The idea behind ArtsAcre was to establish an institution dedicated to nurturing young artists in the field of visual arts. On 3 March 1984, sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar laid the foundation stone of a dream called ArtsAcre on a small plot of land in Gopalpur near the Irport. Inspired by artists commune prevalent in more developed parts of the world, ArtsAcre began as an Artists’ Village where visual artists from all streams lived and worked together, fostered by a community feeling. Gradually it crystallized into an institution of national standing. The campus became a haven for budding artists and a meeting point for men of letters. Its modestly-built original campus was inaugurated on 11th January a 1987 by Nobel laureate Gunter Grass with an exposition of his drawings.
Stalwarts like Chintamani Kar, Mrinal Sen, Bhabesh Sanyal, Subhas Mukhopadhyay, Ashok Mitra, Santosh Kumar Ghosh, Gour Kishor Ghosh, Arun Mitra, Mulk Raj Anand, Khushwant Singh, Sibnarayan Roy, Satish Gujral and Manjit Bawa were among the eminent personalities associated with ArtsAcre. They visited the campus often to encourage the artists.
Guest artists from around the world came and worked at ArtsAcre. Exchange of ideas and workshops became a frequent happening. An exchange programme with international artists led to exhibitions by ArtsAcre artists in London and Washington, eventually.
The flame of enthusiasm that led to the first embodiment of ArtsAcre was rekindled in the early part of this century. The old dream acquired new wings with desire to present an art facility of global standard to our beloved city. That expanded vision emerged as an enhanced and enlarged embodiment with our new spacious campus in New Town.
The rechristened ArtsAcre Museum of Bengal Modern Art and International Centre for Creativity and Cultural Vision was inaugurated on 6 March, 2014 by Smt. Mamata Banerjee, honorable Chief Minister of West Bengal, in the presence of luminaries from across India like Mahashweta Devi, Dr. Karan Singh, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Anjolie Ela Menon and others, witnessed by an august gathering of connoisseurs from all walks of life, punctuated with a lyrical presentation replete with music and poetry.
The Sarala – Basant Birla Auditorium was inaugurated subsequently by MK Narayanan, Governor of West Bengal in the presence of Sarala and Basant Birla. We are grateful to several patrons of the Arts for their generosity.
Designed by visionary architect and urban designer Partha Ranjan Das, the new campus of ArtsAcre is a self-contained mini-city for artists and art lovers.
ArtsAcre is equipped with everything an artist or an art lover can ask for in an idyllic setting. A Museum that houses paintings and sculptures representing the evolution of Bengal Modern Art from the colonial times to present day. There are dedicated galleries for Bengal Modern Art, Bengal Contemporary Art, Indian Contemporary Art, Bengal Water Colour, and Gallery Bangladesh.
There are separate exhibition galleries where anyone can conduct short term exhibitions. Then there are dedicated Art Workshops for painting, sculpture, ceramics and printmaking. Plus, Artist’s Studios where artist can stay and work, a Museum Shop for art lovers to collect souvenirs from, Conservation Lab, Auditorium, Conference Room, Amphitheatre, Guest Apartments and Cafeteria serving multi cuisine delicacies.
Fine Arts, cinema, theater, music and dance add vibrancy to the atmosphere of ArtsAcre. A dedicated team comprising our trustees, advisers and passionate personnel have been pouring their heart and soul into making ArtsAcre the most sought after cultural destination in the city as well as in the country.