‘Set up State art gallery on the lines of the National Gallery of Modern Art’

Minister for Kannada and Culture Govind M. Karjol has asked the Karnataka Lalithakala Academy to consult senior artists and submit a proposal to the government to promote art in the State. He was speaking after inaugurating the first edition of the two-day Chitra Parishe, an art exhibition, organised by the academy at the Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bangalore on Saturday.

Works of more than 150 artists will be on display during the two-day event. According to chairperson of the Karnataka Lalithakala Academy C.S. Krishna Setty, they had received applications from more than 500 artists of which 150 were chosen for participating in the event. “Most of the artists who are participating in the parishe are already well established while only a few are upcoming artists. The choice of well-known artists was intended to attract more people to the event,” he added.

He told The Hindu that the academy was planning to make the Chitra Parishe an annual event to promote art among the common people.

Reiterating that this Chitra Parishe was different from the Chitra Santhe organised by the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, he said that the academy had provided the artists not just a platform to showcase their art, but also the right ambience to display their works.

“With the middle class becoming more upwardly mobile, the art market is picking up. More and more people now want to own art pieces and display them in their homes. Some even see it as an investment,” Mr. Setty said.

Speaking on the occasion, he urged the government to set aside at least one per cent of the funds allocated to the Department of Kannada and Culture for promoting art.

State art gallery

Renowned artist S.G. Vasudev urged the government to set up at least 30 artists’ studios at the Kala Grama that is coming up. An open air gallery, an indoor gallery and a studio could be set up at the Ravindra Kalakshetra, he suggested.

To promote art and culture, the government should establish a State art gallery on the lines of the National Gallery of Modern Art. Besides that, the government must purchase art like it did around 10 to 15 years ago. “The art works that the government purchased used to be displayed at the Venkatappa Art Gallery. By reviving the practice, the government will be promoting art,” he said, adding that the senior artists would submit a proposal to the government on this issue.

Meera Kumar, a national award-winning artist who is participating in the parishe, said that such events help artists take art to the common man. “Such events make children aware of the rich art and cultural heritage of our State and country. It also creates a market for the traditional arts that need to be revived.”

‘High rent’

Another artist, R. Puttarangachar, welcomed the event, but said the “huge rental” of the stalls was a discouraging factor. “Since it is a programme organised by the government, the stall rent could have been minimum. We are paying Rs. 2,000 rent per stall for two days and we were not even given hooks to hang our paintings. With minimum security arrangements here, it is a risk to leave behind our works here at night,” he added.

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