Support traditional and folk arts, don’t just learn about them: Sankalita Das, Secure Giving

Many folk art traditions in India are in danger of disappearing. Fundraising exhibitions offer a chance to see the beauty of folk art in real life, and support the rural artists.

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 300 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The Concern India Foundation (CIF) recently hosted an exhibition at the Art Corridor of Taj West End in Bengaluru, titled ‘Art for Concern.’ It showcased 70 pieces of traditional and folk art from across India, with the aim of protecting, preserving and promoting artistic heritage. See Part I of our photo essay here, along with insights from Pampa Chowdhury, Regional Manager, CIF.

Around 14 ‘Art for Concern’ exhibitions are held each year, featuring art forms such as Chola bronze, Gond, Kalighat, Mata Ni Pachedi, Mithila/Madhubani, Pattachitra, Phad, Sanjhi paper art, and Terracotta art. Some of these artworks are showcased in this edition of PhotoSparks, and are priced in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 1.5 lakhs.

The exhibition partner was Secure Giving, which specialises in fundraising events for charities. Its other events include ‘Pause for a Cause’ pop-up markets and the Annual Charity Auction. Art events have been held in cities ranging from Indore and Vadodara to Chandigarh and Ludhiana. Proceeds from the events go towards education, health and community development initiatives.

“We promote Indian art while also contributing to the socio-economic development of underprivileged sections of our society. Many artists around the world connect to local causes and communities,” said Sankalita Das, manager and curator at Secure Giving, in a chat with YourStory.

Their exhibitions have been supported by master artists such as Badri Narayan, K.H. Ara, Akbar Padamsee, Lalu Prasad Shaw, T. Vaikuntam, Prafulla Dhanukar, Gurcharan Singh, and Jayasri Burman.

“This is your own national heritage. Support these dying art forms by buying the art works and contributing to the artists’ livelihood,” Sankalita advises audiences. Featured artists at the exhibition include Prakash Joshi, Sanjay Manubhai Chitara, Akshaya Bariki, Sushil Soni, Manish Jha, Venkat Raman Singh Shyam, Sanwar Chitrakar, Anwar C, Gopal Joshi, Mohan Varma, and Nilesh Kumar Soni.

“While many e-commerce and crafts sites promote folk art, exhibitions offer you the rare opportunity to see original folk artworks in real life and get a sense of their true beauty,” Sankalita signs off.

Now, what have you done today to not just learn about India’s vast art heritage, but support folk artists in their creative enterprise?

Sankalita Das, Secure Giving

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