The Art and culture of Goa are unfortunately always overshadowed by the other attractions of Goa. There is so much to see in Goa beyond its beaches. Most of us are not aware of the other treasures of Goa. These include not only the beautiful churches and temples of Goa but the art galleries and museums as well. Goas Museums and art galleries are a sheer delight for both the layman as well as art connoisseurs. They are as unique as the land itself. They offer a deep insight into Goas culture, history, architecture and its people as well. Goa has a rich cultural background and there’s something of interest for everyone in these art galleries and museums of Goa.
Goa is a hub for artists of all kinds; from painting, sketches, caricature, sculptures and much more. Each year, Goa hosts various art festivals which attracts people from all over India. Goa is also home to many brilliant local artists. They showcase their work at various museums and galleries around Goa.
Here are some of the museums and art galleries of Goa you must visit during your next trip. The visit to these mesmerizing display of art and culture of Goa would be time well spent.
Museum of Goa (MOG), Pilerne
The contemporary art Museum of Goa is nestled in an unusual but spacious location at Pilerne Industrial Estate. It is commonly known to most locals as MOG. This in the local language Konkani means love. Museum of Goa is perhaps one of the most famous art galleries in Goa. It is owned by artist Subodh Kerkar. This three-storey building is designed by the renowned architect Dean D’Cruz. It houses multi disciplinary artworks by upcoming and renowned artists. The exhibits here showcase work from various local, national and international artists. Each year they also host the Goa Affordable Art Fest. This event is an initiative started by Mr. Kerkar’s son Siddharth. The objective behind the Fest is to encourage the general public to appreciate and collect quality art. At the same time it ensures that art is available at affordable prices to the common man.
This museum is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM. The entrance fees here is Rs 100 for Indian adults and Rs 50 for students and children. Foreigners however have to pay Rs 350 for the entry fees here.
Cube Gallery, Moira
The Cube Gallery is tucked away in the beautiful village of Moira. It is like a portal to a different world. The gallery has minimal and modern architecture that resembles a Rubik’s Cube. This gallery showcases some of the most out of the box and unique artworks. Cube gallery is home to various shows and workshops as well. This quirky gallery is the dream child of artist and architect Sonny Singh. The Cube Gallery has always welcomed artists of different genres. Not only homegrown art talent, but even out of towners are welcome to showcase their work here. The gallery is known for having bold statement shows that is still new for Goa. The open spaces in the gallery sometimes house huge installations, of wood, metal, ceramics or paper.
Gallery Gitanjali, Fontainhas, Panjim
Gallery Gitanjali is situated in the Latin Quarter Fontainhas. It is one of Goa’s oldest surviving galleries. Inside an old Portuguese house, is a contemporary Indian art collection. This collection of works is by renowned local artists who have also had shows abroad. The Indian artwork in the gallery includes both abstract and realistic art in colour and oil. The gallery also has a large collection of art from Scandinavia from the 1950s to the 1990s. This includes collections of lithographs, serigraphs, linocuts, woodcuts and etchings. Gallery Gitanjali also hosts workshops and events periodically. After checking out their brilliant collection of art, you can always browse through the book collection. One can also sip of a hot cup of tea or coffee at the Verandah restaurant across the road at Panjim Inn.
Houses of Goa, Torda, Off Porvorim
If you love history and architecture, this museum is one that you must visit. Houses of Goa by Gerard da Cunha is a modern and a sustainable architectural wonder. It is located on the Torda slope near Porvorim. This ship-shaped museum is just as interesting to look at as the work inside. Goan houses are an amalgamation of various styles and cultures. This multi-storey museum showcases this history of Goan architecture. Get ready to be transported to another world once you step foot into this museum. Houses of Goa museum displays pictures, illustrations, documents and maps. Each one of the exhibits here tells the story of how architecture in Goa has evolved over the years.
This museum is open on all days of the week except Monday. The timings are from 10 AM to 7.30 PM. The entrance fees here is Rs 100 for adults and Rs 25 for children.
Mario Miranda Gallery, Torda, Off Porvorim
The name Mario Miranda is easily Goa’s best known artist. After all, this son of the soil put Goa on the world map of caricature with his unique style. Mario started off his art career in 1953 working as a cartoonist for the Times of India group and never looked back. He has won not only many national but several International awards as well. His caricature work captured the true essence of Goa. Marios work is loved by all for the tongue-in-cheek references.
There are several galleries and shops around Goa that sell his work. But if you’re visiting the Houses of Goa museum, then this is definitely a must-visit as it’s just a hop away. The gallery also displays a few life-sized statues of Mario’s famous caricature characters. This gallery and store is a quaint little escape into Goa’s old art world. One can learn so much about Goa’s past and culture by browsing through Mario Miranda’s artworks. The gallery houses a few original prints of the artist as well. There are also prints of his work available for sale here. These prints of Marios caricatures are one of the most popular souvenirs of Goa. They also house a variety of merchandise that you can buy for yourself or as gifts.
Sunaparanta, Goa Centre for Arts, Altinho, Panjim
Sunaparanta is located atop the scenic hills of Altinho in Panjim. It is a non-profit education-based art centre which is housed in a beautiful old Portuguese house. Sunaparanta means beautiful land in Konkani. This gallery was started by Dattaraj V. Salgaocar. It is also home to various exhibitions, workshops and lectures. Sunaparanta also has weekly screenings of European films on every Wednesday. Besides this several visual arts shows, theater and other programs are held throughout the year. The art gallery also has an excellent cafe so you can also grab a nice meal here.
Goa’s art scene is also brimming with so many other museums and galleries apart from the ones mentioned above. Therefore do enrich yourself in Goa’s art and culture scene on your next visit here. You will be truly amazed to discover this diverse face of Goa.
If you happen to be in Goa during December you can also visit the Serendipity Arts Festival. This week long festival is every art lovers dream come true. It celebrates different forms of arts. The festival attracts talent from all over the country. Visual Art, Theater, Dance and even culinary arts are displayed at the event.
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