About the Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation


PDAF was founded in 2014 by late Dilip Dahanukar in honour of his wife Prafulla Dahanukar, who was an eminent modern artist of India at the time of the progressive movement post independence of India. Prafulla was known for her large heartedness and was very resourceful in connecting and encouraging young artists and musicians who showed talent and potential also making her a patron of the arts. 


Dilip Dahanukar started the foundation in her name and dedicated his time in supporting this vision to honour Prafulla's generous spirit in supporting the Arts and emerging artists. With his dedication and relentless energy he brought this foundation from an idea to reality in collaboration with artists and industry leaders making it reach all across the Indian subcontinent.

This foundation provides a much-needed platform for emerging artists across India by creating an inclusive space for artists of all backgrounds be recognised for their work. Each year, the foundation hosts a national online art competition (Kalanand) and has expanded to programs of Art outreach in schools (Balanand) and Senior citizens retirement homes (Sadanand).

This Art foundation is generously supported by artists, corporations, collaborators, friends, family, and well-wishers, without whom the success of this endeavour would not be possible.

Art is life itself, creative sensitivity fosters beauty.


Prafulla Dahanukar


About Prafulla Joshi Dahanukar

1934 - 2014 

Portrait of Prafulla by V.S.Gaitonde 1966


Screenshot 2020-07-03 at 6.50.00 AM.png


the artist 

“Smt Prafulla Dahanukar was an acclaimed painter and patron of art. But much more than that she was a pillar of strength and support for the artistic fraternity in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Prafulla Dahanukar had a genuine concern for the young and upcoming artists and was ever so willing to help them. As President of the Bombay Art Society, she took various initiatives for the welfare of artists. It was her dream to create a place for the Bombay Arts Society in Mumbai. Her demise is a great loss to the world of art in Maharashtra.”

K. Sankaranarayanan

Former Governor of Maharashtra


Screenshot 2020-07-02 at 4.29.54 PM.png


the artist for the artists

In 1953 the Bhulabhai Memorial Institute was a fountain of creativity that brought in artists in the visual arts, music, theatre, dance, film, and literature. Prafulla shared a studio with V.S.Gaitonde at the Bhulabhai Desai Institute during the progressive movement and the emergence of modern art in India. Many of the artists who shared space there would go on to become the greatest artistic talent of that era. The exchange between all these diverse talents gave rise to an unprecedented explosion of new ideas and directions, including the progressive arts movement. 


Prafulla Joshi a gold medalist from the JJ School of Art gained a scholarship to go to Ecole de Beaux Arts Paris. She had a prolific career of over 50 shows in India and several in other countries in Europe and the Middle East. Her works are in collections all over the world.

Prafulla was a patron of the arts, a voice for artists and was the former Chairperson of the Bombay Arts Society, President of the Arts Society of India, Trustee and Board member of the Kala Academy in Goa, Lalit Kala Academy in Delhi, and mentor to many contemporary artists of today. She helped secure the land and played a major role in getting an independent building in Bandra, Mumbai for the Bombay Arts Society. 


In her life, she not only helped artists, but all artisans including folk artists, weavers and traditional jewellers, and flower garland makers. Being a connoisseur and ardent lover of music, she led the famed Bade Gulam Ali Yadgar Sabha and hosted and organised many concerts. She once organised a polyaesthetic event of music and art at the NCPA, with M F Hussein painting while listening to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi performing on the same stage. She saw all arts as connected with a purpose to enrich and elevate the human mind to be in communion with the immeasurable presence.


PDAF is now carried forward by Prafulla and Dilip's daughters Gauri Mehta and Gopika Dahanukar as well as Prafulla's niece Rukmini Dahanukar. The team supports are Snehal Khedkar and Hemant Vichare.


T E A M   M E M B E R S  P D A F

  • Screenshot 2020-07-06 at 9.25.13 AM.png



    Dilip Dahanukar was an industrialist, social entrepreneur and the founder of the Prafulla Dahanukar Art Foundation. It was under his visionary leadership that the Foundation has become one of India's foremost art foundations keeping alive his wife's life-long work in helping young, emerging artists.  


