Festival to promote sand artists

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By NAMITA PANDA
  • Published 11.11.10
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Bhubaneswar, Nov. 10: Sand artists from the state have won many laurels in the last few years. To promote this art form, the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) has come up with the concept of a National Sand Art Festival.

The event will be a part of the upcoming colourful cultural events such as the Konark festival and the Puri Beach Festival.

According to the authorities of OTDC, the participating artists will have to create sand art at the beaches of Chandrabhaga for the Konark festival and Puri Sea Beach for the Puri beach festival.

“We have invited artists of repute to participate in the festival that would be held from November 23 to 27 in Puri and December 1 to 5 in Konark,” said Manoranjan Patnaik, general manager, OTDC.

“This will not be a contest but rather an exhibit for the delight of the tourists. We have however planned to hold a viewer’s choice award for the sand sculpture that gets maximum votes of viewers,” he added.

The idea of a national festival has, however, been denounced by noted sand artists of the state. Puri based sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik says it is not possible for a sand sculptor to prepare for the festival at such short notice.

“The OTDC has placed an advertisement as late as November 9 and that too in a local daily whereas the final date of sending applications is November 12. How are the artists from other parts of the country expected to participate in a national festival this way!” he said.

He added that a national level sand art festival needs a lot of logistic arrangement as well proper selection of space on the beach for the artist to work with the right kind of sand.

“I will not be able to take part in the festival since I have an engagement in Bangalore. My student Manas Sahoo (of the India’s Got Talent Season 2) is also currently in Dubai where he has made it to the finals of an international talent hunt,” he said.

The authorities however said they have made proper arrangements. “The sand artists will be required to display their work at the venue during the festivals. We will provide the necessary barricading and lighting,” said Manoranjan Patnaik of OTDC.

“Since this is the first time for such an event in the state we have put up a notice on our website. It depends on how the response turns up to be,” added Patnaik.