From artist to curator: how this exhibition shows the power of giving back to the community

In this two-part photo essay, we feature the works of 15 artists from the Vasantha Arts exhibition. We also include curator insights on the meaning of art, career opportunities, and steps to continuous improvement and inspiration.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 355 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 works of 15 artists are being showcased this week at the Vasantha Arts exhibition in Bengaluru’s Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (see Part II of our coverage here). The artist lineup includes Kiran Dukhu, Jyothi Prakash, Suneetha Ravi, Nisha Arun, Sucharita Senapati, Ramana Peram, PA Paul, SK Ameerjan, KS Kamatagoudar, Varun Rao, Nagaraj R, Shruti Singh, Prem Sameer, and Sarbani Bose.

Malyadri K is an artist who founded Vasantha Arts in 1983 in Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh. It was also registered in 2006 by the Government of Karnataka. “As an artist I know the struggle of the journey, right from becoming an artist to showcasing artworks to the world,” Malyadri explains, in a chat with YourStory.

“Vasantha Arts gives opportunity, contacts and exposure to new artists. This is our fourth group show, and more artists are joining us from Goa, Mumbai, Shimla, Telangana, Delhi, Bengaluru and Mysuru,” he adds.

As an artist and curator, art means pride, happiness and satisfaction for Malyadri. “A lot of meaning is expressed through art. Art is a mountain,” he explains. He retired from the rail wheel factory in Yelahanka, and now specialises in realistic art that reflects the culture of different states. His works are priced from Rs 15,000 to Rs 2.5 lakhs.

“There is nothing like success in art, because art is an ocean, we can’t measure it,” Malyadri adds. He advises audiences to look for messages about awareness and happiness that are embedded in art, and urges artists to develop original ideas and themes.

“Practicing art is like meditation. It’s like presenting nature, creativity and imagination in a shell to society,” explains full-time artist Jyothi Prakash. Success for her is when a completed work gives the desired result and personal satisfaction, and when the displayed work attracts and soothes the eyes of the beholder.

Her acrylic works are themed on divinity, and priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000. “I am currently working on a 3 feet by 4 feet stretched canvas, a scene from Ramayana in oil colours. It’s an honorary work, the proceeds will go to the Indian Army War Widows Welfare Fund,” Jyothi adds.

Kiran Dukhu is a retired doctor and now a full-time painter at the age of 73. “Art has become my second name now,” she poetically explains. “I express my emotions in the form of paintings just like lyric writers express and reproduce their feelings with songs,” she adds.

Success for Kiran goes beyond receiving certificates; it comes from peer appreciation, support from friends, and the sheer joy of hard work along with the soothing effect of art. She developed her own style of pottery painting through trial and error.

For the exhibition, she prepared a cosmic horse on a huge canvas. “The horse represents the power to overcome obstacles due to any misalignment of stars. I also etched the face of an old woman with multiple wrinkles. Some sceneries show mountains in the form of crystals. I also painted with earbuds a ghostly spectre of ancient lovers,” Kiran says.

Her works are priced from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. “The other projects which I propose to do is to depict the inner turmoil of a transgender in the form of abstract art; ultrasound of an ocean bed; turmoil of an Alzheimer patient; and reflection of another person in one’s eyes,” Kiran adds.

She urges audiences to give healthy criticism and suggestions for improvement. “The most important tip for artists is generating ideas. Ideas are the inspiration behind any artwork. Every individual will have unique ideas that germinate from social problems, social evils and the multitude of problems in India,” Kiran advises.

“Art is like beauty, truth and life itself. It makes your thoughts evolve to new distances, and cover themes like human rights and social struggle. The source of all art, science, and technology – in fact, all of human civilisation – is itself creative imagination, or creative thinking,” explains Bengaluru artist PA Paul.

As an animator, he is concerned that many creative people are moving away from traditional art to digital works. “So whenever I am free from my day job, I am busy with canvas and colour,” Paul says. Success for him comes from hard work and sincerity.

He paints on nature with a blend of realism and impressionism, and his art works are priced from Rs 20,000 upwards. He is also working on other art forms like paper sculpture.

“Good work comes from skill and dedication, but excellent work comes from a balanced combination of creativity and uniqueness,” he advises aspiring artists. “Your job can fill your bag, but your art will fill your soul with creativity, joy and happiness,” Paul signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, and find that sweet spot of converged passion, talent and reward?

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See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.


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