Bombay Pencil Jammers: An inspiring art community

Meet Bombay Pencil Jammers — an art community that serves as a meeting ground for people who love to paint, doodle, draw, and sketch. Inspired by similar ventures in Bangalore and Delhi, the group aims to bring people from various avenues together for their common love for art.

Art groups in the city might be rare — but thankfully, they aren’t extinct.

Meet Bombay Pencil Jammers — an art community that serves as a meeting ground for people who love to paint, doodle, draw, and sketch. Inspired by similar ventures in Bangalore and Delhi, the group aims to bring people from various avenues together for their common love for art.

“Bombay Pencil Jammers is an attempt to form a trusting and encouraging community in a bid to bridge the gaps in the art map of the city,” says Abhishek Panchal, one of the four founding members of the group. “Our aim is to create a platform for idea and skill exchange through peer sharing. We want to build a support system within the community and offer a platform to connect to a larger group of artists.”

There’s no exclusivity, either — anyone who’s interested in contributing through their art and ideas is welcome — regardless of the varied tastes and wide-ranging artistic styles.

But how did it all begin?

“Well, I set a date, venue, and time and sent out details about the jam via emails and messages to everyone I could think of. I was jittery about the response as the idea was vague,” says Abhishek. “We met at the coffee shop in Malad and to my surprise, a few people turned up. If they hadn’t, Bombay Pencil Jammers would never be born.”

The Pencil Jammers, in session

The first jam, he says, was a brainstorming session where they outlined the basic idea of the group. “We decided to keep it simple: the group would be open to all and most importantly, non-commercial. The aim was to connect to as many artists as possible, and we’re glad we’ve been able to achieve that.”

The group gathers at pre-decided venues to ‘jam’ over an art session. ‘A Pencil Jam’, as it is fondly called, is conducted at pre-decided venues. These range from public places, parks, or other art spaces in the city.

They also have a wonderful initiative called the Art Work Feature, where an artist can email a picture of their art work and they publish it along with the artists’ name and details on their Facebook page.

Today, the group has jams at Shivaji Park, the Dadar Chowpaty garden, and the Leaping Windows cafe.

Furthermore, they have organised Pencil Jams at Kitsch Mandi at the Celebrate Bandra festival, and collaborated with another group ‘Sketch walk’ for a jamming session at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park — both of which were successful.

Jamming in scenic Sanjay Gandhi National Park

“We have also toured a museum in the city to find inspirations for our sketches in the artefacts and installations,” says Abhishek. “We’ve also organised a jam with a renowned artist and educator at Hive, a community space in Khar, and at Space 118, which is an arts residency and studio space in Mazgaon.”

So, what’s next for Bombay Pencil Jammers?

“We aim to keep expanding as a community. We want to reach out to more people and encourage and inspire them to pick up their pencils and sketch books and join us,” says a beaming Abhishek.

You can learn more about this fantastic group by getting in touch with them on their Facebook page here.

Rameez Shaikh

Rameez Shaikh is a twenty-three year old writer. With a degree in journalism to his name, he's an aspiring author with an absolutely astounding admiration for alliteration. Leisure propels him to read, dance, pen fiction and gloat about himself in third person. On weekdays, he works as a features writer. On weekends, he's a Manchester United fan.

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