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New Town residents sing, dance, draw near Eco Park

Streets painted red, blue & yellow

Sudeshna Banerjee | Published 16.12.22, 11:14 AM
The service road leading from Eco Park Gate no. 1 to Gate no. 2 being painted by volunteers

The service road leading from Eco Park Gate no. 1 to Gate no. 2 being painted by volunteers

If Art Street leading up to Gate 2 of Eco Park is a riot of colours these days, thank the mothers, the children, the morning walkers and even the policeman who lent a hand to the artistes to paint the street surface.

New Town Kolkata Green Smart City Corporation had organised a day of “fun, music and placemaking” on a recent Sunday, coinciding with the start of the FIFA World Cup, and all were welcomed to join in. Placemaking is makes use of under-utilised spaces to enhance the urban experience


The day started with a sit and draw contest in which tots painted anything they fancied, those aged six to eight painted “Your City” — “Big houses, garden, Eco Park, all that you see around you,” contest judge Ashoke Mullick prompted the children — and those aged eight to12 drew a festival.

Soon after, it was the turn of a group of artistes, fresh out of art college, to take up the brush and paint on the spot. “There are 10 of them from the Indian College of Arts and Draughtsmanship. To include an art camp in a people’s festival is a great way to weave art into daily life,” said Subhashis Saha, a Purbachal 2R resident, who was coordinating the group. Cultural programmes would be held on the adjacent stage all morning and evening, placing local talent like 13-year-old Anushka Dutta of Akankha Abasan under the spotlight.

But it was the street painting that was the most eye-catching segment of the activities. People were asked to fill in a pattern drawn on the street with demarcated colours. Antareep Mukherjee, all of six-and-a-half years, had coloured three yellow petals and two blue petals. “He isn’t done yet,” said his exasperated mother as the clocked inched past noon.

Traffic policeman Malek Ali too was seen haunched on the street, paintbrush in hand. “I am holding a brush after 20 years,” he said.

Only connect

NKDA chairman Debashis Sen explained the rationale behind the day. “We want to make people communicate with each other. Otherwise, there is danger looming. We want to return space to our children and tell them that there is life beyond smartphone. That life is going missing for the young generation. So we have blocked one segment of the street and placed swings on it (on the pedestrian plaza, next to the Clock Tower). We want to inspire children and create a platform for them,” he said, mentioning “asphalt art” as a movement by Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by the three-term New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, to popularise visual interventions on roads, pedestrian spaces and vertical infrastructure.

While the drawings by the children were out up on display through the day, the paintings produced at the festival by the artistes would be up on display till the end of the World Cup at the Smart Art Gallery, opposite City Centre 2, Sen announced.

Last updated on 16.12.22, 11:14 AM

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