts and crafts and promoting a deeper understanding of the rich cultural heritage of India.