In Focus: Curator Ritu Chandwani

By Srilagna Saha,
DIVA, Times of India, Mumbai, Jan 22, 2011

Ritu Chandwani, founder,, an e-commerce site for Indian artefacts reveals her venture for upholding Indian art and craft and her love of tribal artworks.

The conglomeration of authentic artworks from different corners of the country makes PotliArts unique. While it showcases the rich heritage of Indian art and craft, Ritu claims her venture to be more than just an e-commerce platform. “PotliArts is going to educate the people. A lot of research have been put together to recreate the meaning of every original piece of art. We provide content as we believe without history, no one will ever appreciate the creations,” she remarks.

Starting out

Ritu was 21 when she stepped out of her cosy cocoon of a simple college graduate. It hardly took time for her to get accustomed to the corporate culture. As much as she valued her professional worth, Ritu always knew she would create something of her own. And after 14 years of experience in consulting, research and HR, Ritu has finally found her true calling. PotliArts is the perfect window to reveal her hidden talent. She adds, “It’s been a long forgotten passion and I was determined to do something I like. I wanted to do a lot of value creation in my daily life.” Along with her husband, Ajay Chandwani, Ritu launched her first PotliArts exhibition in November 2010. The exhibition had a mixed basket of Indian artworks; tribal paintings, tribal embroidery work from lambani tribes, and textile designs among others.

On offer

Besides showcasing original pieces of work and rewarding the artisans generously, PotliArts digs out first hand information about the products. “Someone looking for information on kantha stitching can simply log onto PotliArts website and get the required details.” PotliArts have various tribal paintings: the Gond Madhya Pradesh), Santhal (West Bengal/Bihar), Saurya (Orissa), Patachitra (Orissa), Mithila/Madhubani (Bihar) and Kalamkari (Andhra Pradesh), among others. “We have chanderi and other exquisite textile designs from weavers and upadas (heavy saris with zari),” says Ritu. Besides, there are regular wall hangings, items like belts, pouches, handbags created by the lambani tribes (Karnataka).

Future plans

“I want to setup a gallery-cum-store in the near future. This will attract relevant customers and invite them to have an overall experience. In the process, people can buy things from the art gallery as well,” she concludes.


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