An art camp brings together 65 artists

Party members celebrate their leader’s birthdays in different ways — some order large cakes, some play music on the streets… But the Thirvuvalluvar North division of AIADMK wanted to do something different for its leader J. Jayalalithaa’s birthday recently.

Meeting of minds

The members brought together 65 artists across age groups under one roof over three days to start and complete their paintings. The participants at the show included retired principals of the Government Fine Arts College, professors at Stella Maris College, and well-known artists Asma Menon and Dakshinamoorthy C., among others.

“B.V. Ramanaa, the Minister for Commercial Tax and Registration, conceived this idea and we sought the help of Iris Art Galleria to organise this show,” says S.K. Srinivasan, convenor of the camp. The art camp began on February 22, and the organisers will take the paintings to the Chief Minister and host an exhibition of the works.

Held at the YMCA Gymnasium in Nandanam, it also served as a happy meeting place for several artists. Peers who hadn’t seen each other in decades reminisced about their younger days, and younger artists learnt a thing or two from veterans. “I met senior artists I hadn’t seen in years. I am very happy that artists are being recognised,” said K.C. Murukeson from Madurai. Next to him was veteran Venkatapathy who works from Cholamandalam, painting the image of Hanuman surrounded by birds. Not too far away from the senior duo was Pooja S.I., a 22-year-old final year student of Visual Arts in Stella Maris College working on a pointillist landscape portrait. “We hope to donate the money collected from these works to the Chief Minister’s Fund towards women’s empowerment programmes,” Srinivasan informs. The artists hope this is the beginning of a new movement that will bring their ilk to the centrestage as important contributors to the city’s culturescape.