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All for art and collaboration: Telangana Artists Association

Sravanthi Juluri  

The Telangana Artists Association (TAA), that was recently launched, aims to function as an umbrella body for Telangana artists. The launch event acted as a precursor to collaborative efforts that will follow. It was a smorgasbord of mime, monologue, Sufi and classical music.

Unlike other associations that cater to one chosen field, TAA is open to memberships from visual artists (painters, sculptors, installation artists) to performance arts (dance, music, DJs, folklore artists, magicians and ventriloquists), fashion industry (models, designers, make-up artists and stylists) television anchors, emcees, graphic designers, those in theatre, photographers and writers.

TAA bats for Telangana artists but wants to rise above regional and casteist politicking. Artists from other states who’ve made Hyderabad and Telangana their home are extended a warm welcome and enjoy the same recognition as those whose roots are in Telangana. Artists born and raised in Telangana and are now working anywhere in India and overseas can join the organisation.

The seed of an idea for TAA was sown when long-time friends emcee Sharon Aamir and artist Sravanthi Juluri chatted up about their work. “We got talking about our respective fields and are aware that we don’t know enough about each other’s line of work. I had a short stint in modelling in my college days and have seen the two diverse worlds — fashion and visual arts. Many artists aren’t familiar with other creative fields,” says Sravanthi. TAA, she hopes, will encourage artists to interact and collaborate.

Pitched as a non-government and non-profit body, TAA wants to eliminate the role of middlemen. Their website ( will have a database of artists through which anyone can contact an artist for an event, thus ruling out issues such as larger cut for middlemen.

Open call for entries

All for art and collaboration: Telangana Artists Association

TAA’s first event is The Quest of Delight, an art exhibition curated by Koeli Mukherjee Ghose, on view at Ailamma Art Gallery till November 10. Through Facebook, curator Koeli had announced an open call for entries. “Around 27 artists will be participating and four of each of their works will be on display,” says Koeli, who feels it’s high time the art community had an organisation with collaborative spirit.

Art should ideally transcend barriers. But within the art community, the issue of nativity rears its ugly head periodically. Added to that is the criticism that only a few artists court the spotlight. A few days ago, Koeli had lashed out against divisive comments in the art fraternity on social media. Sravanthi seconds Koeli’s remarks and agrees that she too has faced discrimination, “Though I was born and brought up in Hyderabad, there have been remarks that I belong to Andhra since my parents are from that region.”

TAA’s initiative to welcome artists from any part of the country who’ve made Hyderabad their home was born out of these experiences.

As for the criticism about a few artists getting a chunk of attention, TAA intends to provide emerging artists and students a platform to break into the art clique. The open call for entries for the art show at Ailamma was the first step in that direction.

Road ahead

In February 2018, TAA plans to have a state-wide contest ‘Telangana’s Next Top Model’. “We begin with fashion and intend to have further events for dance, DJ and other areas,” says Sharon.

Sharon Aamir

Sharon Aamir  

In the larger scheme of things, TAA intends to have registered academies for different creative fields. “DJ Piyush has a training centre for DJ aspirants but it’s a private institution. We don’t have government-backed, statewide academies in several fields. We hope to change that,” says Sharon.

A pet project for Sravanthi, Sharon and others in TAA is to help revive forgotten Telangana folk arts. “My mother (former actor Jamuna) has documented 17 Telangana folk arts, from traditional dances to music and puppetry, which are on the verge of dying,” says Sravanthi.

The TAA also hopes to address gender discrimination, acutely aware of sordid tales of harassment faced by women artists.

TAA’s core team: Sharon Aamir - president; Dj Piyush - vice president; fashion choreographer Imran Khan - general secretary; Sravanthi Juluri - joint secretary; Aliya Baig - treasurer; Danish Khan, Ehtesham and Esha Hindocha - executive board members; Sami Khan - spokesperson.

(If you are an artist and keen to be a TAA member, check Entries will be vetted by board members of the respective fields and will be categorised under emerging (rising star) or established categories.)

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 3:22:24 PM |

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