Forget Ayurvedic Retreats, Artist Retreats Are The Way To Go!


For a soul-satisfying escape, head to these retreats in India soon.

How many times have you thought of taking up a pottery class or even a cooking one during your stay at a luxury resort? While some properties do offer it, others are limited to just food and stay. It becomes difficult then, as an artist, to explore wider horizons that go beyond using a paintbrush!

Art is subjective and if you are looking to explore more out of your visit, then these artist retreats will help you satisfy your creative grind. We have taken into account six best artist residencies that are open to the art enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike. You could sit by the pool for hours together, meet up with like-minded people, attend a class together or just write a book in your villa- the world is your oyster. These spaces will give you the required solitude and perspective along with a creative push, which will surely enhance your thinking process. Here are some selected hubs scattered across India that will ensure you come out as a fulfilled thinker. And no, you don’t have to be a professional artist to indulge in these retreats!

Art Village, Karjat, Maharashtra

The brainchild of Kunal and Ganga Kadakia, Art Village is a way to democratise art through various practices and prides itself in bringing both artists and non-artistes together, to think, create and collaborate. The place offers workshops, talks, residencies, performances, festivals and educational programmes to inspire one and all. Not just that, every room in the art village is based on the elements of nature and even has an organic cafe and a meditation centre on the premises.

Photo Credit: Art Village Karjat

HH Art Spaces, Goa

The most famous amongst the others listed below, HH Art Spaces in Goa is God’s answer to every artist who wishes for a creative space that also connects him/her with like-minded people. The space hosts numerous workshops, art exhibitions and events that you can associate yourself with. It is an art community for various International and home-based artists to make the most of their ideas and thoughts. Started by Romain Loustau, Madhavi Gore and Nikhil Chopra in 2014, HH Art Spaces in Siolim is a great artists space to be deeply invested in creating art and also make good use of the networks they provide.

Photo Credit:  HH Art Spaces Foundation

The Dune Eco Village, Pondicherry

With 62 uniquely designed bungalows, ayurvedic and healing centre and two restaurants, the Dune Eco Village in Pondicherry is just not an artist retreat,  positive space of art! They have a special ‘Artist Residence Program’ that is an endeavour to promote different forms of art, culture and education by provides working spaces and studios to artists from across the world. “It is a non-profit programme sponsored by the hotel. No one else is involved and we inspire artists to use this bubble, far away from their agents and galleries, to explore new mediums and techniques. This isn’t something they can do in their normal work life, where people expect them to produce what they are known for,” said Dimitri Klein, founder and CEO of the Dune Wellness Group to Verve Magazine. Definitely our favourite from the lot!

Photo Credit:  Dune Wellness Group

1 Shanthiroad, Bangalore

1 Shanthiroad is an art space founded by Suresh Jayaram to nurture creativity and cutting-edge art practices. It is situated in the bustling metropolis of Bengaluru and provides slide lectures, small conferences, installations, performances, screenings, and informal discussions. Thanks to its artist residency programme, it has welcomed art enthusiasts from India and across the world, which has, in turn, widened the community. “It is different because it is an artist-led initiative, where the artist in the positive space art is supported, mentored and connected to the host and the local community in Bengaluru. We personally work with each one of them and are concerned about their journey,” Jayaram said in an interview to Verve Magazine in 2017. Its residency program is particularly well-known which gives emerging artists a chance to live in the artist studios for a total of four weeks, in order to provide the best work either individually or through collaborative practices.

 Photo Credit:  Verve Magazine

Art Ichol, Madhya Pradesh

The Art Ichol Centre in Madhya Pradesh has been aesthetically devised from scrap and recycled material. Who wouldn’t want to lounge by the open-air sculpture park, learn pottery at their clay making studio and eat a hearty breakfast at their art cafe? Not just that, they also provide luxury rooms that come attached with a fully furnished kitchen. The place holds exhibitions, presentations, gatherings and creative brainstorming sessions. It offers three luxury retreats- The Amariya Writer’s Retreat, The Art Ichol Centre and the Malhar Heritage Home to make the best use of your time and spirit.

Photo Credit: Artichol

Pepper House, Kochi

Apart from being a beautiful waterfront property, it is home to Indian and International artists and also hosts Kochi Muzaris Biennale, an art exhibition, that is a melting pot of culture. It houses a picturesque courtyard cafe, gallery, studios for artist residencies and event spaces to bring in general awareness about art and art education. They are currently accepting applications for their resident artists 2020 program, so do inquire!

Photo Credit: Pepper House

Whether you are an artist or not, these retreats will not only make you more aware of culture but also give you a chance to interact with like-minded artists.

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