Art is a relatively recent entrant to Goan social and cultural circuit. It was the 2002 Heritage Festival in Fontainhas which gave a huge boost to Goan art as works of local artists were displayed and compared to works of art for the first time. After this, Goa's art scene has improved greatly. Today it is on its way to play a major factor in the Goan society as it does in Mumbai or Delhi. Also, many new art galleries are opening regularly but the best ones are found within Old Goa with the Museum of Christian Art being the utmost. The other two reputed galleries are found close to Calangute Beach, the Kerkar Art Complex and the Art Chamber.
Some of the poplar art galleries most talked-about by tourists are:
Museum of Christian Art: The museum houses a matchless collection of religious sculptures, paintings, portraits, valuable stones, ivory carvings and statues, a series of silver plaques and a number of detailed images of Christ and Mary Magdalene. It is the only one of its kind in Asia. It was founded in 1994 through a collaborative effort of both the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, and the Calouste Gulbentian foundation of Portugal. The museum is located in old Goa.
Kerkar Art Complex: This gallery showcases the works and efforts of Dr. Subodh Kerkar, a professional doctor and an avid painter. Dr. Kerkar aspires to preserve Indo-Portuguese art besides Indian Classical music and dance through this art complex. His effort has won recognition from the Ministry of HRD and Lalit Kala Academy. It is located near Calangute Beach serving both as a gallery and retreat house. Workshops for painters and sculptors and music and dance concerts are held frequently at the complex. Also on display are works of contemporary artists.
The Art Chamber: From its establishment in 1997, exhibitions of Goan, Indian or international artists have been held regularly every year from October till April end. The art gallery is close to Calangute Beach and is the brainchild of painter Yolanda and her musician husband Rudolph Kammermeier. Art, craft and painting classes are also held here.
Menezes Braganza: This institute is famous for its art gallery as well as its eclectic library. Both the gallery and the Panaji Central library are found at the institute. The gallery displays fine European and Goan paintings, stone sculptures, invaluable drawings, coins and stamps along with other important artifacts. The institute was established in 1871 and done-up by the world famous designer Jorge Calaco in 1935. The atrium is splattered the history of the Portuguese conquest of Goa in the hand painted blue and white tiles.
The Big Foot Art Gallery: This art gallery within the village of Loutolim is primarily meant to promote indigenous art. The gallery regularly hosts works of local artists that are available for buying at a modest price. Also, it regularly organizes drawing competitions for school children which are displayed here.