    An IIT Mumbai graduate, he also did post-graduate engineering studies at Brooklyn Polytechnic USA and returned to India to found several progressive organic agriculture focused enterprises in India. His Mumbai-based company Ornamental Plants has been running for over 40 years, still providing plant rental services to green up offices around the city. He was a lover of nature and. actively supported folk artists of India in his last years, recognising them as an often-neglected artistic talent in India. 

  • WhatsApp Image 2020-07-14 at 11.26.32.jp



    Gauri Mehta is the elder daughter of Prafulla and Dilip Dahanukar. She has a MA in Ancient Indian Culture from Mumbai University and a MA in Art History from Southern Methodist University, USA. She has a deep interest in Indian philosophy and has been teaching classes in Indian culture to US school and college students.  


    As the founder of the Albany, NY chapter for AIM for Seva (aimforsevausa.org), she has successfully helped organise several Indian cultural programs and led the fundraising efforts for education of students in rural India. She lives between Albany, NY and Mumbai. She organised leadership seva programs for high school students from USA to volunteer at Manjakudi Village school, Tamilnadu.

  • Screenshot 2020-07-06 at 9.03.18 AM.png



    Gopika Dahanukar is the younger daughter of Prafulla and Dilip Dahanukar. An artist, a vocalist and an International expressive arts counsellor and coach, she is also the Founder & Director of the Swahansa Expressive Arts India www.expressiveartsindia.com, a cooperating partner Institute of the European Graduate School leading Expressive Arts programes in Mumbai and in Auroville.


    Gopika has a MFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, USA, Certificate in Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation and Change from UPEACE, Diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy, Vancouver and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from the European Graduate School, Switzerland. Gopika's research interests are directed toward creative awareness, creativity in human evolution, collective well-being and in interactive public art.

  • Screenshot 2020-07-15 at 5.55.39 PM.png



    Rukmini Dahanukar is co-founder of 'Nirmiti'; specialising in brand communications design & identity creation. She has her first Master’s degree in Marketing Mgmt. from the JBIMS, Univ. of Mumbai followed by an MA in Communications from California State University. She recently completed the accredited course; "Learning to Look at the Visual Arts" from the University of Oxford, Continuing Education Program. She is currently authoring a book on banknote design involving currency notes from all over the world. She is also a long-distance runner having successfully completed over 25 marathons and half marathons around the world and has to her credit an Advanced & Adventure PADI Deep Sea Diving Certification with Underwater Photography & Shipwreck diving specialisations under her belt.


    Her entrepreneurial and management experience coupled with her analysis and authorship in design education and evaluation alongwith her extensive travels and experiences; make her a unique contributor towards the strategic planning and future endeavours of the foundation. 

  • Screenshot 2020-07-06 at 10.00.54 AM.png



    Ravindra Salve is an Artist and was mentored and supported by Prafulla Dahanukar through out his career. He is a popular Indian artist and a graduate of the Sir J.J. School of Arts, Mumbai, Ravindra Salve has participated in many solo and group shows at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, and other galleries in Indian and abroad.

  • Screenshot 2020-07-06 at 9.12.52 AM.png


    Executive Team Member

    A Freelance art writer, an Art critic and Art historian, Snehal Tambulwadikar-Khedkar, is a practicing artist and art historian currently working as a Visiting Faculty of Art History and Aesthetics at J. J. School of Arts, Mumbai. She is a curator, TEDx speaker and associated with many institutes like NID Kurukshetra, MET college of architecture and Design as faculty. Presently in India, Snehal is working on a project named Kalapravasi Heritage Tours with the objective to create awareness and respect for the heritage of arts and culture in different parts of the country.

  • Screenshot%202020-07-06%20at%209.09_edit


    Accounts Manager

    Hemant Vichare is an accounts manager with 20+ years experience and has a B. Com. from Mumbai University, B. E. S. College of Commerce and Economics.