Maitree Ustav: how these 20 artists celebrated creativity through a group exhibition

Knowledge, growth, and camaraderie can arise from collaborative activity, as shown in this photo essay and artist interviews on creativity.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory Media, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 450 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.

Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru recently hosted an exhibition titled Maitree Ustav, featuring the works of 20 artists from across India. As shown in this two-part photo essay, the artworks span a range of styles, forms, themes, techniques, media, and messages.

The exhibition was organised by Onkon Art School, founded by Sarbani Chatterjee. It promotes the work of artists from all walks of life, and also creates an art-friendly atmosphere for visitors.

The artist lineup featured AK Rajesh, Anindya Ghosh, Nanda Ediga, Ayan Das, Dipak Kundu, Gauri Shankar, Kanakaraj AM, Lata Iyer, Milna Sajee, Mousumi Banerjee, Pankaj Gupta, Rajrappa Roy, Raju Thanakulam, Ritupama Roy, Sarbani Bose, Shimona Agarwal, Swaroop V, Shilpa Ostwal, Sreenivas P, and Warsha Lath.

Group exhibitions are a great way for artists to connect with each other, explains graphic designer and photographer Nanda Ediga, in a chat with YourStory. “I had a good opportunity to meet renowned celebrity artists as well as aspiring artists,” she enthuses.

Her hobbies are dance and bike riding, and she has showcased her works earlier at shows like the Chitra Kala Sangam exhibition (see our coverage here). She is upbeat about the growth of the art market in India. “These are some great signs that we are gradually doing well in this market,” Nanda observes, pointing to the rising wave of optimism in the arts community.

With consistent work across the board, Indian art can become a well-managed market, leveraging its deep cultural, social, ethnic and folk foundations. “That will be a great heritage and financial achievement. Indian art is like an ocean, and with growing audiences in the country and overseas, everyone’s vision and interests in art can be realised,” Nanda enthuses.

At the Maitree Utsav exhibition, Nanda exhibited works titled Natya, Diego, and Bolenath. Natya, based on Bharatnatyam, comprises of Bhava, Natya, Raga and Tala. It was very challenging completing this on canvas using a pen, she explains.

Diego was done using ball pen, one of her favourite styles; Bolenath is a mixed-media work, blending watercolour, acrylic, pen, and oil pastels. “It’s my new technique, I like to do experimental works. This came out so well, I even printed it on a T-shirt. It looks so elegant,” Nanda enthuses.

Her artworks are priced from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000. Her other projects over the next two months include an upcoming exhibition in Ooty, and another one with the Vivegha group.

She said she received positive and inspiring audience feedback for her artworks at the Maitree Utsav exhibition. “There was very good response towards my ballpen works, they appreciated the hard work involved,” she proudly says.

Nanda has words of advice for budding artists as well. “Aspiring artists should explore all kinds of art, and strive to find out their own unique style,” she recommends.

“Eventually, you should focus on your specific style to improve upon your strengths, rather than comparing it with other forms of art and trying to work around those. Create a new form beyond the existing types,” Nanda signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and truly explore the full breadth and depth of your creative side?

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at!

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

(Edited by Megha Reddy)