While Cyclone Thane was notorious for leaving behind a trail of destruction, it provided the impetus for Vikatan readers to moot a unique idea to help raise contributions for rehabilitation work. Over 250 renowned artists have displayed more than 350 paintings in an art show — The Vikatan Thane Art Show and Sale — the proceeds of which will go towards the ‘Thane’ relief cause. The art show was inaugurated by Governor K. Rosaiah at the Lalit Kala Akademi on Monday.

Perhaps the most unique contribution to the show is from Gopulu, the renowned artist who has enthralled the readers of Ananda Vikatan with his witty cartoons. “My contributions have historical value,” said Mr. Gopulu, while speaking to The Hindu on telephone, about the framed pictures of the magazine’s cover page from 1947 and 1949. The cost of these unique pictures back then was four annas and it was sold for Rs. 1,00,000 each. “I had kept these drawings carefully all these years and I am glad I could donate it for a good cause,” he said.

A group from the cyclone-affected areas of Cuddalore also visited the art show. With paintings by Thota Tharani, A.V.Ilango and Maniam Selven in the backdrop, some women from the group paused at the acrylic on canvas by Village Mookkaiya. “This is exactly how our lives are,” said B. Vijayalakshmi Thyagavel, pointing at the picture of a woman holding onto her child, with cows in the background without shelter. “We are glad to see that such a fundraising effort is being made on our behalf.”

B. Srinivasan, managing director, Vikatan group, said the response from the readers was so overwhelming that it provided an opportunity for people from all income levels to purchase art work. The prices range from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 4 lakh. “As many as 100 paintings have already sold before the exhibition opened,” he said.

Curated by Vasan Charitable Trust (the CSR arm of the Vikatan group), the paintings and art work will be on display till March 10.

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