Bengaluru: Thousands of art aficionados from the city thronged the “Chitra Santhe”, a street art fest here on Sunday which showcased artworks of hundreds of artists across the country.
The 15th edition of the fest, organised at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, has been serving as a platform for artists — amateurs, professionals and hobbyists — to put up their stalls across the streets around the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, allowing public to view, purchase and be educated about different forms of art.
“We had the biggest of the fairs this year with 1,500 artists setting up their stalls, 25 per cent more than last year when we had 1,200 artists. We believe over four lakh Bengalureans have visited the art fest this year,” the Parishath’s General Secretary M.J.Kamalakshi told IANS here.
Spreading across the streets colourful canvases filled with abstract art, traditional paintings and caricatures, 800 artists from Karnataka and 700 from Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar had turned the locale into an art paradise.A
“The idea of the fest is to give space to every kind of artist — whether rich, poor or inexperienced. Artists who don’t find the opportunities to present their works with the world through art galleries find forums like these very beneficial,” added Kamalakshi.
“This year’s fest also focused on providing a space for the disabled, blind and deaf artists, who find it really hard to exhibit their artworks,” she said.
“Due to space constraints, we had to accept only 1,500 applications out of the total 4,000 applications we had received from all over the country,” she said.
Owing to the huge number of visitors, the city police had blocked the entry of traffic into the locality, making space for the people to walk and view the exhibited artworks along the pavements.
Art students, educators and professional artists from other cities make up for a significant section of the visitors, apart from the general public from all walks of life.
Sixty-year-old Badal C Majumdar, a city-based artist who sketches old heritage buildings, has been finding the fest an opportunity to meet people from his generation who recognise the age-old buildings in the city which have been demolished over time.
“People of all ages — from children to the old — visit the art fest. Many of the old people recollect their memories through my sketches of the heritage buildings and structures,” Majumdar said.
Krishna Prakash, 33, who specialises in Saura tribal art form from Orissa, visits the city from his hometown Bhubaneswar each year for the fest.
“This year, though there were many more visitors, there were fewer takers for my paintings. Last year I managed to sell paintings worth Rs 50,000 in a day, but this time around I think I’ll reach just half of the number,” he said.
Mysore paintings, wherein religious figures are painted in bright colours with a gold lustre, traditional wooden toys from Channapatna in Ramanagara district, about 70km southwest of Bengaluru, Madhubani paintings from Bihar, Kalamkari (a type of block art) artists from Hyderabad and several others nature-inspired artworks, caricatures of political figures were all on display.
The artworks were being sold at prices as low as Rs 100 to as high as few lakhs.
“No other city but Bengaluru has a public art fest like this one where everyone can participate. The quality of artworks is of such high quality and at a very affordable price range,” said Rashmi V, a marketing professional in the city, who has seen the carnival for the past five years.
The live sketch makers were the most popular among the fest visitors, particularly children, as scores of young ones waited their turn to have their faces drawn.
The day-long fest was unveiled by renowned scientist and Bharat Ratna awardee C.N.R.Rao and was attended by the city Mayor R.Sampath Raj among others.