52 artists, 12 states, how Soulful Strokes art exhibition showcases creativity across India
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 565 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.
Hosted at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, the Soulful Strokes exhibition featured the paintings of 52 artists from 12 states across India. Held over a period of a week in December, the exhibition was curated by Barnali Ray, founder of the Kalashristi group.
See also our compilations of Top Quotes of 2020 on Art in the Era of the Pandemic, Indian Art, Art Appreciation and Practice, and Beauty and Business of Art.
“Talented professional artists participated here with minimum or no fees. All artists were selected based on their long-term association with art and quality of the original artworks,” artist-educator Barnali Ray explains, in a chat with YourStory.
The artworks are priced from Rs 3,000 upward. “We kept the prices affordable so that common people also can acquire them,” she adds.
The artistic journey
“Art means creating my own world on canvas. Art is joy beyond boundary to me,” Barnali enthuses.
Success for her has as an artist comes from seeing her artworks being liked and appreciated. “As a curator, I would like to help fellow artists reach their potential and be able to sell their artworks,” she adds.
“Art means a lot to me. It helps me in exploring my thought processes, adding images to my imagination. Art is like a remedy to all my worries, anxiety, depressions, and frustrations,” explains engineer-artist Manoj Swain.
He started with landscapes, and now features portraits in acrylic. “I focus primarily on the shadow and lights in a painting. I believe a person's real expression comes out well in darkness,” he describes. Some of his artworks are priced from Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000.
“Success, to me is being able to express my emotions through art and conveying it upon completion. Of course, viewers' appreciation for my work gives a great deal of happiness,” Manoj adds.
He calls for broader promotion of art in society. “Every art curator must do due diligence in bridging the gap between artists and viewers. Efforts need to be put to convert viewers into buyers,” he emphasises.
Art in the pandemic era
“Art is a real stress reliever if you fall in love with this beautiful world of colour and canvas. In fact, more people became painters during this pandemic,” Barnali observes.
She painted even more during the pandemic. “More students joined my online painting classes across India and abroad,” she proudly adds. She teaches online and offline classes at Shree Radha Art Academy in Bengaluru.
Though he faced challenges in getting art supplies, Manoj found ample time to pursue art and participate in online exhibitions during the pandemic. “I learnt many new things, such as recycling canvases and painting with minimum colours,” he describes.
“Art can be a good companion during crises like the pandemic. Anything that is creative helps in diverting depression caused by the lockdowns and restrictions. Instead of worrying about the unseen, people can focus on creating masterpieces,” Manoj signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues for your creative core?