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May 18, 2024

An art run to support local Maldivian artists

Riddhi Doshi

Every year in the Maldives, tourists from around the world enjoy Maldivian art, created by local artists at one of the country’s largest art events, organised by a high-end resort.

People know of fancy resorts in the Maldives, its water sports and its food, but they hardly know anything about its art and artists.
One resort in the island country is going the extra mile to introduce guests from across the globe to Maldivian art and support local artists.

Kandima Maldives, a 272-key, premium resort in the Maldives, currently the hot favourite holiday destination of Indians, has a unique experience-led art programme that other hotels can learn from.
Every year, since 2017, the resort has been hosting the Kula (Dhivehi for colour) Run, under KULA Art festival, wherein all resort guests, dressed in white, run around the beach, enjoying a gentle shower of colour and the festive December spirit.

KULA Art Festival is the first-of-its-kind annual event to be ever hosted in any resort in the Maldives, at such a large scale, turning the entire resort into an art centre. Every year the resort invites 20 local artists, specialising in digital, coffee, crylic, henna, spray paint and local crafts, to showcase their works.

They also organise and host art and wine evenings, regular exhibitions and performances for the artists. The resort also has an ongoing art experience for all guests. The Kula Art Studio, a serene art space, overlooking one of the two natural lakes of the resort, invites artists to paint and learn under the guidance of professional artists.

It’s another unique experience that gives guests an opportunity to create something beautiful, which can be then framed in their homes. “Many guests opt for master classes with local artists to explore their creative sides, slowdown, work on themselves while sitting by the lake. The entire experience is very therapeutic,” says Neeraj Seth, Director of Marketing Communication & Public Relations. The art session is priced at USD35 and all the proceeds go towards promoting local arts. Moreover, as part of the resort’s not-for-profit fund, it donates a dollar from each room night they generate at the property. The funds support local school and artists with equipment, paid internship and higher education.

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