Art for celebration, community, and cause – how the Whitefield Art Collective promotes environmental sustainability
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 455 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 one-month festival of the Whitefield Art Collective (WAC) is wrapping up this weekend at VR Bengaluru. The theme of the fifth annual festival is ‘Sustainability’ (see our coverage of the earlier editions from 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016).
The partner lineup this year includes Shristi Institute of Art, Design & Technology, JD Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore Creative Circus, Indian Garbage Collective, The Broke Artist Collective, Aravani Arts Project, Synaesthesia Collective, and ArtFlute.
The festival is part of VR Bengaluru’s initiative called ‘Connecting Communities.’ It aims to encourage civic pride, strengthen the local economy, and enhance the city’s image. WAC 2020 was inaugurated by Bose Krishnamachari, President, Kochi Biennale Foundation (see our six-part coverage of the 2018-2019 biennale edition here).
“Our vision this year was to scale up the Whitefield Art Collective from the previous years and provide opportunities for more local emerging artists to showcase their works,” explains Sumi Gupta, WAC Curator, in a chat with YourStory.
Effective partnerships and participation by 35 artists helped put together large-scale installations and sculptures. “WAC 2020 has brought together a community of connoisseurs, art students, patrons, and the citizens of Bengaluru in a celebration of the city’s art and culture,” Sumi enthuses.
Featured artworks include Mad Town 2 by Indian Garbage Collective, Peace Messenger by Sangeeta Abhay, Preserve the Pride by Bandhana Jain, and Tiger of the Cauvery by Rahul KP and Nithin Sadhu (Bangalore Creative Circus). As part of the Art Bazaar by The Broke Artists Collective, another 33 artists also participated last weekend.
The festival experienced tremendous footfall, as well as appreciation for providing a platform for student artists, according to Sumi. “Each of the installations have a story to convey to its audience on sustainability and that has been much appreciated by everyone,” she proudly adds.
As trends in Indian art, Sumi points to the rise of photography, sculpture, and mixed media. “Contemporary art has really caught the imagination of artists and patrons, and I see a lot of abstract works inspired by greats such as Rothko and Pollock,” she explains.
As a festival director, Sumi says success comes from providing opportunities for deserving artists and curating exhibitions of high quality. “As with all endeavours, there is always much to learn and more to do. We hope that we continue to grow with each annual WAC,” she explains.
She calls for more art appreciation in Indian society, to which art festivals and community activities make an important contribution. “Public art festivals bring to the fore a collective excitement of reaching out to a much larger audience than the confines of either a museum or an art gallery,” Sumi adds.
She urges the art fraternity to come together and host more such public initiatives. “The public should have access to see these beautiful pieces of art,” she emphasises.
Public art events help broader audiences appreciate the creativity and the thought process behind art. “Thematic events also increase awareness on pressing concerns like sustainability,” Sumi signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and harness your creativity for a larger cause?
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