viharamahadevi park art & west
If you’re visiting the well-curated and informative Colombo National Museum, then you will exit onto Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha (also known as Green Path). You can turn right for a spot of morning tea at Barista or visit the Laksala Museum for traditional handicrafts. Otherwise walk along Green Path and on either side of the road you will see the vibrant Viharamahadevi Art Market, a roadside collection of Sri Lankan emerging artists and art students selling decorative paintings and occasionally photography. It’s a unique opportunity to meet the artist, understand their work and even commission some art.
Once a year this art market expands in scope, fame and includes established artists for the event known as the Kala Pola Art Market. The first such art market held in 1993 was established under the patronage of the famous artist George Keyt, who gifted 14 paintings and six drawings (the idea itself was conceived by Keyt’s very close friends Mr. and Mrs. Cedric de Silva). It continues to be supported as a yearly event by the John Keells Foundation so time your visit for this premier art event usually held at the end of January / early February.
Stroll west along Green Path/Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha and when you reach the busy and confusing intersection with Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha, continue straight (staying on the left-hand side of Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha) and veer left towards Sir Ernest De Silva Mawatha (still known by its former name, Flower Road). Cross over to the right-hand side. There is a small strip of shops including the excellent resortwear label Lagoon Lab, the Cricket Club Café where you’ll find good casual meals (it’s probably about time for lunch) served alongside extensive cricket memorabilia and an outlet of the Cotton Collection department store.
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