Artists arrange canvases before the start of the painting competition in Ranchi on Monday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Lalit Kala Akademi, which is organising an art camp in the capital from Monday, has unofficially told the artists to keep their creations confined to Jharkhand’s tribal culture and lifestyle, evoking mixed reactions from the participants.
Bhubaneswar regional centre of the Akademi is jointly holding the six-day camp with Mecon Limited at Jawaharlal Nehru Kala Kendra in Shyamali, Ranchi. The event was inaugurated by Mecon CMD A.K. Tyagi on Monday.
“We organise camps at various places regularly, pay remuneration and travel expenses, besides offering local hospitality to the artists. In return, we get their works,” said Ramhari Jena, secretary of the Bhubaneswar regional centre.
But the art academy feels that its efforts are not bringing desired results and hence wants the artists to reflect the essence of the place where such events are held, maintaining their individual contemporary style, he added.
“Akademi chairman K.K. Chakraborty has advocated that in this camp, the participants should preferably base their works on Jharkhand’s lifestyle,” Jena said.
As an incentive, the Akademi will showcase some of the selected works at triennial exhibitions where paintings of both Indian and international artists are displayed, thereby helping them get international exposure.
The Akademi’s stand, however, sparked a debate among the 14 participating artists from five states — three each from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and host Jharkhand and two from Odisha.
Each artist is supposed to make two paintings each.
“If our work is exhibited along side international artists, we do not mind keeping their wish,” said Suman Singh from Bihar.
Anand Tehenguia from Madhya Pradesh differed. “There are many like me who are visiting Jharkhand for the first time and as such, are not aware about the life and culture of its people,” he said.