The Indian Institute of Cartoonists (IIC) was founded in 2001 with the goal of promoting the fraternity of cartoonists in the country. However, there was no dedicated space for the institute’s functioning. Ashok Kheny (now Honorary Chairman of IIC), businessman and former member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly, met V.G. Narendra (now Managing Trustee of IIC), after being impressed with a cartoon on the Bengaluru-Mysore corridor, published by the latter in Kannada Prabha newspaper. Mr. Kheny understood the vision of IIC and decided to help them. He provided a permanent venue for IIC and thus the Indian Cartoon Gallery took shape.
To support and encourage new and experienced cartoonists, “Indian Cartoon Gallery” opened on August 16, 2007, in the heart of Bengaluru city. Located in the basement floor of Midford House (Midford Garden), off Mahatma Gandhi Road, the gallery is a unique space that showcases works of Indian and international cartoonists, and every month it hosts exhibitions dedicated to specific artists.
This month, the gallery hosted its 185th exhibition for award-winning Italian cartoonist, Marco De Angelis. His cartoons depict thought-provoking political satires, and deep social issues. V.G. Narendra, Managing Trustee of IIC, said: “Bengaluru has become the hub of activities for cartoonists and cartoon lovers. The response for the gallery is good and a number of people come here and appreciate the art. Even international tourists visit here during their stay in the city.”
“To promote the art of cartooning, neither do we charge any fee from the cartoonists- both amateur and professional- nor from our visitors. We have even conducted 25 foundation cartoon workshops and have taught over 500 people,” he added.
The Indian Cartoon Gallery also hosts 3000 rare cartoon books which are often consulted by students for research. This gallery is nestled in a busy street but once you enter it you are oblivious of your surroundings as this quiet basement houses a treasure of magnificent cartoons across the world. A must-visit for all.