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Creative travellers

What started as an informal gathering of friends and guests, the Art Fest Mountains has turned into an eclectic mix of artists from across genres. A review by Aruna Bhowmick.

Aruna Bhowmick | Updated :

While eminent names in the field of contemporary Indian art continue to dot the art scenario with money churning retrospective expositions, younger and newer artists are given a platform to work and exhibit their creations amid the serene mountain climes of the Himalayas in a cross-cultural setup.

The Lost Tribe Hostels is a chain of affordable backpacker hostels in India, founded by a group of travelling entrepreneurs. A traveller’s community surrounded by nature, “protected and loved by dogs”, The Lost Tribe Hostels aims to create a community of travelling artists, musicians, performers and Yoga enthusiasts through its offerings, be it on the hills or on serene beaches.

Platform For Artists is a community of artists based in India that emphasises on creating inter-disciplinary artwork. Through the various online and offline initiatives they run, artists get together to connect, collaborate and create artwork.


travellers, artists, Lost Tribe Hostels


With a base in eight cities in the country, where they conduct projects every month, at present they are reportedly connected to 5,000 artists across the country. With an artist service provider website in the offing, the first of its kind in the country, it hopes to fetch employment opportunities for the artists associated with them, helping them to pursue art full time.

Art Fest Mountains ‘18, which recently concluded in Manali, the 4th edition of the collaborative project, included 38 artists from across the country, with an eye on promoting local culture and tourism via art. A prefect mountain getaway, from the hot and sweaty city summers, with artists from across the nation, the Camp came to a close on 27 May.

A three-day immersive programme in the humble village of Jagatsukh, with hearty hospitality of the locals and The Lost Tribe (TLT) Hostels team right in the middle of the scenic snow-capped mountains with the faint murmur of the river flowing not too far away, was a creative haven for the artists.

Beginning with an introduction and familiarising with one another, the artists then had to pair up in duos from different genres of art in an effort to fuse their thoughts and ideas and present novel creations. A pep talk by Ritu Arya on presenting art on social platforms turned out to be the community discussion for the evening. Introductions over, the next level of creative cohesion was to be through group collaboration.

The second day began with a relaxing yoga session conducted by Disha Deshpande of Swastiastu Yoga right on the grass, under the blue skies ~ quite revitalizing. The group collaboration turned out more engaging and fun than expected because the pool of creativity was substantial.

The last day was again kick-started with YogArt by Disha to the accompaniment of psychedelic music by a young music composer from among the artists. The finale consisted of the culmination of artists in a large group group project to create a wall graffiti using the hostel as the canvas.


travellers, artists, Lost Tribe Hostels


Remarked Stuti Ashok Gupta of TLT, “The Art Festival was started as an informal gathering of friends and guests to create collaborative art at the hostel. With Platform for Artists by our side, and the support of our partners One Himachal, Himalayan Geographic, The Optimist Citizen and Entrepreneurs of India, we were able to gather young talents from across the country.

Travelling artists from various genres such as painting, graphic design and illustration, performing artists and musicians came together to make ArtFest Mountains’18 a fulfilling and promising enterprise.

Involvement and cooperation of the locals of Jagatsukh added an extra flavour to this effort. It is fulfilling to see so many young solo travellers venture out and become part of a creative platform and connect with like-minded people all the way from Jaipur, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Gwalior, Pune and Ahmedabad. Kshitija Sarda, co-founder of Platform For Artists, too, is gratified at the success of the event.