Shahnaz Arni has done a lot for Hyderabad's artists - that species identified by its beardedness, an aura of paint-thinner, and a lack of money. She gave their paintings a home, till all those canvases found their own spot on someone's wall. Minaaz was, and continues to be, that short-stop between the biological parent and the smitten adopters of art.
The gallery has always held on to its high standards and lived by its commitment to quality, even if it means fewer exhibitions and a rarer presence in the press.
Shahnaz, a graduate of JNTU Fine Arts College
, draws from her friendly network of artist friends to select art for the gallery. At Minaaz, you'll invariably find shows of and paintings by a group of around 16 artists who have been with the gallery since its inception. Artists who've shown here include Laxma Goud, Vaikuntam, Jatin Das, Shamshad Hussain and D L N Reddy. The themes for paintings exhibitions are often based on special requests, like for horses or landscapes.
One thing you must keep an eye out for at Minaaz is the collection of clay pottery by Aarti Vir, a very talented local artist.
Minaaz is closed for the entire blistering month of May - a very sensible idea - and winter is when it gets really busy with shows and the odd installation. So drop in sometime, even if you are an art ignoramus. Shahnaz is patient, friendly, and has a good eye for good art.