57 artists, including AU fine arts students, participating in the camp at Shilparamam

Shilparamam Jatara off the National Highway 16 at Madhurawada has drawn visitors and tourists alike for its rural ambience. In another month or so the same location would have some very contemporary icons thanks to the students of Andhra University Department of Fine Arts.

There would be some scrap steel sculptures, some cement sculptures, fibreglass models and a few paintings dotting the landscape adding to the attraction. There are 57 artists at work at the ongoing art and sculpture camp organised jointly by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department - Shilparamam - and the Department of Fine Arts of Andhra University.

Under the benign gaze of camp curator, Professor of Fine Arts Ravi Shankar Patnaik, the artists are enjoying themselves and as a result producing some extraordinary pieces of art. All of them are students of the AU Department of Fine Arts, while some are studying a few of them have graduated earlier.

At the beginning of the camp the artists were given a simple brief that they should let their creative juices flow and create something that reflects the values, ethos of the region. There has been no restriction on what they want to do, he said. The artists participating in the camp include 7 painters, 10 working on scrap metal, 10 are working on cement structures, 10 are creating fibreglass models and another 10 are carving stone.

The granite blocks have been brought from Kotappakonda in Guntur district and the sculptors along with assistants are chiselling away the blocks to create works that would stand the test of time.

The artists have selected the sites for display of cement sculptures and are working on the location.

The general visitors to Jatara were in for a treat to see the art camp in progress and watch the creative juices flow giving shape to icons that would remain in the landmark for generations of tourists to watch and wonder.

As part of the camp on Wednesday the artists made a presentation on their works to peers and other artists and art lovers and picked up a tip or few on how to address some finer nuances, Prof Patnaik said.