With an intention to encourage artistic talent and build a network of creators to undertake a variety of projects that helps tell stories through art, A Fresh Coat began in November 2018 with a phone call between Alefiya Kachwalla and Annushka Hardikar, the co-founders of the initiative. What began as a street art project to share stories of people and businesses through contemporary shutter and wall art in public spaces is now evolving into a larger art collective and creator’s guild.
Alefiya was always fascinated at the kind of tales that space and the people around had to share, having spent time in her father's stationery store in Raviwar Peth. She was keen on finding an attractive, artistic way to capture these stories.
When asked why they chose Peth area to be their debut, they said, “The Peth Areas are the heart of Pune. It’s where the city grew from; they house the wholesale and retail markets and abundant culturally significant sites. We noticed over the last decade with the city growing, people who moved to the outskirts of Pune to work/study were often unaware of the Peth areas, and where Pune derives all its culture from. We also wanted to introduce a contemporary way of preserving the vibrance and stories of the Peths. Wall space in the tiny lanes is limited at best, but what we saw was an abundance of dull shop shutters. We were inspired by the beautiful shutter art in cities like Spain, London and so the idea to work with the shutters was unanimous.”
Being documented through film and pictures has become a need of every initiative today and Panchsheel Gaikwad, a member of A Fresh Coat team, did so, beautifully and how! The Phase 1 spanned over 2 months wherein they painted 20 shutters by collaborating with 18 shop-owners, 14 artists and 25 volunteers. After the first phase, they conducted a crowdfunding campaign to be able to continue with their colourful dream which helped fund almost 2 lakh rupees from all over the world. They are now hoping for contributions from bigger establishments and sources in the future, providing them the necessary support to grow.