The Telegraph
Thursday , January 9 , 2014
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Nine divisions await fine arts hub debut
- State govt platform boost for artists to perform and attend exhibitions

The state art, culture and youth affairs department has decided to set up kala bhavans (fine arts hubs) in all the nine divisions to provide a platform to local artists to showcase talent.

Sanjay Kumar Singh, deputy director, directorate of culture, art, culture and youth affairs department, said on Wednesday: “Our department has decided to set up kala bhavans in all the divisional headquarters. The local artists would be able to put up their exhibition as well as perform in the kala bhavans. The idea is to provide a platform and a dedicated space to the artists where they can showcase their talent. At present, the state does not have art galleries and art centres at divisional levels,” said Singh.

He, however, refused to divulge the expenditure details.

Sources said the decision assumed importance in the state’s context because in the recent past Bihar had to face disappointment because of lack of an art gallery. Last year, Lalit Kala Akademi had pulled out a national art exhibition from Patna citing that the city did not have galleries fit to host such an event.

The 54th National Art Exhibition of Lalit Kala Akademi was scheduled to be held in Patna from May 3 to 23 last year. But the academy, an autonomous body under the Union ministry of culture, decided to change the venue owing to lack of infrastructure in the city. The budget for the exhibition on visual arts is Rs 48.5 lakh. Sources added that had the national exhibition been organised, it would have hugely benefited to the art and culture scenario of the state.

City artists expressed their happiness on the government’s decision.

“It is really a good project. Setting up kala bhavans at the divisional level would help boost the art and culture scenario of the state to a great extent but my suggestion to the department would be to appoint a ‘kala mitra’ also at all the upcoming kala bhavans. The kala mitra, maybe one of the artists, should be assigned the responsibility of choosing artists whose exhibition or shows need to be organised at the kala bhavans,” said painter Shyam Sharma (74) and former principal of College of Arts and Crafts.

He added: “I would also suggest the department to set up kala bhavans according to the cultural influence of the region. The design of all the kala bhavans should not be same. The buildings of the kala bhavans should be such that they can reflect the local cultural influence of that region.”

“Expert architects should be engaged in the construction work of kala bhavans. The department took a noble initiative by constructing an art gallery at Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir in 2012 but it does not meet the national standards. The gallery’s ceiling height is only 8.5ft. It restricts display of paintings of 12ft or bigger than that. The department must take all these aspects into consideration while setting up the kala bhavans,” Sharma added.

Art critic Manoj Kumar Bachchan also appreciated the department’s move. “This is a very good step taken by the department. More such steps are required to boost the art and culture scenario in the state,” Bachchan said.