30 artists, 170 artworks: meet the artists at the fourth annual Chitra Kala Sangam exhibition
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 400 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
The fourth edition of the annual Chitra Kala Sangam exhibition was held this month at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru. Featuring 170 artworks by 30 artists, it was organised by Shiny Colours, co-founded by Amit Verma and his wife Rashmi Soni.
Rashmi is an artist, while Amit is also founder at Purple Minds Software Solutions and was earlier at HP, Wipro, and Cambridge Solutions. In Part I of our photo essay, we feature some of the exhibited works along with insights from the curators and artists.
“Shiny Colours’ mission is to help all who wish to learn the art of drawing and painting. We have a unique teaching methodology of continuous learning, which does not bind a student to a fixed curriculum,” Amit explains, in a chat with YourStory.
The exhibiting artists submitted up to 12 images each, and outstanding artworks were selected for display. They represent mediums like oil, acrylic, water, sketching and mixed media. The artworks were priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 40,000.
The artists received encouraging feedback. “I am sure the positive vibes will help the participating artists to get to the next level of their career in the field of art,” Amit says. He is also planning another art fair with workshops and international artists.
“India’s art scene is only getting better by the day. Social media plays a huge role in promoting art and artists. It is easier to share and draw audiences than it was earlier,” Amit observes.
But this is also a challenge, as artists get lost in the crowd and many really good artists do not get the promotion that they deserve. “Group shows curated meticulously are the right platform to take the first step for budding artists,” Amit says. Shiny Colours was founded six years ago, and more than 500 students have become artists. Some of them have won awards and cash prizes as well.
“There is no dearth of art appreciation in India. Everyone loves art and appreciates art. However, there is a serious lack of investment. Generally speaking, people don’t invest or invest very little in buying art,” Amit cautions. Meaningful investment is therefore a way to improve art appreciation and the quality of art as well.
He sees success for Shiny Colours not just in terms of commercial achievement but in helping other artists succeed. He advises audiences to approach and interpret art with an open mind.
“There are no limits when it comes to creating art,” Amit adds, as tips to aspiring artists. “There are no short cuts. Art is like meditation. Work hard and stay focused,” he urges.
“Creating art is a beautiful journey that takes me on a roller-coaster ride but always ends with peace and calm in my mind,” explains Sunita Rathi, who has been an artist for five years. Art has helped her express her thoughts and desires, and provided a ray of hope. “Art is happiness, it is a stressbuster; it is life itself,” she adds.
Sunita has completed more than 500 paintings in oils and acrylic, and exhibited at galleries in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. Her artworks are priced from Rs 1,000 to Rs 35,000.
“Artists today are really smart and know how to create their space,” she observes. She advises aspiring artists to keep practicing with different media and formats, engage their observational skills, and work with the right perspectives.
“Art for me is expression of my feeling of love for nature. God has created such beauty around us and I love to paint it in the full range of colours,” explains Indubala Vaya. In addition to oils and acrylic, she has used coffee and glass as materials. She has also painted different types of Buddha images.
“In future, we will see more innovation in Indian art and a mix of modern and contemporary forms,” she observes. Indubala calls for more art appreciation and professional orientation in India’s school system.
Her artworks are priced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 40,000. She sees success for herself in the appreciation she gets from art lovers who visit her studio as well. Many of the other artists also define success not just in terms of sales but in terms of audience impact. They enjoy seeing viewers stop in front of their paintings, appreciate them, and ask questions.
Indubala advises audiences to appreciate the creative thinking and designing that happens even before colours are applied to canvas. “Appreciate the hidden story behind every colour and painting,” she recommends.
She also advises aspiring artists to first create the story they want to convey, and then start giving it shape. “Be innovative and develop your own unique signature style,” she adds.
“Art is a reflection of human thought. It is a path marker that points inwards to oneself. It offers a chance of introspection as well as expression at the same time,” explains Suchitha Venkatesh. Her themes revolve around folklore of India, Greece, Egypt and Nordic countries.
She has completed over 40 artworks, with titles such as ArdhaNarishvara (with the masculine and feminine in harmony), Mahoksha, and Fruits of Fantasy. Her works have prices from Rs 5,000 to Rs 1 lakh.
Suchitha calls for more art appreciation and displays in Indian homes. “The true potential of Indian art can be reached by increasing art awareness and sensitivity, which should be inculcated in children. Art should be seen as more than a hobby,” she suggests. She teaches art workshops and classes herself.
“Commercial viability for an artist does matter, but in art, there is no particular benchmark. With each painting you create, you set a new benchmark for yourself. There is no summit to reach and announce to the world that you have succeeded,” Suchitha explains.
She urges audiences to appreciate the effort that has gone into an artwork, and not be swayed by its commercial value. “Share your support of art amongst your peers, friends, and family,” she adds.
“Derive inspiration from the world around you,” Shuchitha advises aspiring artists. “If you see a landscape you would like to paint, imagine how you would have created it if you were the creator of this universe,” she evocatively signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, and find ways to be true to your sensitive and creative self?
Amit Verma and Rashmi Soni
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