Habiart Foundation is hosting the fourth edition of Contemporary Art Fair featuring a wide array of paintings, terracotta and bronze sculptures and exquisite glass art at the Travancore Palace on Kasturba Gandhi Marg here.

Inaugurated by Indian Council for Cultural Relations president Karan Singh here on Thursday, the four-day exhibition will have a special section, “Art for Amity”, featuring works of well-known artists like K. Laxma Goud, T. Vaikuntham, Raghu Vyas, Thomas Easely, Ram Kumar and Ajay De. More than 300 art works are on display at the fair that will provide many opportunities to galleries and buyers. The fair is open up to Sunday (12 noon to 7 p.m. daily).

A first of its kind “world tea party” titled “Peace in a Cup” will be held on Friday evening. It will demonstrate how something as common as meeting over a cup of tea can reveal an interaction among visual arts, decorative arts, architecture, social rituals and cross-cultures. The other special highlights of the fair include a workshop for artists and glimpses of “Pakistani truck art”.

Explaining the theme “Art for Amity”, curator and art historian Neeru Misra, who has authored several books on art and culture, says that in the modern day multi-cultural ethos, while the global village has shrunk closer, it has become a cauldron of conflict.

“Art has been for ages recognised as the most congenial bridge between differing cultures and civilizations. Aesthetic values have transcended the boundaries of differentiation created due to artificial constructs and value systems by mankind against mankind. Human values are embedded in every individual though in some they may be less pronounced than others. Art offers a powerful means to invoke these values and to forge a closer relationship between cultures and communities,” says Dr. Misra.

Terming the initiative “Art for Amity” a small step towards a giant goal of making the beautiful gift of life from the Almighty an experience worth living, Dr. Misra says violence and conflict could be avoided if we become aware of its menace. “The same energy can be used for constructive, meaningful and lasting creations. The instinctive capacity for creation and imagination, mainly in the young minds, if suppressed, can become destructive. Art for Amity is a platform to unleash this creativity for the benefit of all.”

Dr. Misra says the current collection displays how meaningless violence has harmed us and conveys the message of peace and amity for a better future for the coming generations: “As a non-verbal communication, the exhibited paintings leave a great deal for the discerning art lovers to ponder and conclude.”