Maitree Utsav 2021: Artists share insights on the special role of art in the pandemic era

Art is a stress-buster, source of income, and fountain of creativity. Artists bring hope and inspiration to people in tough times, as shown in this photo essay.
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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 555 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.

Onkkon Art Studio’s annual Maitree Utsav exhibition is being showcased this week at Bengaluru’s Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. It features 100 unique and original artworks of 35 artists from across India (see Part I of our coverage here).

“The pandemic has been difficult for everyone. I believe without art or artists, the world will lack colours, creativity, and emotions,” explains Sarbani Chatterjee, CEO and Managing Director, Onkkon Art Studio, in a chat with YourStory.

She urges art connoisseurs, curators, collectors, and government bodies to come ahead and help the artists’ community in whichever form they can. “Audiences should promote and encourage smaller artists, and give them the confidence that the art they practice will help them feed their families,” she adds.

“Art in general help in reducing stress and frustration. I have seen many people reinvented their creative side and turned into art and found that they can be amazing artists,” observes Milna Sajee.

Physical art classes for children also changed into online mode. “It helped children to relax even though other extra-curricular activities were absent. Artists got more time to focus and produce more meaningful works,” she adds.

Milna Sajee

“Art plays a very important role as it is therapeutic and relaxing. It works beautifully on the disturbed mind,” says Jayshree Chhajjer.

At this time of crisis, many people had some sort of mental breakdown. “Art brings you closer to permanent joys rather than superficial ones,” she says.

“At the time of the pandemic, many messages were conveyed to public in an effective way through art,” according to Vasumathi Vasudevan.

“Many artist groups conducted online shows and the funds received were used for fellow artists who were really in very bad situations,” she recalls. Vasumathi herself was a part of one such exhibition.

Varun Rao

“Art in any form plays a role of imparting creative intelligence, and acts as a motivator, a stress buster, and a source of income,” Varun Rao explains.

“Art is often rightly connected to expressions. It highlights the value system that a society could follow, such as being generous, showing gratitude, and being emphatic towards others,” he adds.

During these tough times, artists express happenings in the surroundings, and spread awareness and nurture hope in people. “A simple artwork that portrays a quote like Everything will be fine at the right place is perhaps what people might need to see,” Varun explains.

Rosy Mishra

“The pandemic has been a great eye-opener for every human being to appreciate the beauty of life,” affirms Rosy Mishra.

“Art gives hope, it gives positive vibes. People who never got time to explore their inner artists took the time to bring it out during the pandemic. It gives peace, patience, and stability from daily routines,” she adds.

Art came as a saviour for Rosy. “During the hard times, art gave me hope to remake myself to gain confidence and to overcome obstacles. I tried various forms of art and made it my profession,” Rosy proudly signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause your busy schedule and find avenues to nurture your creative side?

Jayshree Chhajjer

Vasumathi Vasudevan

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