| All Assam Visual Artist Association members address a news conference in Guwahati on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos |
May 22: The All Assam Visual Artists’ Association today demanded that the state government take an initiative to establish a regional centre of Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Fine Art) in the city.
The association had also met and discussed its various demands, including the introduction of fine arts as a separate subject in the curriculum of all high and higher secondary schools in the state, appointment of qualified individuals with degrees in fine arts from recognised art colleges and universities in the country as teachers, with chief minister Tarun Gogoi last week.
It also seeks introduction of a degree course in fine arts in the universities of the state and accessibility of local artists to work related to any form of art in the government sector.
Interacting with reporters today, renowned Assamese painter and president of the association, Noni Borpuzari, said, “We artists have been demanding a regional centre of Lalit Kala Akademi here since 1981, but so far it has not materialised. The city being the gateway to the Northeast, a regional centre here is the need of the hour. Such a centre will immensely help in the promotion of art by allowing aspiring and talented artists to learn more about varied forms of visual art. Work of artists from here as well as outside can also be exhibited here.”
“Since graduate and post-graduate courses in fine arts are not available in colleges and universities here, aspiring artists have to go outside to pursue higher degrees. Some cannot go because of want of money. At present, only Assam University in Silchar has such a course. Similar courses should be introduced at Gauhati University and Tezpur University too,” the general secretary of the association, Kishore Kumar Das, said.
“If courses in fine art are introduced in schools, people holding higher degrees in the particular discipline can be employed. Moreover, the state government also engage skilled artists in creation of work of art and landscaping of different art projects that it undertakes from time to time,” added Das.
The association has also demanded the establishment of a shilpgram (culture hub) on the lines of those in Calcutta and Chennai.
“A true shilpgram is like a residency for artists where they have studios of their own and the public can go and view while they are actually working on any project. Moreover, a shilpgram will be like a hub where local artists as well as those from other parts of the country and abroad can exchange ideas. The landscaping of this place should be done in such a manner that it can become a tourist spot,” Assamese writer, art critic and a member of the association, Moushumi Kandali, said.
“During our recent meeting with the chief minister, he assured us that he will discuss our demands with the state government and initiate steps to transform them into reality,” said Borpuzari.