100 artworks, 35 artists: Maitree Utsav 2021 exhibition kicks off at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath

With a decrease in COVID-19 cases, ‘physical’ art exhibitions are back! In this series, we share highlights from an ongoing exhibition in Bengaluru.
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Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 550 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 ‘new normal’ seems to be here, with art galleries open again for ‘physical’ exhibitions and following safety rules for masking. Onkkon Art Studio’s annual Maitree Utsav exhibition kicked off this week at Bengaluru’s Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.

With 100 unique and original artworks of 35 artists from across India, the exhibition was inaugurated by actor Shivrajkumar, brother of the late Kannada film actor Puneeth Rajkumar.

Founded by Sarbani Chatterjee, Onkkon Art Studio also announced plans to establish an art University in Bengaluru, Aleykya Vidya Niketan.

Other dignitaries at the launch included Pramila Nesargi, senior lawyer and activist for women and child rights, as well as senior artists and art connoisseurs such as CS Krishna Setty, BD Jagdish, Rajib Sur Roy, Sujit Kumar Ghosh, and Arabindo Samanto.

The exhibition also features live demos and seminars by established artists each day this week. Last year’s edition of the exhibition was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Note: This year, artists and attendees are masked, and masks are sometimes removed only for photographs.)

“My vision is to create a platform where senior artists and aspiring artists can come together and exchange artistic knowledge. The idea here is junior artists get a chance to observe and learn from the experienced ones,” explains Sarbani Chatterjee, CEO and Managing Director, Onkkon Art Studio, in a chat with YourStory.

The emerging artists get encouragement and benefit from networking, and pass on their learning to the next batches as well. In Part II of this photo essay series, we will feature insights from exhibiting artists Milna Sajee, Jayshrie Chajjer, Rosy Mishra, Vasumathi Vasudevan, and Varun Rao.

Half the artworks at the exhibition are by expert or experienced artists, with the rest by new or aspiring artists. The featured artworks are priced from Rs 3,000 to over Rs I lakh.

“People are visiting malls and movie theatres – please visit art exhibitions too,” Sarbani urges. She implores audiences to buy artworks or at least appreciate or share feedback with the artists.

Sarbani Chatterjee

“Understand and generate awareness among friends and families about art. Encourage the artists, they really pour in all their heart and soul into their works,” she adds.

“I want art to become a profession that pays artists well, and want more parents to encourage their children to take up arts as a profession. For this to happen, people will have to visit exhibitions, appreciate art, and buy artworks if possible,” Sarbani signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues for your creative core?

Tribal artist Sirajudulla Chitrakar

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

Edited by Megha Reddy

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