Gowry Art Institute is a registered trust dedicated to the promotion of visual arts with a special focus on women artists. India has a long tradition of women artists, right from the folk and tribal artists who used to create designs on the walls of their homes, on their courtyards, on pottery, textiles and other materials of daily use. Art was an unselfconscious part of their day-to-day practice. Women’s art in our time however received a new impetus when the artists in India began to discover their cultural roots and also were exposed to contemporary trends elsewhere in the world. At least from Sunayana Devi of the Bengal School and Amrita Shergil onwards one finds a new awakening in women’s art practices, visible especially in plastic arts, as part of a larger pan-Indian resurrection in art. Several women artists since then, like Saroj Pal Gogi, Anjolie Ela Menon, T.K. Padmini, Arpita Singh, Madhavi Parikh, Anju Dodiya, Neelima Sheikh, Arpana Caur, Sajitha R. Shankhar, Pushpamala….and several others, have enriched women’s expression in India by exploring the female body and self in manifold ways and by bringing in elements of desire and fantasy, employing realist, impressionist, surrealist and abstract modes in specifically Indian ways. They have been attempting to create a gendered modernity with a definable Indian identity. Similar explorations happening across the world have found a new impetus and recognition in the last five decades or so.

Women artists still have a long way to go as their number is still far fewer and output far lesser than those of men artists. It is at such a juncture that Gowry Art Institute has decided to foreground women’s expression in art and do everything possible to promote women artists, create for them a common platform of dialogue and interaction and develop common goals outside the canvas. Our ambitions are global, as we wish to bring together artists from all over the world to India through residencies, organise exhibitions, seminars and workshops, offer scholarships and fellowships, arrange for international exchanges of artists, launch websites and virtual and real journals, publish books on art and artists and encourage theoretical and conceptual researches and practical explorations. While we do mean to focus on women’s art, we do not want to remain insular and will be happy to receive support and collaboration from fellow-artists across gender and our platforms of dialogue will also be open to all artists working in different genres including writers and film makers as all of us ultimately are collaborators in a larger enquiry into the meaning of modernity in our shared human condition as well as our specific national and regional environments.

Registration number : 385/07 Public Charitable Trust 


Our objectives include, among others to:

  • Bring together artists across the nations on a common platform
  • Promote interaction and dialogue among
  • Preserve, document and promote the indigenous cultural expressions especially of Kerala where the Institute is situated as also of other parts of India
  • Open conversations between different traditions in art
  • Organize residencies and art camps in different branches like painters, sculptors, architects, film makers, writers, musicians and other creative people for exchange of ideas
  • Curate exhibitions of artists who has worked in the Gowery Art Institute
  • Propagate Art through posters, calendars, post-cards and other means
  • Digitize art forms and artworks for preservation and dissemination
  • Provide residencies as well as short-stay facilities for artists from different parts of the world
  • Set up study centres, permanent art galleries, libraries and archives of art
  • Initiate studies and research in less researched areas in art and aesthetics
  • Undertake art-education and related activities in a big way and bring pressure on the governments to introduce art education in regular education
  • Network with organizations of a similar nature across the world, government as well as private
  • Offer awards, scholarships, fellowships, prizes etc in furtherance of the objectives of the institute and honour artists of real distinction
  • Put art in the service of destitute women and children and engage in philanthropic activities with resources obtained from art sales and support grants
  • Promote interaction between plastic arts and other arts
  • Launch journals of art, bioth electronic and printed, organize websites for women artists, publish books on art, artists and aesthetics

Sajitha Shankar – Director