[PhotoSparks] Education and market demand are driving the art industry in India – Sara Arakkal, art curator


PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this photo essay, we feature some of the colourful works on display at Galerie Sara Arakkal in Whitefield.

In the earlier 145 posts, we brought you a wide range of creative photographs from an art fair, world music festival, painting fair, telecom expo, art museum, mobile showcase, math museum, social hackathon, bookstore, co-working space, sensorium, international design week, flower show, outdoor ads, startup roadshow, computer museum, startup T-shirts, business cards, art therapy, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, Vesak, jazz festival, modern art gallery, ecopreneurs, painter-poets, health activists, eNGOs and digital innovators.

Sara Arakkal is an artist, curator and art director of Galerie Sara Arakkal in Whitefield, Bengaluru. The gallery was originally named ‘Art in Crafts’ in 1997, and was renamed in 2003. “We have an annual show which features at least ten new artists each year,” said Sara in an interview with YourStory.

The fourteenth anniversary of the gallery will be celebrated in the end of August, with works from 45 artists. “Art is a passion. I am still learning about new developments in areas like abstraction,” says the art promoter who started off in the advertising field before switching over to art. Sara graduated from Mysore University, and says she was also inspired by the work of her late husband, Yusuf Arakkal, himself a renowned artist, sculptor and writer.

The gallery organises travel shows for promising artists across India and overseas, in London, Dubai, Singapore, Florence, Turkey and Romania. Exhibitions organised over the last 20 years include Eye of the South, The Eternal Embrace, Light Beyond Image, Contemplation, The Feminine Eye, Art for Children, Abstract Notations, A Chorus Line, Age of Innocence, Search for Tranquillity, Moonbeams and Sundrops, Invisible Greens, Hampi Stones, Duality, and Infinity.

Indian art is picking up overseas and becoming popular across the country as well. More private colleges are offering degrees and courses in art, and many parents request artists to give classes at home to their children as well, observes Sara. Her gallery has hosted workshops and classes for aspiring artists. Industry requirements are also growing for students with soft skills and all-rounder personalities, and an artistic background is becoming more valued.

A file photo of Sara Arakkal and Yusuf Arakkal with MF Husain.

“For a true artist, art is life, art is everything,” Sara explains. “Many people are swayed by the glamorous image of the art world, and think it is lucrative – but it is also a lot of hard work. You have to put your heart and soul into it,” cautions Sara.

“Only ten out of a hundred artists may succeed in making art a career. It takes patience, and you have to be prepared even if you don’t get a lot of media coverage,” Sara advises. In this photo showcase, we feature the works of gallery artists Maredu Ramu, Devan Mandangarli, Gopinath S, Laxman Aelay, Raghu S, Sidharth, and Surya Prakash.

Now what have you done this weekend to make sure that art informs, adorns and enriches your life?

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

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