Monday, December 27, 2004

Art mart draws artists and enthusiasts alike

Art mart draws artists and enthusiasts alike

Deccan Herald

Chitra Santhe saw a whopping participation of 1,200 artists from across Karnataka and other parts of the country on Sunday.

The day-long art-mart saw nearly one lakh art-lovers descending on Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat (KCP) and the Kumara Krupa Road, which was closed for traffic and where art was being sold off the pavement to keep to the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat’s theme of ‘Art for All and ‘Affordable Art.’

More artists

The number of artists has gone up three times this year, as against the 450 artists who participated last year.

“We don’t have space for handicrafts and have not allowed any stalls on these, said Chitrakala Parishat secretary D K Chowta.

Otherwise, we have sculpture, all kinds of paintings -- oils, watercolours, portraits and landscapes, metal work and everything else here,” said D K Chowta.
According to him over 3,000 pieces were sold last year, when the Santhe was held for the first time.

Art pieces worth Rs 55 lakh were sold in one day, with the most expensive painting being grabbed up for Rs 45,000, added Mr Chowta.

“Each painting costs around Rs 1,500 on an average,” said Mr Chowta.
“The minimum cost is Rs 500 and we’ve had a tremendous response this year,” he said.

“We had about 50,000 visitors last year and it has nearly doubled this year. We are going to make this a tradition -- host the Santhe on the last Sunday of every year,” added Mr Chowta.

Such art fairs are held in Europe every Sunday, where about 100 to 200 artists assemble to sell their works.

However, though the idea is imported from there, nowhere in the world has such a fair been held on such a large scale, Mr Chowta said.


“We’ve never had 1,200 artists together and it’s the only one of its kind in India.”
“The aim is to encourage young artists, who need a platform. And to dispel the myth that art is for the elite. Commoners can buy real art here, instead of just buying calendars,” he said adding that artists from all towns in Karnataka participated on Sunday.

According to Mr Chowta, landscapes sell the maximum. At least 30 per cent of the participants were women artists, he added.

“We have 240 participants from Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Kolkata, Kerala and Delhi. As many as 80 of them are from Chennai,” he said.
The fair demands no registration fee and amateurs brushed shoulders with professionals.

For instance, the fair had Dr Ramesh, an orthopaedic whose hobby is painting, among its participants, along with degree and diploma-holders such as Kirana Padmanabhan, a former student of Chitrakala Parishat.

Ms Padmanabhan is exhibiting Varli folk art, that she learnt on her own.
“We get a good market here. I sold two paintings last year,” she said.
The only condition for artists to participate is that they should be over 18 years of age.

However, an exception was made in the case of Shivaprasad K Acharya, a 11-year-old prodigy from Puttur in Dakshina Kannada district, who drew portraits at his stall near the Parishat gate. He learnt art on his own and started painting at the age of three.

He has won national-level awards for his talent.

Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna, Police Commissioner S Mariswamy, Chitrakala Parishat President and patron B L Shankar, patrons and artists such as Prema Karanth and Balan Nambiar were some of the big names that landed on the scene.


Post a Comment

<< Home