Carpe Diem and Goa's burgeoning art gallery scene
Goa boasts of some artists who have attained international fame, and went on to study art in Bombay (now Mumbai) and Paris, where they lived and exhibited their art.
The first batch of graduates from the Goa College of Art in 1998, had no venue to exhibit their work, until Steinberg, a Dutch national, started the Flying Dutchman Gallery, in Calangute, giving the young artists a platform to showcase their works.
Unfortunately, the gallery closed down a couple of years later.
By the early 1900s, there were several art galleries which opened and closed. Among the galleries which opened from the year 2000 onwards is Carpe Diem Art Gallery, in Majorda.
The owner, Daegal Godinho, had no connection with art. He completed his BSc in Microbiology-Biochemistry from St Xavier's College (Mapusa), and MA in Sociology (Goa University).
He worked as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer; then worked on mental health projects as Systems Administrator with an NGO (Sangath); then as a desktop engineer for Artek Systems (Panjim); and for Union Properties (Dubai) before returning to Goa in 2010.
Daegal had a spacious ancestral house in Majorda, and decided to use it for live performing arts and a centre for learning and creativity.
The first art exhibition was held there in late 2012. It was a group show with the young and older genre of Goan artists – Nadkarni, Kaliddas Mammal, Kishor Gaonkar, Preetesh Naik, Rajendra Usapkar, Ramdas Gadekar, Ryan Abreu, Sachin Naik, Salvador Fernandes, Shripad Gurav, Viraj Naik, Vitesh Naik and several others, along with digital photography by Oscar de Sequeira Nazareth. The proceeds were given to Hands for Children, as charity.
Sometimes, artists approach the gallery, and sometimes it’s vice versa. Decisions on shows are made based on the work and credibility of the artist. Pricing, target audience, curation, set up, display, creation of collateral, marketing etc is handled in-house.
In order to keep the gallery sustainable, Carpe Diem endeavours to find a balance between the number of paid exhibitions, and those on a commission basis. The shows are scheduled 6 to 12 months in advance, building up most collateral in the last month prior to the show.
During the peak season, there’s a new exhibition every 15 to 20 days, and promising shows tend to stay on for a month or longer. When the artist pays a daily rental, exhibits are for a maximum period of 10 days.
The gallery is responsible for promoting and marketing, designing invites, posters, other social media collateral, sharing feature articles with the press, sending out event listings, e-mailers, WhatsApp blasts, creating online photo galleries, online sales portals and more.
Activities other than the art exhibitions, range from an all-day cafe, weekly painting and sketching classes, wheel throwing and hand-built ceramic, tile mural workshops to one-off events such as sitar recitals, theatre performances, music shows, book readings and launches, film screenings, strength training sessions, dance, yoga, gardening, carpentry and other creative workshops to generate funds.
Read more about the Carpe Diem story: Goa has few art collectors, but many first time-buyers